Belmont

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Triple Crown Bid Busters: Spoil-Sports

It's not easy playing the role of villain in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). They're the guys wearing the black hats, the party poopers, the evil-doers of the Triple Crown. In the last 35 years, there have been three Triple Crown winners, and 11 horses that fell short in the 1 1/2-mile "Test of a Champion."

Belmont Surprise: Caiman to Start

Veteran jockey Ramon Dominguez, leading rider in the nation last year with 453 trips to the winner's circle, has been named as the jockey aboard surprise starter Caiman for Saturday's 135th running of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Building Blocks

By Ray Paulick -- Somewhere at the Aurora, Canada, corporate headquarters where Frank Stronach sits atop his Magna International and Magna Entertainment Corp. empire, there is a warehouse filled with architectural drawings and miniature models for changes to the racetracks Magna now owns.

Not So Smart

By Gary McMillen -- Sometimes it takes a thorn to get rid of a splinter. Like a Maryland blue crab dropped out of a basket, I scurried to the safety of my office. There were questions I needed to ask myself. Smarty Jones did not give me what I wanted but maybe he gave me what I needed.

Frankel: Switch to Turf Likely for Master David

Trainer Bobby Frankel said that Peter Pan third-place finisher Master David came out of the race in good shape, but is extremely unlikely to run in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Frankel said a switch to the turf is likely for the son of Grand Slam.

Rock Hard Ten Goes to Gate School

His connections hope that Rock Hard Ten, who threw a fit prior to being loaded into the starting gate for last week's Preakness (gr. I), could improve on his second-place finish in the race with some improved etiquette in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Valenzuela Weighs Appeal to Ride in Belmont

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who was set to serve out the remaining 30 days for a recent suspension handed to him by the Calng Board during the month of June, is considering filing an appeal that will allow him to ride Mercedes Stables' and Madeleine Paulson's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Rock Hard Ten in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
 

Rock Hard Ten Settles in at Belmont Park

Mercedes Stables' Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes (gr. II), has been getting accustomed to his new surroundings at Belmont Park since arriving here Monday. The son of Kris S. is preparing to start in the grade I, $1 million Belmont Stakes June 5 and will attempt to deny Smarty Jones the Visa Triple Crown.

TVG To Provide Live Peter Pan Coverage

TVG will present live coverage of the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) from New York's Belmont Park on Saturday. The Peter Pan is the final major prep race for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Scheduled post time is 4:45 p.m.

The Morning After: Preakness Top Three to Return in Belmont

On the morning following Smarty Jones' record performance in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), trainer John Servis appeared on national television and prepared to move his colt out of Pimlico. Meanwhile, the trainers of Rock Hard Ten and Eddington, the second- and third-place finishers, said they will attempt to upset a Triple Crown bid by going on to the June Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Elliott Rides in N.Y.; Shake You Down Heads Bold Ruler

One week removed from winning the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Smarty Jones, jockey Stewart Elliott has been named to ride the John Dowd-trained Whirlwind Charlott in the $200,000 Nassau County Breeders' cup Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Shake You Down, one of the more consistent sprinters in training over the last two seasons, heads the Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III) on the same program.

Rogues and Royals Among Champagne Challengers

Chapel Royal, the East's leading 2-year-old throughout the spring and early summer, will be out to prove he is more than a sprinter in Saturday's grade I, $500,000 Champagne at 1 1/16 miles. Seven rivals, including Birdstone and Notorious Rogue, will stand in his way.

Sightseek One to Beat in Beldame

Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel loves the position he is in with Juddmonte Farms' multiple grade I winner Sightseek. After 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri had her 11-race win streak snapped last weekend in California, the case could be made that Sightseek is better.

Gander the 124-Pound Heavyweight in Shipman

Belmont Park presents its final stakes race of the spring-summer meet Sunday when a deep field of New York-breds contests the $100,000 Evan Shipman Handicap at 1 1/16 miles. Gatsas Stables' Gander is the key attraction in this race and 124-pound highweight.

Saratoga Simulcasts to Belmont

For the first time ever, racing fans in New York will be able to watch and wager on the entire Saratoga meeting this summer from Belmont Park. In the past, Aqueduct served as the Saratoga simulcast site.

Prime Rate

By Ray Paulick -- How big was Funny Cide's run for this year's Triple Crown? In terms of television ratings, no prime-time program received a higher number during the week of the Belmont Stakes than the final hour of NBC's 90-minute race telecast.

Iron Will

It's been "two years in the making," as jockey Richard Migliore said, but "The Iron Deputy Show" finally premiered on June 14, opening to rave reviews. The theater was the $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), and a star-studded cast added to the festivities.

Frankel Pair Run One-Two in Manhattan

Bobby Frankel ran one-two in the $400,000 Manhattan Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park, with Denon holding off Requete in the 10-furlong turf race. Frankel sends out Empire Maker in the following race, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Posse Closes to Nose Out Midas Eyes in Riva Ridge

Posse, closing ground with every stride, got by odds-on favorite Midas Eyes at the wire to take the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday. The 3-year-old Silver Deputy colt covered the seven furlongs over a sloppy track in a good 1:22.03.

Shake You Down Splashes to True North Win

Shake You Down continued to show an affinity for an off track, running fast fractions over a sloppy surface at Belmont Park to win the $190,000 True North Breeders' Cup (gr. II). It was the fourth straight win for Shake You Down since being claimed by trainer Scott Lake, the last two graded stakes victories.

Is Mother Nature Smiling at Funny Cide?

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.

Funny Cide 4-5 to Take Triple Crown

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.

Bird Town Edges Lady Tak in Exciting Acorn

Bird Town made the lead as they came out of the turn, and then held off a late charge from Lady Tak to win the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) Friday at Belmont Park. It was the second straight grade I win for Bird Town, who won the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) the day before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Record-Priced Juvenile Wins Flash Stakes

Chapel Royal showed the brilliance that may help him earn back his record purchase price, the $1.2 million juvenile easily winning the Flash Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park Friday over just three opponents.

Linda Rice Still Developing Reputation

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).

WinStar Farm on Hand to Wish Funny Cide Well

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.

Four Graded Stakes Highlight Belmont Undercard

Four graded stakes will play the supporting role to the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park Saturday. Post time for the True North, the first graded stakes race on the day, is 3:52 p.m (EDT).

Funny Cide: Big Man on Campus

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."

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