Belmont Park's New York Showcase Fall Festival kicks into gear this weekend with seven stakes featuring horses foaled in the Empire State. The richest contest unfolds Sunday with the running of the $250,000 Empire Classic featuring a field of 10. The wide open nine-furlong contest includes Brave One, coming off a score in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes Sept. 22.
On the same day, Say Florida Sandy looks to become the riches New York-bred money earner all time when she competes in the $125,000 Hudson Handicap. John Rotella's 7-year-old son of Personal Flag has won 28 times from 76 starts. If he finishes fifth or better, he will surpass L'Carriere as the state's leading money-winning produce. Say Florida Sandy has already annexed the bold Ruler, True North, and Philadelphia Park's Breeders' Cup Handicap this year. He has currently earned $1,725,926. Aaron Gryder will ride the 127-pound highweight against 12 foes, including Stalwart Member, who won this race a year ago.