ELMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Just five days to go — and all eyes are on the racetrack.
California Chrome’s fan club is growing.
And so is the security detail for the Triple Crown threat at Belmont Park, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.
Having already own the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, California Chrome will be the 12th horse to try for the Triple Crown since Affirmed won all three jewels back in 1978. The colt is being watched by round-the-clock security.
Ecstatic fans’ and media inquiries pour in day and night from all over the globe. Due to the horse’s popularity, there will be such an overwhelming need for parking that tailgating has already been cancelled at Belmont for Saturday’s big race.
New track-side tents and bleachers still have to be constructed.
“We have sold all of our tickets, but we have a lot of general admission still available. And we are going to be putting online, Ticketmaster, the availability of at least 1,800 tickets in the bleachers,” New York Racing Authority President and CEO Christopher Kay said.
Federal, state, and local law enforcement are already in place. All who enter the track will be subjected to electronic wand searches at admission gates, McLogan reported.
Banned items include: backpacks, coolers, purses, Duffel bags, wagons, camcorders, umbrellas, Thermoses, and alcohol.
Food items and non-alcoholic beverages must be carried in clear, see-through plastic containers.
“We are going to have substantial security so everyone will be safe,” Kay said.
Race track chaplain Humberto Chavez keeps watch over the horse community’s safety. He said he expects a call before post time to pay a visit to California Chrome’s barn.
“We could get a call to go out and say a prayer where he is stabled, prayers too for the trainer, assistant trainer, the groom and exercise rider,” Chavez said.
With fingers crossed, multiple local communities are jumping on the California Chrome bandwagon. On Friday, streets will close for a Triple Crown festival.
Officials told McLogan up to 120,000 people are expected for Saturday’s race.
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