Belmont Park will soon become the first racetrack in the United States to have an on-site, year-round child care center. Construction of the new facility began in March and should be completed this fall. When fully operational, it will accommodate 80 children each day.
Ten horses were nominated to the 2002 Visa Triple Crown by the late deadline, which closed Saturday, March 30 at midnight. The 10 additions, each at a cost of $6,000, increased the number of nominations to a total of 415.
A successful Breeders' Cup and strong meets at Saratoga and at Aqueduct this fall helped the New York Racing Association achieve gains in on-track handle and total handle for the year.
Belmont Park posted large increases in attendance and handle for its 32-day fall meeting, helped along by its hosting of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Oct. 27. However, the quality meeting, with many graded stakes races that now serve as preps for the Breeders' Cup, was already on track to better year-ago figures without the Breeders' Cup races figured in.
Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic, a 2-year-old daughter of first-crop sire Smoke Glacken, rallied from next-to-last to win the $111,500 Tempted Stakes (gr. III) Sunday on closing day of the Belmont Park meet.
Listen Here earned a half-length win over Monthir after dueling with that rival through the Belmont Park stretch in Friday's $109,300 Nashua Stakes (gr. III).
Bohemia Stable's Shine Again, ridden by Jean-Luc Samyn, caught Dream Supreme in the final strides to win by a head in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares.
Brazilian-bred Verruma tracked the early pacesetters, then rallied through the stretch to win her division of the $137,875 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park Friday. Chilean-bred Babae, who Verruma beat in a June allowance race at Belmont, won the second division.
Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great, prepping for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), breezed four furlongs over the main track in :50 1/5 at Belmont today. Afterwards, trainer Nick Zito was happy with the work. " It's been a long year," the New York-based conditioner said. "I don't have to do a lot with him. I'm going easy on him for this race. He doesn't need much."
Flatbird Stable's Peeping Tom, who is likely to start in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), worked four furlongs over Belmont's main track in :46 1/5 this morning. The 4-year-old worked in company with stablemate Bluesbreaker. They earned the bullet, outworking 36 others at that distance.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Breeders' Cup Limited announced revised plans for their fundraising activities in connection with the NTRA Charities - New York Heroes Fund, including a series of charity auctions to replace the previously scheduled, black-tie Breeders' Cup Charity Gala Oct. 26. The Heroes Fund aids the families of rescue workers and other victims of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Canada's best Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships hope, Numerous Times, is 100 percent following a slight illness, and is ready to contest the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). The colt turned in a sharp five-furlong workout over Woodbine's sloppy main strip on Tuesday morning. Regular rider, Patrick Husbands, guided the four-year-old son of Numerous over five furlongs in 1:00 1/5.
Sunray Spirit, the odds-on favorite, came from far back to win the co-featured 79th running of the $106,800 Cowdin Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at Belmont Park Sunday.
Jockey Robbie Davis remains hospitalized Sunday night after he fell from his mount during the running of the fifth race at Belmont Park Sunday.
Delaware Township won Belmont Park's $250,000 Forest Hills Handicap (gr. II) for the second straight year on Sunday to earn a spot in the Breeder's Cup Sprint (gr. I).
For the past several months, an insatiable monster has been running amok, devouring stakes and causing mayhem across the land. Finally, horsemen could take no more, and their cry resounded throughout the racing world: Frankelstein must be destroyed.
Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Exogenous survived a stewards' inquiry to earn her second straight grade I victory, winning Saturday's $750,000 Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. After describing an "S" shape while weaving her way to the wire -- bumping Spain repeatedly in the process – Exogenous completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.20, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Flute.
The Gold Cup undercard was highlighted by top performances by Exogenous, Officer, You, and Forbidden Apple
Edmund A. Gann's You dueled with Cashier's Dream around the turn, then pulled clear in the stretch to win the $500,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. The win improves You's career mark to three wins from four starts and gave trainer Bobby Frankel is 12th grade I win of the year.
Everyone knew what was coming. Frankel the Fox was honed in on another kill, and no one could stop it. When the weekend had ended, Frankel won the Turf Classic with Timboroa, had a third in the Flower Bowl with the fast-closing Starine, and another grade I victory the following day with Senure in the Clement Hirsch, giving him 11 for the year. The only horse who ran poorly was The Seven Seas, and that was because she entrapped her epiglottis in the Yellow Ribbon.
Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's Lailani remained perfect on the year following a three-quarter length victory over England's Legend in the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Ogden Phipps' homebred filly Finder's Fee, second to Dream Supreme in last year's Gallant Bloom Handicap (then a grade III but now a grade II), earned the win in Saturday's $129,225 renewal at Belmont Park after the defending champion was scratched.
Left Bank delivers a knockout blow, running down Squirtle Squirt in the grade I Vosburgh
Virginia-bred Navesink, a close-up fifth in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) when last out, earned his second career graded stakes win in Sunday's $200,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIIT) on yielding turf at Belmont Park.
Left Bank beat Squirtle Squirt by a half-length to win Saturday's $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, giving trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez their second stakes wins on the card.
Godolphin's Express Tour alternately pressed and set the early pace en route to winning Saturday's $150,000 Jerome Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park. Under John Velazquez, Express Tour completed the one-mile race in 1:34.57 on a fast track.
Three-year-old Squirtle Squirt is on top of his game at the moment but to remain there he must hold off a talented pack of veteran sprinters in Saturday's grade I $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park. The Vosburgh is one of four stakes on Saturday's 11-race program, which also includes the grade II Jerome Handicap, the grade III Noble Damsel and the Ashley Cole.
When the call to the post is played prior to the grade II $150,000 Jerome Handicap at Belmont Park Saturday five horses with an extra week of rest will take the gate The Jerome was originally to be contest Sept. 15 but the New York Racing Association cancelled racing due to the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Centers Sept. 11. The Jerome was the only race to be rescheduled. The grade II Belmont Breeders' Cup Handicap and the grade I Ruffian Handicap were suspended for the year.
In the $100,000 Noble Damsel (gr. IIIT) Saturday at Belmont Park, Joseph Platt Jr's Babae has been in top form and will need to stay there to best a competitive field of fillies and mares going one mile on the turf.
Pentatonic and Secret Status, who had hoped to hook up in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) last Saturday, instead ran at Belmont Park today in an allowance race. The Ruffian, a prep for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) was part of a card canceled at Belmont after the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 on the World Trade Centers.
A group of Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) hopefuls slugged it out in allowance company Wednesday at Belmont and heavily favored Heavyweight Champ scored a TKO.
When the familiar sound of "Call to Post" echoes through Belmont Park Saturday, it will be music to the ears of horsemen and racing fans that are much in need of a diversion from the effects of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon Tuesday morning. Racing was suspended Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday following the attack on America.
The Chilean-bred Lido Palace proves his point in winning the grade I Woodward Stakes.
Voodoo Dancer bounced back from a disappointing loss in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) by drawing off to a decisive 4 3/4-length victory in the $244,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park on Sunday.
After finishing on the board in a graded stakes in each of her last three starts, Exogenous made it to the Belmont Park winner's circle Saturday after upsetting the field of 3-year-old fillies in the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) to earn her first career stakes win.
Keeneland has announced that effective with the start of its autumn meeting Oct. 5 it will be lowering the takeout on exotic wagers from 19% to 16%. Bettors with winning tickets on daily doubles, exactas, trifectas, superfectas, and Pick Threes will see a higher percentage of money returned to them.
Five runners will take the post in Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. The field might seem small, but the qualifications the five runners bring into the 1 1/8 mile event have championship status written all over them.
Total handle for Belmont Park's 55-day meet increased 4.8%, but on-track numbers continued to be weak. Average daily on-track handle was flat at $1,929,951, while average daily attendance fell 5.9% to 8,025.
After 4-5 favorite Starrer unseated jockey Chris McCarron just after the start, 11-1 Tweedside went on to win Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), giving sire Thunder Gulch a sweep of Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile main track stakes races for 3-year-olds. McCarron was uninjured in the mishap.
Sharp Performance, rising to the stakes ranks after winning an allowance and maiden race in consecutive starts, scored a one-length victory Sunday in the $150,000 Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park.
Jockey Mike Luzzi broke his left ankle when thrown by his mount in the gate before the third race at Belmont Park Sunday.
England's Legend, fully recovered from a splint problem, beat Gaviola by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday in the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
As the holiday weekend closes, Godolphin's E Dubai proves he's the one to carry its hopes in the fall.
Godolphin's E Dubai avenged his second-place finish to Hero's Tribute in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) with an impressive 5 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. The winning time marks the fastest running of the Dwyer since the race was switched to its present distance in 1994.
After trailing the field through the opening half-mile, Centennial Farms' King Cugat rallied while five wide on the second turn to win the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) by a half-length Saturday at Belmont Park. The winning time marks the second-fastest running of the Bowling Green behind only With Approval's course record time of 2:10 1/5 in 1990.
Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great won the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) in wire-to-wire style on Sunday at Belmont Park, defeating Lido Palace by 2 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile race.
Ashland Stakes (gr. I) winner Fleet Renee, who subsequently disappointed as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), made amends for her Oaks performance with a 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.
S.J. Bee Stable's Buster's Daydream reprised his success in the Flash Stakes (gr. III) with a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $106,300 Tremont Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
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