Afleet Alex took a tremendous step forward in his comeback bid Friday morning by working a half-mile in :46 flat over the main track at Belmont Park.
Tim Ritchey still has designs on making a run at the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) with his dual classic winner Afleet Alex, and he plans on working the 3-year-old colt after the break Friday morning at Belmont Park.
Saturday's $750,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) will be the moment of truth for several fillies looking ahead to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). Most importantly, the 1 1/8-mile race should tell us if last year's Distaff winner and 3-year-old filly champ Ashado is heading back in the right direction after her sound defeat in the Personal Ensign (gr. I).
- By Steve Haskin
With Saint Liam pretty much established as the early favorite for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I), a competitive field of eight will line up for Saturday's $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) to determine who will pose the most serious challenge to the Woodward (gr. I) and Stephen Foster (gr. I) winner.
Shakespeare, an easy winner while setting a course mark in the nine-furlong Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) Sept. 11, steps up and stretches out Saturday in the 1 1/2-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
With his disappointing fourth-place finish in Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II), Perfect Drift has now become a longshot special for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). And that makes him even more enticing, as he tries to emulate Volponi, another versatile, hard-knocking warrior who saved his best performance for the Classic.
Master of Disaster, owned by Puglisi Stables and trained by Steve Klesaris, returns to action Saturday for the first time since a runner-up effort to Henny Hughes in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) in Belmont's Futurity Stakes (gr. II). The seven-furlong Futurity carries a purse of $300,000 and has drawn a field of seven 2-year-olds.
Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park managed to pry four horses out of the comfort of their stalls for the dubious task of taking on the race's two brilliant stars, Commentator and Saint Liam, the one-two finishers in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I).
Saturday's $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) will feature last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Better Talk Now and Beverly D (gr. IT) winner Angara, whom trainer Patrick Biancone will send out against the boys in the 1 3/8-mile test.
Afleet Alex, the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, will pay a visit to Saratoga Race Course on Saturday afternoon, parading on the main track after the second race.
The firm Getnick & Getnick, the federal monitor overseeing the operating procedures of the New York Racing Association (NYRA), has delayed submitting a report of their findings to the United States Attorney's office, which will turn over the report to Judge Arthur Spatt, the federal judge overseeing the matter.
Trainer Tim Ritchey said Tuesday that Preakness and Belmont (both gr. I) winner Afleet Alex's fracture is healing nicely, but with an extra week of walking prescribed, there is a question whether the colt can make the Oct. 29 Breeders' Cup Classic-Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
Attendance fell by more than 15% and handle declined by 11.2% at the recently concluded 60-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet.
Trainer Tim Ritchey confirmed Thursday that Preakness and Belmont, both grade I, winner Afleet Alex was expected leave Belmont Park early this afternoon en route to Barn 24 on the Saratoga backstretch later this evening.
An omnibus racing bill with provisions that include creation of a new state panel to oversee the operations of the New York Racing Association has been signed into law by New York Gov. George Pataki.
After closing to take second in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga on opening day, Fifth Avenue is now pointed toward the Aug. 26 Spinaway Stakes (gr. II).
A secret group interested in bidding for the racetrack franchise now held by the New York Racing Association is urging the U.S. Attorney's office to prosecute the racing entity.
Acey Deucey rallied for a half-length victory over Maddalena in Saturday's 58th running of the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park.
The Suburban Handicap (gr. I), the traditional holiday weekend feature at Belmont Park, may have lost one of it's big guns earlier in the week, but drew a strong field of eight headed by Pollard's Vision and fan favorite Funny Cide.
Wonder Again, who ran quite well in her 2005 debut, should be tough to handle Saturday at Belmont Park in the track's New York Handicap (gr. IIT).
Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Giacomo, upset winner of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) will be sidelined for the remainder of the year with a bone chip in his left front ankle, suffered in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Trainer John Shirreffs said the prognosis is excellent, and he is optimistic the colt will return to the races as a 4-year-old.
The New York Racing Association and MGM Mirage announced June 16 that they have formally entered into a deal in which the Las Vegas gambling company will develop and manage a new video lottery terminal casino at NYRA's Aqueduct racetrack.
The following is a potpourri of impressions, observations, afterthoughts, and memorable quotes from this year's Triple Crown, which proved to be a pretty wild ride. There was nothing ordinary about the cast of characters and the unusual paths they took to get to Churchill Downs and beyond.
Without a possible Triple Crown winner on the line, ratings for NBC's June 11 broadcast of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) dropped to an average overnight rating of 5.0 with an 11 share, down from 13.4 with a 27 share from last year when Smarty Jones made his bid for the 2004 Triple Crown.
Afleet Alex, very, very confidently ridden by Jeremy Rose, made the same move he made in the Preakness (gr. I)...only this time he wasn't bumped. He blew by the field and romped home to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in impressive fashion.
The smallest crowd for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) since 1996, 62,274, turned out on a hot and humid afternoon at the Elmont, N.Y., track to see Afleet Alex dominate the 137th running of the 3-year-old classic by seven lengths Saturday.
Good Reward got a great trip and made the most of it, coming through on the rail to take the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Belmont Park.
New millionaire Limehouse hadn't won a race in nearly 14 months, but he has now won two in a row after taking the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday.
Fans came to Belmont Park Saturday to see who is the best 3-year-old in the land. They might have seen him, and his name is Lost in the Fog.
Sand Springs took the lead early and held off the late run by heavy favorite Intercontinental to spring the upset in the $300,000 Emirates Airline Just a Game Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Mike Smith won a stakes race at Belmont Park Saturday aboard a son of Holy Bull. No, not the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with Giacomo, though he certainly hopes that happens later on the card.
With $330,000 in the pool as of 3:15 p.m., the odds are hard to figure for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), which has a post time of about 6:40.
Compared to the last few years, things are much calmer at Belmont Park the morning of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Favored Rey de Cafe, who always likes to make it interesting, did so again. He was between horses in a tight finish and just got his nose in front to take the $114,700 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) Friday at Belmont Park.
In a thrilling three-horse finish, Beacon Shine was all out to win the $105,100 Flash Stakes (gr. III) Friday at Belmont Park.
Yes, it's time to look for a value horse again. It doesn't take a genius to figure out Afleet Alex and Giacomo are the class of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), and if both run their "A" race, they should finish one-two. But, this is the Belmont, and Andromeda's Hero and Reverberate look like two horses who will love the mile and a half distance.
Trainer Sal Russo will be sending out his first Belmont Stakes (gr. I) starter tomorrow, but the 44-year-old native of Valley Stream will be looking for his third victory in the "Test of the Champion."
Afleet Alex, the dramatic winner of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) three weeks ago and morning-line favorite for tomorrow's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will be in a stalking position early in the race according to trainer Tim Ritchey.
Jimmy Iselin has trained some good horses. But this is the classic story, as he said jokingly, "of the one that got away."
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union of New York, division of mutuel employees, Local 3, has overwhelmingly ratified a new contract with the New York Racing Association, averting a possible work stoppage or sickout on Belmont Stakes day June 11.
In the 136-year history of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to New York Racing Association officials, no maiden has won the "Test of the Champion." Challenging that time-tested theory in the 1 ½-mile classic Saturday are breeder-owner Ken Ramsey and trainer Dale Romans with Nolan's Cat.
Premiere Radio Networks will deliver the exclusive radio call of the 137th Belmont Stakes (gr. I) live from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y June 11.
With the recent "strangles" threat now behind it, the New York Racing Association is going back to its original security plan for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) participants.
Giacomo, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, breezed six furlongs in 1:14 4/5 Sunday morning on the fast track at Hollywood Park in his last serious work for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Nick Zito says he'll probably start recent allowance winner Indy Storm in next Saturday's $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), giving him three contenders for the final jewel of the Triple Crown.
Nick Zito, soon to become racing's newest Hall of Fame trainer, committed Sir Barton winner Pinpoint to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 11 after the son of Peaks and Valleys worked Thursday at Saratoga's Oklahoma training track.
Weekend testing done by both a local laboratory and the University of Illinois have come up negative for horses quarantined at Belmont Park that were suspected of having been exposed to the bacteria that causes a contagious respiratory disease called "strangles."
Alex's Lemonade Stand will be raising money for childhood oncology at Thoroughbred Racing Association tracks across the nation June 11, as Afleet Alex seeks to follow up his dramatic Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victory with a win in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the third jewel in the Visa Triple Crown.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - It's hard to believe, but 10 years ago the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) attracted just 37,171 people, a pitiful turnout for what is annually one of American racing's biggest days.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo breezed seven furlongs in 1:27 at Hollywood Park Monday morning in preparation for the June 11 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
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