The stakes are high ahead of an action-packed week at Belmont Park

The race of the weekend is the Belmont Stakes, with $1.5million and a coveted Triple Crown race win on the line...

Saturday's Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park is the final race in the Triple Crown and also ends a big three days of racing at the venerable track located in Elmont, New York, just east of New York City.

Beginning Thursday, there will be 14 graded and two ungraded stakes races over the following three days, with 11 of them carrying purses of $400,000 and above.

According to the New York Racing Association website, the highlights of Belmont Park's Thursday card are a pair of $200,000 Grade III events, both on the facility's turf track.

The first will be the Intercontinental Stakes, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares four years old and up with a field of nine starters.

A couple of races later, ten three-year-old fillies will compete for over a mile and an eighth in the Wonder Again Stakes.

The five and a half furlong ungraded $150,000 Astoria Stakes for two-year-old fillies on the dirt is wedged in between with an expected field of six starters.

Friday's Races

The activity really picks on Friday, with purses totalling $1.75million in the graded stakes races and an additional $150,00 in an ungraded contest.

The highlight of the card is the $750,000 Grade II New York stakes for fillies and mares four years old and up, run over a mile and a quarter on the turf.

Another great racing test on Friday's card is the $400,000 Grade II Belmont Gold Cup, run on the turf at two miles, one of the longest distances in thoroughbred racing.

It's open to horses four years old and up and should be an interesting watch for anyone who has online access to the Belmont Park races.

Big Purses on Saturday

Saturday's schedule has eight Grade 1 stakes races, including the $1.5million Belmont Stakes, that have total purses of $5.55million.

The other $1million Grade 1 race on the card is the one-mile Metropolitan Handicap for horses three years old and up run Belmont's dirt track.

The biggest turf race on Saturday is the $750,000 Manhattan Stakes for horses four years old and up, run on dirt over a distance of a mile and a quarter.

It's also a big day for fillies and mares, with three $500,000 grade one contests, with two running on the dirt and one on the turf track.

Belmont Stakes update

Of course, the race of the weekend is the Belmont Stakes, with $1.5million and a coveted Triple Crown race win on the line.

The field for the mile and a half race appears to be made up of nine three-year-olds horses, including expected favorite Essential Quality and Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer.

The draw for post positions will take place on June 1st at 11:00 am EDT, with the establishment of morning line odds shortly thereafter.

Given the horses expected to formally enter the race, the finale in the Triple Crown should provide the same level of excitement that the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes gave the horse racing community.

READ: Belmont Stakes: 21 years of dominance between two of the greatest trainers