MANHATTAN — Horse racing fans were out of the gates early Monday morning, as tickets for the Belmont Stakes sold out on Ticketmaster within three minutes, according to a spokesman from the New York Racing Association.
Now, ducats to see I'll Have Another run for the Triple Crown on June 9 will only be available for racing enthusiasts who appear in person at Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack starting Wednesday.
In addition to Ticketmaster and in-person sales, tickets for previous years' Belmont Stakes could be purchased over the phone or by faxing a request form. That will no longer be the case.
With the possibility of I'll Have Another being the first horse to capture all three major racing titles for the first time in 34 years, NYRA is expecting a packed house at the track in Elmont, N.Y., next month.
"A typical crowd when there's not a Triple Crown is about 45,000," said the spokesman. "If there is a triple crown, it's typically about 100,000."
Record attendance for the Belmont Stakes was 103,222 in 2004, when Smarty Jones vied for the Triple Crown, Silver said, a far cry from last year's 55,779.
This year, both the Preakness and the Kentucky Derby set attendance records for their individual races.
It was not clear how many tickets are left for the Belmont Stakes Monday afternoon.