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Monday, June 24, 2024

Wildfires Play Havoc With Belmont Stakes, MLB Games

  • Events at Belmont Park were canceled on Thursday two days ahead of the Saturday's race.
  • MLB continues to postpone games as air quality conditions remain poor.
The Belmont Stakes could be impacted by air quality.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Poor air quality originating from the Canadian wildfires continues to disrupt sporting events in the northeast U.S. on Thursday.

The New York Racing Association canceled live racing at Belmont Park two days ahead of the 155th Belmont Stakes. PETA had been among the voices dubbing the current conditions unsafe for the horses and calling for Saturday’s race to be canceled.

But less than 20 miles west of Belmont Park, the New York Yankees are moving forward with a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox — less than 24 hours after Wednesday night’s game was postponed.

New York City’s air quality improved on Thursday but is still mostly in the “unhealthy” category.

The NYRA is planning to resume live racing on Friday, with the first scheduled for 12:50 p.m. ET. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said that air-quality numbers will determine if the horses run on Saturday. Levels exceeding 200 would cancel the race, while levels of 150-200 would require horses to pass a pre-race veterinary exam in order to compete.

In Washington, D.C., the Washington Nationals postponed Thursday afternoon’s 1 p.m. game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. On Thursday night at 6 p.m., the Philadelphia Phillies and Detroit Tigers are scheduled to make up Wednesday night’s postponed game.

Major League Baseball makes the final decision on whether games are played.

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