Belmont Fall Meet Set to Kick Off

The Belmont Park Fall Championship Meeting will begin Sept. 7.

Only days after a record-breaking Saratoga meet ended, the 33-day Belmont Park Fall Championship Meeting stand kicks off Sept. 7 with the 25th running of the $100,000-added General Douglas MacArthur, a one-mile test for older New York-breds.

The highlight of the Belmont meet will be Sept. 30, when four important Breeders’ Cup races are held in New York: the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile-and-a-quarter; the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. I) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile-and-a-half on the turf; the $400,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs; and the $600,00 Beldame (gr. I) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs.

Under the new “Win and You’re In” rules, those four race winners earn automatic berths in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Distaff, Turf and Sprint divisions. This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held Oct. 26-27 at Monmouth Park.

The meet is also highlighted by a 12-percent increase in Belmont daily purses, taking the average to $623,968 per day. The added money is expected to increase field sizes for many of the contests. Open allowance will see the largest increases, going up $10,000 per race to $56,000.

In addition, Rags to Riches, Street Sense and Lawyer Ron are just some of the stars who could see action at Belmont Park this fall. Champion filly Rags to Riches is expected to run in the Sept. 15 Gazelle Stakes (gr. I), while Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and record-setting 4-year-old colt Lawyer Ron could hook up in the Jockey Gold Cup.

Belmont is offering free admission and parking on opening day. First post is set for 1 p.m. EDT.