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Job fair looks to fill Belmont festival positions in Saratoga

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With more than 1,000 employees needed to staff the Saratoga Race Course for the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Saratoga, the New York Racing Association hosted a job fair Wednesday.

The 156th edition of the third leg of the Triple Crown will be held in Saratoga in 2024 due to construction at Belmont Park, the race’s traditional home. The race is scheduled for Saturday, June 8, with the festival beginning Thursday, June 6, and lasting four days.

“Planning has been well underway for many months to ensure that guests, and the entire racing community, as well as all of upstate New York who are fortunate to be here, that we can have a wonderful time in celebration of thoroughbred horse racing at its finest,” said Pat McKenna, NYRA’s vice president of communications.

Thousands are expected at the festival, and tickets for the Belmont Stakes are sold out, so hiring the right staff with the experience to handle the massive event is key.

“It takes a village to run a race meet like Saratoga. Certainly, that’s true in the summertime, and it will be true for the 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival,” said McKenna.

The job fair has openings for various positions from mutuel clerks to parking attendants, ushers, hospitality and concierge positions. Some of the applicants are as young as 15.

With NYRA expecting $50 million in overall impact, many attendees say they are looking forward to the economic opportunity the festival is expected to bring upstate.

“I think it’s great for people that, you know, are out of work and can come up and get a chance and get a job. You know, folks that are retired or just want to work part time or just be here for those four days, which is really exciting,” said applicant Ann Marro.

According to the festival team, 23 stakes races will be featured in the four-day festival, with prize money up to $10.1 million.

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