Music Note, as expected, swept to victory with jockey Rajiv Maragh in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I), the first of five grade I stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
There was a time not too long ago that a meeting among the nation's best fillies and mares in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) was a distinct possibility. But with Rachel Alexandra on the sideline, Zenyatta staying in California for the Lady's Secret (gr. I), and Icon Project now heading to Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), the Beldame has lost some of its appeal.
A trio of contenders for the Oct. 3 $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) had their final tune-ups for the 1 1/4-mile race on a busy morning at Belmont Park Sept. 26.
Originally pointed to a fall campaign at Belmont Park, Godolphin's Cocoa Beach came out of a stakes win at Saratoga earlier this month so well her connections have opted to run her Aug. 29 in the $200,000 Ballston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT).
The American Graded Stakes Committee released a statement Aug. 5 that the previously grade II Lake George Stakes was automatically downgraded to grade III status because the originally scheduled turf event July 31 at Saratoga was moved to the main track.
Team Valor International's Captain's Lover made her dirt debut a winning one, as she took over at the quarter-pole and sloshed her way to a seven-length victory in the $200,000 Taylor Made Matchmaker Aug. 2 at Monmouth Park.
Although the field for the Aug. 2 Taylor Made Matchmaker Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park contains several accomplished entrants, multiple graded stakes winner Rutherienne, who is often a fast closer at the finish, is clearly the one to beat.
After kicking off her 5-year-old campaign with a confident win in the Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT), Forever Together will be favored to extend her three-race win streak in the $400,000 Just a Game (gr. IT) at Belmont Park June 6.
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