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.
The Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) and four other graded stakes will be added to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) card in 2014 for a June 7 race day that will offer 10 stakes and $8 million in total purses.
Evan Hammonds recaps the Metropolitan Handicap, Ogden Phipps Handicap, and Acorn Stakes. watch video
Sahara Sky, invading from Southern California for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, needed every inch of the long Belmont Park stretch run to catch pacesetting Cross Traffic in a heart-pounding finish to the Metropolitan Handicap.
The Met Mile (gr. I) at Belmont Park traditionally has been one of the most prestigious races in the country, and all you have to do is go down this year's list of entries to understand why.
In its first full year receiving added money for purses from the Resorts World Casino New York City at Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association registered strong pari-mutuel handle in 2012.
Multiple grade I winner Shackleford will not run in the $500,000 Forego Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course Sept. 1, trainer Dale Romans said the morning of the race.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Shackleford became the first horse to win the Preakness at 3 and the Met Mile at 4 since Carry Back in 1961-1962.
Experience and previous success on the Belmont Park dirt surface could be the deciding factor when a short but strong field gathers for the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at one mile May 28.
Jockey Jesus Castanon, who broke his left hand in a fall at Churchill Downs in the 10th race May 18, will miss all of his scheduled mounts for the remainder of the weekend.
After recording his first win since last spring's Preakness (gr. I), Shackleford is being groomed for a start in the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park May 28.
Just a few days short of a year since he began his 3-year-old campaign that may result in an Eclipse Award, Caleb's Posse returned to the work tab Jan. 12 at Oaklawn Park.
Tizway, one of the top contenders for the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), will miss the race with a ligament injury. Trainer Jim Bond confirmed the 6-year-old horse has been retired.
This year's Met Mile features a deep field of 11. Can you predict the order of finish from first to last? Predict the Order
A large and evenly-matched field of 11 was drawn for the Met Mile, which headlines Belmont Park's Memorial Day lineup that also includes the Sands Point (gr. IIT).
Freshened up since his sensational 12 3/4-length length triumph in the Donn Handicap (gr. I) nearly four months ago, Quality Road is the one to beat in the $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park May 31.
Marc Keller's 6-year-old gelding Bribon came five-wide into the lane and outran a trio of rivals to take the $600,000 Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) by a half-length over Smooth Air May 25 at Belmont Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds and partners' Mr. Fantasy and Sequoia Racing's Imperial Council will each try to become the first 3-year-old to win the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) since Honour and Glory did it back in 1996, but will have to conquer a full field of older horses on May 25 at Belmont Park to make it happen.
In January, Tracy Farmer's Commentator blistered to a new track record at Gulfstream Park as he trounced an outclassed field of five allowance competitors by 14 lengths. In March, he demolished six Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) contenders while drawing off to win by 13 3/4 lengths. But the 7-year-old Distorted Humor gelding faces his steepest test of the season this Memorial Day, when he heads a field of nine in the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin thought odds-on choice Grasshopper could be vulnerable running a one-turn mile in the $109,100 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) to open Belmont Park's spring/summer meet April 30, and he was proved correct when his Divine Park swept to a five-length victory.
Eighty minutes or so before the sport's top 3-year-olds battle it out in Saturday's Belmont Stakes, some of racing's fastest and classiest three-year-old fillies - including Christmas Kid, Cotton Blossom, and Boca Grande - will meet in the 77th running of the Acorn Stakes (gr. I).
Jimmy Jerkens and his Hall of Fame trainer father Allen pulled off a 1-2 upset in Monday's Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Leading trainer Todd Petcher, still in search of his first victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), sends out a pair of talented colts in Lawyer Ron and Half Ours for Monday's $600,000 Memorial Day event at Belmont Park.
Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Silver Wagon worked four furlongs in a bullet :47.81 handily Thursday morning at Aqueduct as he prepares for Monday's 114th running of the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I)--Belmont Park's traditional Memorial Day feature race
Kingmambo sired his first Southern Hemisphere grade I winner as the U.S. bred Tawqeet won the $600,000 (Australian) Metropolitan Handicap (Aus-I) at Randwick on Oct 7.
Todd Pletcher's career has been filled with sparkling highlights, but the prestigious $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) has been a frustration to him. The two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer sends out Bandini in Monday's renewal of the popular "Met Mile" at Belmont Park.
Sir Greeley overtook tiring pacesetter Love of Money to win the $108,800 Westchester Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile on opening day of Belmont Park's 59-day spring/summer meet.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said that reigning Horse of the Year and Metropolitan Mile (gr. I) winner Ghostzapper would likely pass on the Suburban Handicap (gr. I) July 2.
Defending Horse of the Year Ghostzapper will make his first start of 2005 Monday when he goes off the favorite in Belmont Park's traditional Memorial Day feature, the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).
The Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) -bound Forest Danger breezed five furlongs over Belmont Park's main track Wednesday morning in 1:00 3/5 for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also said champion filly Ashado could run in the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) May 21.
Horse of the Year Ghostzapper breezed an easy half-mile at Palm Meadows Friday morning in :49 3/5 in his first workout since an authorative win in the Breeders' Cup Classic - powered by Dodge (gr. I) Oct. 30.
Monday's Memorial Day $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) kicks off Belmont Stakes week with an outstanding cast, including 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, last year's 3-year-old champion Funny Cide and Pico Central and Strong Hope, the 1-2 finishers of Aqueduct's Carter Handicap (gr. I).
Azeri could next race against males in the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on May 31, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said from his Churchill Downs stable Friday.
Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Southern Image could make his next start in the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park on May 31.
Flaxman Holding's homebred Aldebaran swept past the leaders entering the stretch and then held off a determined Saarland for a game victory in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on the Memorial Day card at Belmont Park.
Congaree, who can join an elite group to win both the Carter and Metropolitan handicaps in the same year, is hard to ignore in Monday's Memorial Day feature at Belmont Park.
Two Preakness-bound starters, Peace Rules and Kissin Saint, turned in workouts over Belmont's main track this morning. Derby Trial (gr. III) Midas Eyes, recorded his first workout since winning at Churchill Downs.
Eight-year-old millionaire Affirmed Success and beaten Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) favorite Left Bank are scheduled to square off in the July 4 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at seven furlongs for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park.
Swept Overboard overcomes obstacles to win Met Mile as Sunday Break wins Peter Pan and pepares to challenge War Emblem.
With the countdown on for War Emblem's possible date with history in the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the New York Racing Association has set up a strong stakes schedule that will keep everyone happy with a parade of top-quality racing until the big day arrives. In all, 13 stakes will be run between Saturday and the Belmont Stakes.
Three horses under consideration for the $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) were on track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning in preparation for the prestigious one-turn mile race. Affirmed Success, Aldebaran, and Burning Roma each put in works, with Affirmed Success running his seven furlongs on the training track.
Trainer Philip Mitchell, who brought Running Stag to America on repeated occasions, is planning to run French-bred 4-year-old Caughnawaga in this year's renewal of the Metropolitan Handicap on May 27 at Belmont Park.
Elliot Walden-trained Brahms finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) in his most recent start and will race next in a one-mile, grade I race. Walden is considering either the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) on the main track at Belmont Park, or the Shoemaker Mile on the Hollywood Park turf course for Brahm's next start. Others under consideration for the Met Mile include Bobby Hurley's 3-year-old Songandaprayer, the Todd Pletcher-trained pair of Trippi and Left Bank, Oaklawn Park Handicap (gr. I) winner Traditionally, and Carter Handicap (gr. I) winner Peeping Tom.
Yankee Victor, who won this year's Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park, has been retired from racing after suffering a slight injury to his right front ankle during the June 25 Hanshin Handicap at Arlington International Racecourse.
Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Yankee Victor has been retired.
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