Belmont to Offer Six Million-Dollar Races
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Some stakes will have new names and larger purses at Belmont Park this year as the New York Racing Association plans two big days of racing at the spring/summer meet along with its previously announced Belmont Stakes Festival June 6-8.

The Belmont Stakes Festival, Stars & Stripes Day July 5, and a May 11 Mother's Day card featuring three graded stakes form the backbone of the track's spring/summer meet, which begins May 1 and continues through July 13. In all, the schedule contains 62 stakes races worth $17.95 million, including six races with purses of at least $1 million, and 16 overnight stakes with purses of $100,000 each. 

June 7 is the most lucrative day on the schedule with $7.7 million in stakes purses, topped by the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), as well as five other grade I races: the Metropolitan Handicap for 3-year-olds and up, the Ogden Phipps for fillies and mares 4-year-olds and up, the Manhattan Handicap for turf horses 4-year-olds and up, the Acorn Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and the Longines Just a Game Stakes for fillies and mares on the turf. 

Total purses for the day will be $8 million, making Belmont Stakes Day the second richest on the North American racing calendar behind only the second day of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Belmont will host its inaugural Stars & Stripes Day July 5. The holiday weekend extravaganza will include a pair of million-dollar contests: the $1.25 million Belmont Derby Invitational (gr. IT) and the $1 million Belmont Oaks Invitational (gr. IT). These races formerly were known as the Jamaica Handicap and the Garden City. Both the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks are 1 1/4-mile turf races for 3-year-olds, with the Oaks restricted to fillies. 

Also on the July 5 card are the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II), the $400,000 Belmont Sprint Championship (gr. III, formerly the James Marvin), and the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. II). The Suburban Handicap will be contested at the classic distance of 1 1/4 miles for the first time since 2009. 

The $400,000 Man o' War (gr. IT), which had been contested in July since 2008, is scheduled for Mother's Day, May 11, and tops a card that also includes the $250,000 Ruffian (gr. II), the $150,000 Westchester (gr. III), and the $100,000 License Fee. The Man o' War will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 as part of "The Jockey Club Tour on FOX" series.

Big Apple Showcase Day will be held May 31, one week before Belmont Stakes Day, and will feature six stakes, all restricted to New York-breds, worth a combined $900,000.

Memorial Day, May 26, features three stakes topped by the $300,000 Poker (gr. III) to be run at one mile on the grass. Also on Memorial Day is the $200,000 Pennine Ridge which, along with the May 25 Wonder Again, serve as prep races for the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks. The first three finishers in both the Pennine Ridge and Wonder Again will be guaranteed invitations to the Belmont Derby and Belmont Oaks, respectively.

"We are hopeful that, given the lack of big money opportunities at a mile on the grass, the Poker could attract two-time defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan," said NYRA's senior vice president of racing operations Martin Panza. "The Pennine Ridge and Wonder Again are new races that should be especially popular with their guaranteed invitations to the Belmont Derby and Oaks attached. We anticipate that interest among horsemen in the Derby and Oaks could result in oversubscribed fields for those two seven-figure-purse races on July 5." 

The Astoria for 2-year-old fillies and Tremont for 2-year-olds have returned to the stakes schedule for the first time since 2008 and will be held June 14 and 15, respectively.

2014 BELMONT PARK SPRING/SUMMER MEET STAKES SCHEDULE

DATE

RACE

GR.

PURSE

AGE

DISTANCE

Thurs., May 1

Elusive Quality

 

100,000

4&UP

7 F (T)

Fri., May. 2

Affirmed Success (NYB)

 

100,000

4&UP

6 F

Sat., May. 3

Beaugay

III

150,000

F&M 4&UP

1 1/16  (T)

Sat., May. 3

Fort Marcy

III

150,000

4&UP

1 1/8  (T)

Sun., May. 4

Gold Fever

 

100,000

3YO

6 F

Sun., May. 4

Drosselmeyer

 

100,000

4&UP

1 1/4

Sat., May. 10

Peter Pan

II

200,000

3YO

1 1/8

Sat., May. 10

Diablo

 

100,000

4&UP

6 F

Sun., May. 11

Westchester

III

150,000

4&UP

1 Mile

Sun., May. 11

Man o' War 

I

400,000

4&UP

1 3/8 (T)

Sun., May 11

Ruffian

II

250,000

F&M 4&UP

1  Mile

Sun., May 11

License Fee

 

100,000

F&M 4&UP

6 F (T)

Sat., May 17

Vagrancy

III

150,000

F&M 4&UP

6 1/2 F

Sat., May 17

Paradise Creek

 

100,000

3YO

7 F (T)

Sun., May 18

Wait A While

 

100,000

F3YO

7 F (T)

Sat., May 24

Sheepshead Bay

II

200,000

F&M 4&UP

1 3/8 (T)

Sun., May 25

Wonder Again

 

200,000

F3YO

1 1/8 (T)

Mon., May 26

Jersey Girl

 

100,000

F3YO

6 F

Mon., May 26

Pennine Ridge

 

200,000

3YO

1 1/8 (T)

Mon., May 26

Poker

III

300,000

4&UP

1 Mile (T)

Sat., May 31

Commentator (NYB)

 

200,000

3&UP

1 Mile

Sat., May 31

Critical Eye (NYB)

 

200,000

F&M 3&UP

1 Mile

Sat., May 31

Kingston  (NYB)

 

125,000

3&UP

1 Mile (T)

Sat., May 31

Mount Vernon  (NYB)

 

125,000

F&M 3&UP

1 Mile (T)

Sat., May 31

Mike Lee (NYB)

 

125,000

3YO

7 F

Sat., May 31

Bouwerie (NYB)

 

125,000

F3YO

7 F

Fri., June 6

True North  

II

250,000

4&UP

6 F

Fri., June 6

Belmont Gold Cup Inv.

 

200,000

4&UP

2 Miles (T)

Sat., June 7

Belmont

I

1,500,000

3YO

1 ½

Sat., June 7

Manhattan

I

1,000,000

4&UP

1 1/4 (T)

Sat., June 7

Brooklyn Invitational

II

500,000

4&UP

1 ½

Sat., June 7

Jaipur Invitational

III

300,000

4&UP

6 F (T)

Sat., June 7

Metropolitan Handicap

I

1,250,000

3&UP

1 Mile

Sat., June 7

Woody Stephens

II

500,000

3YO

7 F

Sat., June 7

Acorn

I

750,000

F3YO

1 Mile

Sat., June 7

Longines Just A Game

I

750,000

F&M 4&UP

1 Mile (T)

Sat., June 7

Ogden Phipps

I

1,000,000

F&M 4&UP

1 1/16

Sat., June 7

Easy Goer

 

150,000

3YO

1 1/16

Sun., June 8

Intercontinental

 

100,000

F&M 4&UP

7 F (T)

Sat., June 14

Astoria

 

100,000

F2YO

5 1/2 F

Sun., June 15

Tremont

 

100,000

2YO

5 1/2 F

Sat., June 21

Bed o' Roses (Hdcp.)

III

150,000

F&M 4&UP

7 F

Sat., June 21

Wild Applause

 

100,000

F3YO

1 Mile (T)

Sun., June 22

New York Stallion Stakes

 

100,000

F3YO

7 F (T)

 

Cupecoy's Joy Division

 

 

 

 

Sun., June 22

New York Stallion Stakes

 

100,000

3YO

7 F (T)

 

Spectacular Bid Division

 

 

 

 

Sat., June 28

Mother Goose

I

300,000

F3YO

1 1/16

Sat., June 28

New York

II

200,000

F&M 4&UP

1 1/4 (T)

Sat., June 28

Manila

 

100,000

3YO

1 Mile (T)

Sun., June 29

Victory Ride

III

150,000

F3YO

6 1/2 F

Thurs., July 3

Dancin Renee (NYB)

 

100,000

F&M 4&UP

6 Furlongs

Fri., July 4

Forbidden Apple

 

150,000

4&UP

1 Mile (T)

Fri., July 4

Perfect Sting

 

100,000

F&M 4&UP

1 Mile (T)

Sat., July 5

Belmont Sprint Championship

III

400,000

3&UP

7 F

Sat., July 5

Belmont Oaks Invitational 

I

1,000,000

F3YO

1 1/4 (T)

Sat., July 5

Belmont Derby Invitational

I

1,250,000

3YO

1 1/4 (T)

Sat., July 5

Dwyer

III

200,000

3YO

1 1/16

Sat., July 5

Suburban (Hdcp.)

II

500,000

4&UP

1 ¼

Sun., July 6

Lynbrook (NYB)

 

125,000

F2YO

6 F

Sat., July 12

Bowling Green (Hdcp.)

II

200,000

4&UP

1 1/2 (T)

Sun., July 13

Rockville Centre (NYB)

 

125,000

2YO

6 F

 

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