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Storms may dampen 148th run of the Belmont Stakes Saturday

Stormy weather could interfere with Saturday's running of the 148th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

While this year's event will not include a horse running for the Triple Crown, a large turnout is expected for one of the oldest competitions in the sport. The attendance capacity at the park is between 85,000 and 90,000, according to the New York Racing Authority.

Saturday will turn out mostly cloudy with a few showers and thunderstorms moving into the area toward race time, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards.

Post time is scheduled for 6:37 p.m. EDT.

"Some of the storms could be on the strong side with downpours and gusty winds," Edwards said. "[The] best case scenario is that the thunderstorms hold off until after the race."

Daytime highs will settle in the upper 70s F; a normal high temperature for this time of year is around 75.

After winning the Kentucky Derby on a warm and sunny day in Louisville on May 7, Nyquist came in third at the Preakness Stakes on a wet and dreary day in Baltimore two weeks later. Nyquist will not compete this weekend, but the winner of the Preakness, Exaggerator, will be among the field of 13 contenders on Saturday.

With a course length of 1 ½ miles, the Belmont Stakes is longer than both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and a great test of endurance for the horses.

If the track maintenance crew at Belmont Park has enough notice that rain is on the way, they will likely "seal" the racetrack to improve conditions, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson.

This is the same strategy that was implemented at the Preakness.

"When there is going to be a fair amount of rain, [track crews] will pack the dirt down so that more [water] runs off and less gets absorbed into the track. This makes the track more even and safer," Thompson said.

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Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook