The Giant Insider Online

Chris Mara, Pat Shurmur Representing Giants at The Belmont Stakes

The 150th running of the Belmont Stakes will take place this Saturday with Justify a 4-5 morning-line favorite to win the race and capture horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown.

Before the race, however, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur will give the “riders up” call, something one of his predecessors, Tom Coughlin, did in 2012. That year I’ll Have Another, another Triple Crown hopeful, was scratched the day before the race with a leg injury.

“On behalf of the men and women of NYRA, we look forward to hosting Giants head coach Pat Shurmur at Belmont Park for the running of a historic Belmont Stakes,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “The Belmont Stakes and New York Giants are part of the enduring fabric of the New York and national sports scene: Big Blue as one of the original NFL teams and the Belmont Stakes as the oldest sporting event in the country.”

Shurmur considered the call an honor.

“It’s a great honor to be asked to call ‘riders up’ for the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes, which is one of the great sporting events not only in New York, but in our country,” Shurmur said. “And to have Justify running for the Triple Crown makes it even more special. So, I am really looking forward to it, and it’s fitting that the head coach of the New York Giants is involved since Chris Mara is a member of the Starlight Racing group, which owns a stake in Justify, and Chris’ love for racing started when his parents, Wellington and Ann, took him to Belmont Park as a child. I am grateful to be a small part of the circle.”

Mara, the Giants senior vice president of player personnel, naturally will also be on hand with plenty of other Maras, to be sure. He has been involved in thoroughbred racing for the last 30 years or so and has been a member of Starlight since 2012. The Mara family has always had an interest in the sport going back to the 1930s when Chris’ grandfather Tim, the original owner of the Giants, was a legal in-track bookmaker at Belmont.

As is becoming more common in the sport, Starlight Racing is just one entity involved in the ownership of Justify. China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Winstar Farm are the others in the conglomerate.

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