Belmont Day at New York City Off-Track Betting facilities set a record for the highest Belmont Day handle in the corporation's 32-year history. NYCOTB patrons wagered $8,456,289.
Empire Maker delivered Prince Khalid Abdullah his first North American Triple Crown victory, powerfully navigating under the famous turquoise and pink silks through muck and mire to win a breathtaking Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Bobby Frankel has almost done it all as a trainer. He's won the last three Eclipse Awards as North America's top trainer to go with the one he earned in 1993. He joined the pantheon of greats while being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. He now has a classic win in his back pocket as the result of Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker's win in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
B. Wayne Hughes and Biscuit Partners' Atswhatimtalknbout will be out of training for at least 30 days, trainer Ron Ellis said, and won't likely make his next start until November at the very earliest.
This is an open letter to Funny Cide's trainer Barclay Tagg. Feel free to read it, but have mercy on a person who is going through cold turkey after a six-month Triple Crown addiction.
In a very close vote by 23 media representatives, Empire Maker came out on top of the final 3-year-old poll of 2003 conducted by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
The Belmont Stakes crowd came to see history, but once again they left disappointed, as Juddmonte Farms' Empire Maker captured the third leg of the Triple Crown.
The day before Empire Maker's scheduled work on May 31, jockey Jerry Bailey showed up at Frankel's barn and echoed the trainer's words that he truly believed he had the better horse.
Selected articles from other newspapers and Web sites on Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
The 1 1/2-hour Belmont Stakes telecast on NBC produced an overnight rating of 10.4, the highest for any horse race since the 1990 Kentucky Derby and the highest for a Belmont since 1987, when ratings were introduced. The overnight rating for the race exceeded overnight ratings for other major sporting events over the weekend.
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel was all smiles this morning after winning Saturday's Belmont Stakes with Empire Maker, who is likely to face Funny Cide and Ten Most Wanted in the Travers Stakes. Empire Maker is expected to run next in the Jim Dandy and Funny Cide the Haskell Invitational, both on Aug. 3.
Having just completed a very successful Belmont Stakes Day despite very unfavorable weather conditions, the New York Racing Association is looking forward to a potentially huge day Aug. 23 when the grade I Travers Stakes is run at Saratoga.
The day after his second-place finish in the May 3 Kentucky Derby aboard Empire Maker, Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey was noticeably upset by the outcome, ostensibly because of his confidence in the colt whose pre-Derby preparations were hampered by a bruised hoof. On Saturday, June 7, Bailey was rewarded for his confidence in Empire Maker when he rode the colt to victory in the Belmont Stakes.
A single-day on-track Belmont Stakes day wagering record was established Saturday at Belmont Park before the second largest crowd in the track's history, 101,864, and steady rainfall for the 135th running of the Test of the Champion.
Juddmonte Farms' Toussaud, the 14-year-old daughter of El Gran Senor who produced Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker, was honored as Broodmare of the Year by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association earlier this year.
Empire Maker and Dynever, two of the leading candidates for the June 7 Belmont Stakes, were on the track at Belmont Park Saturday morning, May 31, with each working to the satisfaction of their respective trainers.
A cheery Bobby Frankel said Friday morning that Empire Maker covered his usual mile and quarter gallop and went to the starting gate for schooling as the son of Unbridled moved one day closer to Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
History was set at Belmont Park Saturday but it was not Funny Cide becoming a Triple Crown winner. Instead, it was trainer Bobby Frankel winning his first Triple Crown race when his Empire Maker won the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Ten Most Wanted was second and Funny Cide third.
Funny Cide, who won the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) impressively on an off track, will get his chance to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner on a similar surface. The precipitation moved from a drizzle to a steady light rain at about 1:30 p.m. (EDT). Then it picked up intensity. The track is now rated sloppy. The sealed surface has considerable water standing on it.
With less than an hour until post time for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), Funny Cide is the 4-5 favorite of the wagering public. It goes without saying New Yorkers want to see the New York-bred gelding become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
Four yellow school busses carrying Funny Cide's owners (who comprise Sackatoga Stable) and their friends arrived at Belmont Park at 11:30 a.m. today after a short but eventful journey from the Sheraton Hotel near John F. Kennedy Airport.
What more could you ask for. The first race on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day was a runaway winner ridden by none other than Jose Santos. The New York-based jockey is the regular rider of Funny Cide, who later today will try to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner.
The first order of business in New York on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day -- complain about the weather. The first raindrops began falling at 9 a.m., only about nine hours before forecasters predicted. Well, nothing new.
Selected stories from newspapers and Web sites about the Belmont Stakes and Funny Cide's Triple Crown run.
Sure, there is not much in the pool, but the early word is obvious--New Yorkers want New York-bred Funny Cide to become a Triple Crown winner. They are wagering on him to take Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Ten Most Wanted, ninth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, was schooled in the paddock and at the starting gate Friday morning before galloping a mile and a quarter on the main track.
Let's be honest, you don't need to come here, or anywhere for that matter, to get an expert opinion on who's going to win the Belmont Stakes. The truth is, no one, whether a handicapper or handy man, has a clue what's going to happen.
From his vantage point, he has probably seen as many horses as anyone the past 15 years. But until recently, he never owned one. So while Sackatoga Stable may be new in Thoroughbred ownership, so too is John Henderson.
Linda Rice has a reputation as a trainer of 2-year-olds. She's proud of that. But she is also working hard to expand her reputation. Some attention will come her way on Saturday, when she becomes only the eighth woman to saddle a horse in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Bill Creasy is used to producing Triple Crown races for television. Now he's hoping to win one as an owner.
Bill Casner, co-owner of WinStar Farm, and WinStar president Doug Cauthen were on the backside of Belmont Park Friday morning to watch Funny Cide go through his final bit of exercise for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I). WinStar Farm, near Versailles, Ky., bred Triple Crown hopeful Funny Cide.
The connections of Funny Cide received a surprise gift/loan as their horse is just more than 24 hours away from attempting to win the Triple Crown in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
It was a picture-perfect morning Friday at Belmont Park, with cloudless skies, warm temperatures, and a slight breeze serving as an ideal backdrop as several of the leading contenders for Saturday's Belmont Stakes were on the track.
Selected articles from national newspapers and Web sites related to Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas sounded a warning to those running in Saturday's 135th running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes hoping to derail the Funny Cide Express to the Visa Triple Crown: "That sucker is ready."
Included in the plethora of broadcast and print stories about Funny Cide and his quest for the Visa Triple Crown will be two features Friday on national network television programs.
Grey Comet, a multiple stakes-winning homebred of Star Track Farms who was to attempt a sweep of the New York Stallion Series Sunday, was euthanized Wednesday afternoon in New Jersey.
In "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Holly Golightly had a cat by the name of Cat. Well, say hello to Pony, who just happens to be Funny Cide's pony, the one member of the Tagg Team no one pays much attention to.
If anyone is looking for signs that Empire Maker is ready to thwart Funny Cide's attempt to sweep the Triple Crown, they had to feel good after watching the son of Unbridled gallop Thursday morning.
Since Funny Cide is a gelding, the obvious winner on the breeding side of things is his sire, Distorted Humor. At least one person has already cashed in. WinStar Farm, where Distorted Humor stands, bought a share from Joseph Federico for $450,000.
Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (both gr. I) winner who will attempt to become Thoroughbred racing's 12th Triple Crown winner in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), galloped 1 ½ miles the wrong way around the Belmont Park oval Thursday morning. His demeanor following his exercise has the Funny Cide team brimming with confidence for the "Test of a Champion."
The rain continued to come down at Belmont Park Thursday morning as several Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders tried to stay loose for Saturday's main event.
Belmont Stakes stories selected from newspapers and Web sites.
Belmont jockeys visit Ronald McDonald House Thursday, Cauthen to close New York Stock Exchange Friday.
Scrimshaw, trainer D. Wayne Lukas' entrant for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), arrived at Belmont Park at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
The New York Racing Association will allow fans to bring in coolers to specified areas of the grandstand at Belmont on Belmont Stakes Day, June 7, as Funny Cide races for Thoroughbred racing history and the Visa Triple Crown.
With Funny Cide's run for the Triple Crown in Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the following numbers come into play:
After Wednesday's Belmont post position draw, all the combatants can now start planning their strategies. When Funny Cide drew post 4 and Empire Maker post 1, the wheels immediately started turning as to how the early battle will unfold.
Funny Cide, who will attempt to become Thoroughbred racing's 12th winner of the Triple Crown Saturday in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will do so from post 4. The Sackatoga Stable star will face five challengers in the 1 ½-mile "Test of a Champion" and was installed the even-money favorite for the race.
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