Since the official Kentucky Derby (gr. I) chart began listing an "off" time in 1963, the race has never started past 5:42.30, the estimated post time of the 1971 running won by Canonero II. That will change this year.
The New York Racing Association saw decreases in the combined on-track handle, attendance, and total handle for Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
Under a dense blanket of fog, all three of trainer Christophe Clement's Breeders' Cup hopefuls worked on the turf Thursday morning at Belmont Park. New York Racing Association clockers caught Forbidden Apple (Mile) going a half-mile in :49. Stablemates Ciro and Craigsteel, both bound for the Turf, each worked five-eighths, galloping out three-quarters.
Volponi earned his first career win Sunday at Belmont Park, upsetting formerly undefeated 4-5 favorite Baptize in the $113,300 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Robert Spiegel's homebred Ruff rallied from the back of the field of eight 2-year-old fillies to win the $111,300 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) by three lengths Sunday at Belmont Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Philip Johnson will saddle two horses in Sunday's $100,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT), Belmont Park's closing day co-feature race.
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat handed Gold Mover her first career defeat, winning the $110,100 Atarita Stakes (gr. II) by a neck Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Mark Johnston, the John E. Salzman-trained Xtra Heat completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.71 on a fast track.
Centennial Farms' King Cugat launched a powerful closing run at the top of the stretch to catch pacesetter Mandarin Marsh at the wire, winning the $200,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) by a nose Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, the Bill Mott-trained King Cugat completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.63 on firm turf.
Peter Callahan's Fistfite moved up to the lead on the turn and edged away in the stretch to win the $108,800 Cowdin Stakes (gr. III) by 2 1/4 lengths Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Richard Migliore, Fistfite completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.63 on a fast track.
Delaware Township earned his first graded stakes win Saturday at Belmont Park, defeating Bevo by 1 1/2 lengths in the $250,000 Forest Hills Handicap (gr. II).
Albert the Great became Nick Zito's first Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner when the 3-year-old drew off through the stretch to win the $1 million race by six lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Earlier in the day, Zito saddled his third consecutive Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner.
Winning the Beldame in stakes-record time, Riboletta defeated Beautiful Pleasure in a pre-Breeders' Cup showdown between the two top mares from the West Coast and the East Coast.
Raging Fever sat just off the early pace and rallied to win the $500,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies Saturday at Belmont Park. Betting favorite Dancinginmydreams, who finished a fast-closing second to Raging Fever in the Matron Stakes (gr. I), was pulled up by jockey Pat Day when making a wide run out of the turn and was vanned off the track.
Einar P. Robsham's The Goo led early and took command down the stretch, drawing off to a 6 1/2-length victory in Belmont Park's Friday feature, a $43,000 allowance sprint for 2-year-olds. Evening Attire finished second in the six-horse field, another 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Wrangler.
Lemon Drop Kid drew post position four and was installed as the 4-5 favorite for the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park. Earlier on the card, Riboletta and Beautiful Pleasure will face off in the $750,000 Beldame.
Arthur I. Appleton's homebred Forbidden Apple collared pacesetter Affirmed Success in the stretch en route to winning the $250,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) by a neck Sunday at Belmont Park.
Age proved no impediment to 9-year-old gelding John's Call, who led all the way Saturday in the $750,000 Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Jean-Luc Samyn was the winning rider in both of the day's premier turf events, taking both the Turf Classic and the co-featured Flower Bowl Handicap (gr. IT).
Rose of Zollern scored a 2 1/4-length front-running victory in Belmont Park's Friday feature race, a $55,000 allowance sprint for fillies and mares. It was the third consecutive win on the day for jockey Jerry Bailey.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien confirmed Saturday that Giant's Causeway likely will make his next start in the 1 1/4-mile Champion Stakes at Newmarket Oct. 14 as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic. O'Brien had considered sending the son of Storm Cat to Belmont for the Jockey Club Gold Cup, but decided to keep him at home.
Snow Polina and Happyanunoit, the first- and second-place finishers, respectively, from the Beverly D Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington International in August will face each other again in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Godolphin Racing's Man o' War (gr. IT) winner Fantastic Light heads a field of 12 entered in Saturday's $750,000 Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Jerome Handicap (gr. II) winner Fusaichi Pegasus breezed over a fast Belmont Park strip Monday, covering the distance in :49.82. The Neil Drysdale trainee will likely make his next start in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) as a prep for the Breeders' Cup Classic. Also working at Belmont Monday were Affirmed Success, Albert the Great, and Bevo.
Peter Bradley and Thomas VanMeter II's Gino's Spirits saved ground along the inside and rallied through the stretch to win the $111,200 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Philip Johnson will saddle two fillies in the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Belmont Park, including Storm Dream, the lone 3-year-old in the field.
Serena's Tune, the first foal out of champion Serena's Song, finished a troubled fifth as the odds-on choice in a five-horse allowance race Wednesday at Belmont Park. Second wagering choice Shop Here won by 6 1/2 lengths over Diablo's Girl.
Boiling Spring Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Storm Dream and Fictitious, winner of the De La Rose Handicap (gr. IIIT), head the six horses listed as probable for the $100,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT). The one-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up will be run Saturday at Belmont Park.
Jayeff B Stables' homebred 3-year-old Ciro remained unbeaten in North America, winning the $150,000 Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 2 1/2 lengths over Whata Brainstorm Sunday at Belmont Park.
The Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Trippi and More Than Ready, both 3-year-olds, finished first and second, respectively, in the $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park. Trippi held off the late charge of his barnmate to win by a 1/2 length, completing the seven furlongs in 1:21.66 over a fast track. The Pletcher-trained exacta paid $22.60.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus returned to the races Saturday with a visually impressive 3/4-length win over El Corredor in the $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Under highweight of 124 pounds, conceding from four to 10 pounds to his five rivals, the Neil Drysdale trainee completed the one-turn mile in 1:34.07 over a fast track.
A field of 14 3-year-olds has been entered in the $150,000 Lawrence Realization Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sunday at Belmont Park, with 123-pound highweight Ciro drawing the inside post for the 1 1/2-mile turf race.
Three 3-year-olds, including a pair of Todd Pletcher trainees, will race against older horses in the $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park. 3-year-olds Trippi, More Than Ready, and Valiant Halory will be in receipt of a three-pound weight concession from the eight older horses entered, including A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II) winner Successful Appeal.
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus, unraced since a second-place finish in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), returns to the races in the $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) Saturday at Belmont Park. The one-mile race for 3-year-olds drew a field of seven.
Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Mighty worked six furlongs in 1:13.47, breezing, at Belmont Park Sunday in preparation for Saturday's one-mile $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II). Fusaichi Pegasus also worked at Belmont Sunday in company with Bodyguard, and the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner is also under consideration for the Jerome.
After drifting out in the stretch and bumping Burning Roma near the wire, City Zip finished the one-mile of the Futurity a nose ahead of Burning Roma but was disqualified and placed second by the stewards for causing the contact. Burning Roma was moved up to first, keeping the Anthony Dutrow trainee undefeated in three starts.
Edward Evans' 2-year-old filly Raging Fever remained undefeated as she held off the late charge of Dancinginmydreams to win the $200,000 Matron Stakes (gr. I) by a head Sunday at Belmont Park.
Sent off at 22-1, Forbidden Apple rallied from just off the pace to win the $210,000 Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) by 1 1/4 lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. The win was the second in a row in the race for trainer Christophe Clement and jockey Jose Santos, who teamed to win last year's renewal with With the Flow.
Behrens, Skimming, and Lemon Drop Kid arrived at the top of the stretch three across the track, before Behrens, on the inside, and Lemon Drop Kid engaged in a stretch-long duel won by the latter in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont. Under Edgar Prado, Lemon Drop Kid completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.53 over a fast track, finishing a head in front of Behrens.
City Zip will attempt to win his fifth straight race when he faces eight rivals in Sunday's $200,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old finished in a dead heat for first with Yonaguska in the Hopeful in his most recent start to complete a sweep of the three major juvenile stakes at Saratoga.
Edward Evans' undefeated Storm Cat filly Raging Fever heads the field of seven 2-year-old fillies entered in the $200,000 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park.
Behrens and Lemon Drop Kid have faced off in each of their last two starts, and the two will meet again Saturday in the $500,000 Woodward Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
West Coast distaff handicap leader Riboletta will concede from eight to 12 pounds to her six rivals when she goes to post as the 125-pound highweight in Saturday's $250,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Twilite Farms' Gaviola swept by Good Game in the stretch and pulled away to a three-length victory to earn her sixth consecutive win in Sunday's $250,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, the William H. Turner Jr. trainee completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.89 to earn her first grade I stakes win.
Despite slow early fractions of :50.94 and 1:16.14, Godolphin Racing's Fantastic Light closed from next-to-last under jockey Jerry Bailey to win the $500,000 Man o' War (gr. IT) by a length over Ela Athena as European shippers filled the exacta in Saturday's Belmont Park feature race.
Critical Eye earned her first career stakes win as she battled with pacesetter Plenty of Light through the stretch, winning by a nose in the $200,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Due to a minor injury to his left front leg, Richard Cohen's Running Stag is now considered unlikely for the $500,000 Woodward (gr. I), according to assistant trainer Roger Teal. Meanwhile, Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Skimming will ship to Belmont Park on Tuesday ahead of the Sept. 16th race.
Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Secret Status will go to post as the 121-pound highweight when she faces seven other 3-year-old fillies in the $200,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
Trillium Stable's 9-year-old gelding John's Call will take on seven 4-year-olds, including the filly Ela Athena, in Saturday's $500,000 Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park. Jean Luc-Samyn, who rode John's Call to a 9 1/4-length victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) last month at Saratoga, will guide the Thomas Voss trainee from post position four.
Kentucky Derby (gr.I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus highlighted Wednesday's works at Belmont Park. Also working at the New York oval Wednesday were Serena's Tune, Wondertross, Gaviola, Finder's Fee, and Cash Run.
Godolphin Racing's Man O' War Stakes (gr. IT) hopeful Fantastic Light put in a five-furlong drill over the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday's $500,000 race. Other probable starters for the race include Aly's Alley, Down the Aisle, Ela Athena, Gritty Sandie, Honor Glide, John's Call, Sunshine Street, and Timboroa.
Fox Hill Farms' Jostle led at every call en route to an upset victory over heavily favored Secret Status in the $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) Saturday at Belmont Park.
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