Belmont Park's Fall meeting, which opens its 33-day season on Sept. 10, boasts 13 grade I stakes and $10.5 million in overall stakes money,. Belmont Park is open Wednesdays through Sundays through Oct. 24 with a first race post is 1 p.m. Belmont Park will also be open for Monday racing on Columbus Day Oct. 11, but will be closed Oct. 12th and Oct.13. In all, 39 stakes, 24 of which are graded, will be offered during Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet. Among those prestigious grade 1 races are the Woodward, Man o' War, Gazelle, Garden City Breeders' Cup, Ruffian, Matron, Beldame, Champagne, Frizette and the meet's showcase race, The Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Another important grade I event, the Turf Classic Invitational, has been re-named this year to honor one of Thoroughbred racing's most distinguished and celebrated personalities. The $750,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, a weight-for-age event at a mile and a half, honors the retired longtime executive columnist of Daily Racing Form. Hirsch recently was honored by the New York Turf Writers Association with its Alfred G. Vanderbilt Award as "the individual who did the most for racing." The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational will be run on the biggest day of the fall meeting, Oct. 2. Also that day is the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a quarter, the $750,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at mile and a quarter on the turf, and the $500,000 Vosburgh (gr. I), now to be run at six furlongs.