A total of 42 stakes worth a combined $10.6 million and two Super Saturday cards are among the highlights for Belmont Park's 38-day fall meet, which starts Sept. 9 and runs through Oct. 30.
Three stakes are scheduled for opening weekend, including the $100,000 Christiecat for 3-year-old fillies on the turf opening day.
The first of two Super Saturday cards leading up to the Breeders' Cup World Championships is Joe Hirsh Turf Classic day Oct. 1, featuring the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) and four other graded stakes: the $400,000 Beldame Invitational (gr. I) for fillies and mares, the $350,000 Vosburgh Invitational (gr. I) for sprinters, the $300,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares, and the $200,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 2-year-olds on the turf.
The Joe Hirsch and Vosburgh are both "Win and You're In" qualifiers for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), respectively, with the winners earning automatic berths and fees-paid trips to Santa Anita Park in November.
Oct. 8 at Belmont is Jockey Club Gold Cup day, highlighted by the 98th running of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I). The 1 1/4-mile race will be supported by the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on turf, the $500,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-olds, the, $400,000 Frizette Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies, and the $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the turf.
The winners of those races earn spots in the starting gate for their respective Breeders' Cup races: the Flower Bowl for the Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), the Champagne for the Juvenile (gr. I), and the Frizette for the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).
New York-breds get the spotlight Oct. 22 in eight stakes races highlighted by the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap.
Live racing is generally conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, with first race post time at 1:30 p.m. ET through Oct. 2, after which first race post time will be 12:55 p.m. General parking is free, and admission to Belmont Park is $5. For more information, please visit NYRA.com