10/27/2014 12:20PM

Belmont barns undergoing renovation


Several barns on the Belmont backstretch are undergoing a makeover, with the hopes of adding 250 new stalls by the time racing returns here next spring.

Several barns that currently can house horses only on one side are being expanded to double-sided barns. Those barns include 1, 6, 10, and 15. It is possible that barns 18 and 19 also could be expanded.

These renovations are in addition to a new 54-stall barn that could be completed by the end of November.

“A lot of these barns are 17 [stalls] and 18 [stalls], and they could become 34s and 36s,” said Martin Panza, the New York Racing Association’s senior vice president of racing operations. “It will be good for a trainer of that size to be in one barn instead of two.”

The newly constructed barn is expected to eventually house horses belonging to David Jacobson, the leading trainer on the NYRA circuit in terms of starters and wins. Before then, however, it is expected the barn will house horses of trainers being displaced by the renovations.

NYRA president and chief executive Chris Kay has already stated a desire to close the Aqueduct barn area when that meet ends next spring and have all horses based at Belmont and Saratoga.