J. Keeler Johnson takes a look at the Belmont Stakes and also reflects on several undercard races for this week's After the Wire. watch video
Order of Finish
|Pos||Horse / Age / Sex / TrueNicks / Pedigree||Jockey / Trainer||Margin||Earnings|
Wild About Irene
People, horses, and scenes that make Belmont Stakes Day unique. View Slideshow
Close Hatches turned back Princess of Sylmar and picked up the pieces when Beholder finished fourth in the June 7 Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
NYRA unveils the first in its mega-day strategy June 7 when it moves races like the Met Mile, Ogden Phipps, Acorn, and Brooklyn to Belmont Stakes day in an effort to ramp up interest, quality, and handle.
A sporting gesture put two-time champion Beholder on a plane to Belmont Park last week for the brewing rematch between her and 2013 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Princess of Sylmar in the $1 million Ogden Phipps (gr. I).
Belmont Stakes (gr. I) contenders weren't the only ones catching attention June 2 at Belmont Park. Champion filly Beholder and rival Close Hatches both turned in final pre-race preparations for the Ogden Phipps (gr. I).
Claire Novak reports from Belmont Park on Social Inclusion possibly running in the Woody Stevens, California Chrome, Kid Cruz, Beholder and Close Hatches. watch video
A list of likely starters for the five grade I events on the Belmont Stakes day undercard June 7 has been released by the track's racing office, headed by the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap.
Defeating four older fillies and mares, Juddmonte Farms' Close Hatches secured her third grade I with a front-running performance in the $588,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Close Hatches will try to add a third top-level victory to her resume in the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), in which she meets four opponents, including last year's winner On Fire Baby, April 11 at Oaklawn Park.
Favored at odds of 3-5 and making her first start of the season, Juddmonte's 4-year-old First Defence filly galloped wire to wire in the 1 1/16-mile test, taking rider Joel Rosario straight to the winner's circle March 15.
Don't Tell Sophia has sailed through the early part of 2014, but faces a stout test March 15 in the $200,000 Azeri Stakes (gr. II) against multiple grade I winner Close Hatches, On Fire Baby, and Flashy American.
Beholder's smashing victory in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) ensured her a second consecutive Eclipse Award. She was voted champion 3-year-old filly of 2013 over finalists Princess of Sylmar and Close Hatches.
Perhaps no Eclipse Award category overflowed with more talent than among the 3-year-old fillies of 2013. They performed admirably against each other and then went out and defeated the best of their older counterparts.
Smooth as silk under jockey Gary Stevens, Beholder vanquished both two-time champion Royal Delta and Princess of Sylmar while rolling to an open-lengths victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) Nov. 1.
Lenny Shulman updates the news of the day including track work by Royal Delta, Close Hatches, and Mucho Macho Man. watch video
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott oversaw Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) contenders Royal Delta and Close Hatches as they stretched their legs at Santa Anita on Oct. 29 after arriving from New York the day before.
The Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) may only have a field of six, but they have created perhaps the most riveting puzzle in the entire series this year.
Trainer Bill Mott said he was happy with the final works by Royal Delta and Close Hatches at Belmont Park Oct. 26 before they head to California for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Led by champion Royal Delta and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender Ron the Greek, horses conditioned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott got in their Belmont Park works Oct. 19 in advance of the Nov. 1-2 Breeders' Cup.
- By Steve Haskin
Steve offers some early thoughts on the Breeders' Cup. read blog
Graded stakes winners Fiftyshadesofhay, Seaneen Girl, and Pure Fun head the field of mostly new faces at Indiana Downs for the $200,000 Indiana Oaks (gr. II) Oct. 5.
Close Hatches secured a second straight grade I victory Sept. 21 when she passed Test Stakes (gr. I) winner Sweet Lulu turning for home and held off all challengers in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I).
Grade I winners Sweet Lulu and Close Hatches will meet on the track for the first time when an accomplished group of 3-year-old fillies starts in the $1 million Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 21 at Parx Racing.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Leading commercial sire Unbridled's Song is still looking for his true heir as a stallion, and he may have found it in First Defence.
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