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.
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.
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.
Selected articles from other newspapers and Web sites on 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.
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, 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.
One thing we know for sure, Mariensky likes the turf about as soft as it can get. Twice in a week, she has won graded stakes over a very soft Belmont Park turf course.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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 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).
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).
Rodeo Licious burst out of the gate and led every step of the way to take the first stakes race of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) weekend, the Fashion Stakes for juvenile fillies.
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 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:
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.
Trainer Todd Pletcher won the Flash Stakes in 1999 with More Than Ready. He appears to hold a strong hand in this year's running with a two-horse entry of Chapel Royal and Korsakoff in Friday's running of the five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds.
Storm Flag Flying, seeking to get back to her championship form from a year ago, will break from post 1 for Friday's Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The Ogden Mills Phipps' homebred daughter of Storm Cat out of My Flag will face six 3-year-old fillies in the one-turn mile contest.
The New York area is under a flood watch from the National Weather Service as heavy rains have soaked the area since Tuesday night. Local forecasters have used words like "ugly" and "miserable" to describe Wednesday's forecast.
Funny Cide, the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner who is seeking to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years, impressed in his final workout when he made a surprise appearance on the Belmont Park track at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Funny Cide's bid to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on Saturday is turning New York into a "one-horse town." Sackatoga Stable's hero will not only bring out the equine stars to challenge him and run on the undercard, but will bring out a gaggle of luminaries from Hollywood and New York as well as heavyweights from the political arena.
Funny Cide is likely to face six challengers when he tries to win the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and become the 12th Triple Crown champion.
Jockey Jose Santos, who will ride Funny Cide in his bid for the Triple Crown Saturday afternoon in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has a lot of people in his corner. Count among them Hall of Fame trainer P.G. Johnson, who compared him to the legendary Braulio Baeza.
While track officials are hoping for a record crowd for Saturday's Belmont Stakes (gr. I) to watch Sackatoga Stable's Funny Cide bid for the Triple Crown, they have already set a record...for press credentials.
Storm Flag Flying, last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, worked three-eighths of a mile in :36 4/5 Tuesday at Belmont Park in preparation for Friday's Acorn Stakes (gr. I).
The American Graded Stakes Committee has reviewed the status of two grade III stakes that were forced off the turf May 26, reinstating one and not the other.
Storm Flag Flying, last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly, will likely face six challengers next Friday in the Acorn Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, according to New York Racing Association racing secretary Mike Lakow.
Lilac Queen, unbeaten in three starts since joining trainer Bobby Frankel, should be the solid favorite Saturday at Belmont in the grade II Sheepshead Bay. The turf stakes is over 1 3/8 miles.
It has been 25 years since Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978 and 30 years since Secretariat broke a 25-year Triple Crown drought in 1973. The connections of Secretariat, Affirmed, and Seattle Slew speak out.
Empire Maker breezed six furlongs on Belmont Park's fast main track after the mid-morning break Tuesday in a bullet 1:12 under jockey Aaron Gryder.
There is usually little surprise when trainer Scott Lake moves a horse up off a claim. However, the improvement in Shake You Down since he was claimed by Lake for himself on March 12 is astounding.
Trainers constantly monitor the weather to see if track conditions will suit their runners. That is especially true for Saturday at Belmont as some are wishing for rain while others hope the sun will shine.
Eleven New York-bred stakes races at Belmont and Saratoga have had their purses raised to $100,000 -added.
The New York Racing association has raised Belmont's clubhouse admission from $4 to $5 for next year and will sell seats for the Belmont Stakes only in a package which includes tickets for the prior day's racing as well.
It's not quite the $5 million VISA Triple Crown, but in 2003, 3-year-old fillies will have a series of their own that offers a $2 million bonus.
On Sunday, John Salzman, trainer of Xtra Heat, will be represented in Grade 3, $100,000-added Cowdin, this time by a colt named Run Production.
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