Volponi and Brooklyn Handicap Kick Off NTRA Summer Tour

Edited from a NYRA release

Saturday's 115th running of the grade II, $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at nine furlongs at Belmont Park will be the kickoff of the NTRA's first "Summer Pick 3" of 2003, which also includes the $250,000 Leonard S. Richards Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth from Delaware Park and the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at nine furlongs from Churchill Downs.

This is the first Summer Pick 3 that is part of the "NTRA Summer Racing Tour," presented by Long John Silver's. The series returns to CBS on Saturday, June 14 with the first of four consecutive Saturday programs that will feature races in five of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship divisions.

In 2002, more than $700,000 was bet on the three NTRA Summer Pick 3 offerings, including more than $300,000 on the pick three in the final program of the year.

Featuring races in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Classic, Distaff, John Deere Turf, NetJets Mile and Filly & Mare Turf divisions, the four one-hour shows will air on June 14, June 21, June 28 and July 5 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET).

In addition to presenting live races from such premier U.S. tracks as New York's Belmont Park, Louisville's Churchill Downs, Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, Chicago's Arlington Park, New Jersey's Monmouth Park and Texas' Lone Star Park, the series will offer coverage of top races on the International Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships from England's Ascot Racecourse.

Hosting the NTRA Summer Racing Tour will be Gary Seibel. He will be joined by analysts Randy Moss and Caton Bredar and commentators Lesley Visser and Jay Privman.

In the Brooklyn, Amherst Stable's Volponi, winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) at Arlington Park last October at odds of 43-1, will make his second start of the season for Hall of Fame trainer Phil Johnson. Volponi was beaten a neck in his seasonal debut here on May 9th at nine furlongs by Speightstown.

Among those he will be facing in the Brooklyn Handicap is Mary Grant and T.J. Kelly's Evening Attire, who will be making his first start of the season. The 5-year-old gray, gelded son of Evening Attire has at least one graded stakes victory on every New York Racing Association dirt track. He has not raced since an eight-length romp in Aqueduct's Red Smith Handicap (gr. III) last November.

Also expected for the Brooklyn Handicap are El Gran Papa; Full Mandate; Harlan's Holiday; Iron Deputy and Saarland.

The Brooklyn will be the last race of a live, nine-race card at Belmont Park on Saturday. Post time for the Brooklyn is 5:12 p.m. Eastern, followed by the Leonard S. Richards at 5:27 p.m., and the Stephen Foster at 5:44 p.m.