Some stakes will have new names and larger purses at Belmont Park this year as the New York Racing Association plans several big days of racing at the spring/summer meet.
TimeformUS looks at the Garden City at Belmont Park, and the Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs. read blog
Winter Memories turned in her final workout in preparation for her grade I debut in the Sept. 17 Garden City at Belmont Park, breezing five furlongs in 1:03.48 Sept. 11 over the New York track's inner turf course.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s Backseat Rhythm came with a five-wide move and rallied from fifth at the top of the stretch, eventually getting up in the final strides under Javier Castellano to win the $250,000 Garden City Stakes (gr. IT) by a half-length on Belmont's yielding turf course Sept. 6.
Irish invader Luas Line found Saturday's modest offering of three opponents in the $260,000 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) much more to her liking than her previous American visit. She buried odds-on choice My Typhoon in the stretch for an easy victory on the Belmont Park lawn.
Trainer Bobby Barbara's summer in Saratoga Springs was almost perfect. "I was happy with our record," he said. "We won six races, but I'd give a few of them back to get her up. I really wanted to win that race."
From May 23 until June 7, when Belmont Park will host the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the race will be celebrated almost daily in greater New York City. There is a Belmont Festival at Chinatown; a hot dog eating contest, a street festival, and a hat contest.
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.
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