Heroes Reward, a graded stakes winner on turf in each of the last three years, will tote top weight of 124 pounds as the likely favorite for the $150,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park July 18.
Jockeys at Belmont Park this week began testing padded crops designed to be gentler on horses, according to a press rlease issued by the New York Racing Association July 10. The goal is to fully implement the new equipment by the start of the six-week Saratoga meeting on July 29.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti, fresh off victories in the Frank Kilroe Mile (gr. IT) and Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT), will shoot for his third consecutive grade I score July 11 in the $500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.
Jason, Evan, and special guest Les Instone of Twinspires.com preview the Suburban (gr. II) at Belmont Park on July 4. Watch Video
After Fabulous Strike turned in a dazzling performance in the June 6 True North (gr. III), trainer Todd Beattie said he was leaning toward giving the 6-year-old gelding some well-deserved time off. But as they say, the horse will tell you what it wants, and the son of Smart Strike has spoken loud and clear.
A. Stevens Miles Jr.'s Warrior's Reward, who lost a tough duel with Successful Dan three weeks ago in the Northern Dancer (gr. III), will look to break through for his first graded stakes score in the $200,000 Dwyer (gr. III) July 4 at Belmont Park.
Edmund Gann's It's a Bird, winner of consecutive graded stakes and three of his last four overall, will try to continue his top form when facing nine rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont Park.
Rachel Alexandra faced only two opponents in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park but the sensational filly put on a dazzling display anyway, setting a stakes record while romping by nearly 20 lengths under Calvin Borel.
The field for $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) today was reduced to three with the scratches of Don't Forget Gil and Hopeful Image, leaving Preakness (gr. I) heroine Rachel Alexandra to face only Flashing and Malibu Prayer.
Belmont Park canceled its ninth and final race June 26 due to a severe storm that brought with it heavy rains, wind, lightning, thunder, and hail, and created unsafe conditions.
Preakness (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra galloped about a mile and a quarter on Belmont's fast main track early June 26, well in advance of a 9:30 a.m. EDT downpour.
Carolyn's Cat, wire-to-wire winner last out in the Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II), will look to take her five older filly and mare rivals all the way again when she goes to post for the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Rachel Alexandra, who when last seen was making history by winning the May 16 BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I), will make her return to the racetrack in the $300,000 Mother Goose (gr. I) June 27 at Belmont Park. The Horse of the Year candidate will face only four rivals in the nine-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies.
Stonestreet Stables' Jess Jackson, majority owner of Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and BlackBerry Preakness (gr. I) winner Rachel Alexandra, said in a wide-ranging media teleconference June 24 that the superb filly would not race in this year's Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita but that there is a good possibility that she would return in 2010 for a 4-year-old campaign.
When Rachel Alexandra makes her Belmont Park debut in the 53rd renewal of the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 27, the New York Racing Association will give away pink bracelets embossed with the filly's name and admission for ladies will be free.
Heavy rain forced the $245,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) off the turf and that was just fine with Star Crown Stable's Icon Project, who took over from tiring favorite Criticism at the top of the lane and sailed to a 13 1/4-length victory June 20 on the slop at Belmont Park.
New York officials this week told bidders vying for the Aqueduct casino development rights to assume the contract will be awarded by Aug. 1, a questionable timetable given the chaos and leadership questions still swirling following a coup in the state Senate June 8.
Jason, Tom, and the Wizard analyze the New York Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park on June 20. Watch Video
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism has been on quite a roll, winning four of her last five, all in graded stakes. Backseat Rhythm and Dynaforce, both grade I winners a year ago, are both coming off unplaced efforts last out. Will the hot horse continue her winning ways, will the proven grade I winners return to form, or will one of the other capable starters break through?
Walter Downey's Fabulous Strike survived lightning-fast fractions to take the True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park Saturday over Benny the Bull.
Eldaafer, claimed for $20,000 earlier this year, came with a late stretch run and pulled off a 17-1 shocker in the $198,500 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) June 5 on the slop at Belmont Park.
Despite the Odds became a graded stakes winner June 5 at Belmont Park, as he put away Affirmatif and romped to a 7 1/2-length victory in the $109,000 Hill Prince (gr. IIIT), which was taken off the turf course because of heavy rain in New York.
TVG has returned to Belmont Park to broadcast live pre- and post-race coverage of the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Cowboy Cal and Champs Elysees, both narrowly beaten by tough-as-nails Einstein in separate grade I races this year, will see if his absence will be enough to get them over the top this time, as they headline a strong field of 14, including five grade I winners, for the $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 6 at Belmont Park.
Mine That Bird will face nine rivals in the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). Jockey Calvin Borel will look to become the first jockey to win all three Triple Crown races on two different horses.
Riders at racetracks across the United States and Canada will take part in a unified show of support June 6 for recently injured jockey Rene Douglas and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Farnsworth Stables' Gozzip Girl took all the heat, but was still able to find enough in the final yards to hold on for a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Sands Point (gr. II) May 30 on the Belmont Park turf.
With the recent spell of wet weather having finally moved on, three contenders for the 141st running of the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) turned in their final serious moves this morning at Belmont Park in preparation for the June 6 race.
With firm knowledge that the Preakness (gr. I)-winning filly Rachel Alexandra would pass on a possible run in the third jewel of the Triple Crown, trainer Bennie "Chip" Woolley Jr. and jockey Calvin Borel are both enthusiastically looking forward to the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and a bid to take two-thirds of the crown with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner and Preakness runner-up Mine That Bird.
Belmont Park, host of the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has received full accreditation from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.
Continued wet weather in the New York metropolitan area has left the final serious works of several contenders for the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) up in the air.
Racing fans at Belmont Park will be able to watch and wager on the Epsom Derby (Eng-I), as part of a morning card from the United Kingdom on Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Day June 6.
- By Tom Precious
Six months into the year, a state-ordered review of the New York Racing Association's 2009 budget has still not received approval from a government oversight panel.
The only graded stakes winner in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies, Farnsworth Stables' Gozzip Girl, has the edge in the $150,000 Sands Point (gr. IIT) May 30 on the turf at Belmont Park.
The Ruffian Equine Medical Center, located across the street from the backstretch at Belmont Park, opened its doors May 26 under the direction of Dr. James Hunt and Dr. Patricia Hogan.
Chocolate Candy, fifth in the Derby, breezed seven furlongs at Belmont Park in 1:27.34 with exercise rider Lindsey Molina aboard as he continued prepping for the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 6. Chocolate Candy, who will enjoy the services of jockey Garrett Gomez in the Belmont, was caught in splits of 24.63, 48.87 and 1:14.02 shortly before 6 a.m.
Odds-on favorite Criticism notched her fourth graded stakes victory in a little more than six months, taking a short field of fillies and mares wire-to-wire in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) May 23 on the Belmont Park turf.
Belmont Stakes contenders Summer Bird, sixth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and Charitable Man, winner of the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) earlier this month, are both scheduled to breeze May 23 on the main track at Belmont Park in preparation for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
Shadwell Farm, sponsor of the Memorial Day feature race at Belmont Park May 25, the Shadwell Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I), will again sponsor the "Best Turned Out Horse" Award. An award of $500 will be presented to the groom of the best turned out horse participating in the Met Mile.
Game Face and Any Limit have developed a nice little rivalry, and the two foes will meet for the fourth time this year when they do battle in the $150,000 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) on May 24 at Belmont Park.
Robert V. LaPenta's Brave Victory and Miner's Escape breezed a half-mile in company on the main track at Belmont Park May 21 as they prepped for a start in the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s multiple graded stakes winner Backseat Rhythm will try to bounce back from a troubled fifth-place effort in last month's Jenny Wiley (gr. IIT), as she takes on seven fillies and mares in the $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) May 23 on the Belmont Park turf.
- By Tom LaMarra
As officials in Maryland work to achieve full accreditation for Pimlico Race Course through the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, the New York Racing Association is anticipating alliance approval for Belmont Park before the June 6 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Trainer Todd Pletcher said May 9 that Susan Magnier's Dunkirk, 11th in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), is under consideration for the $1 million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 6.
A welcome and familiar face will headline the Belmont Stakes Day entertainment lineup when singer Linda Eder returns to Belmont Park to sing "New York, New York" as the field for the 141st Belmont Stakes (gr. I) makes its way to the starting gate June 6.
The lone graded stakes winner in the field, Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren's Charitable Man will continue on his comeback trail when lining up for the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 9 at Belmont Park.
Edward Evans' Quality Road, one of the favorites for next Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), has developed another quarter-crack, this one on the inside of his right-front hoof, putting his status for the Run for the Roses in question.
The accreditation of Churchill Downs by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance is being called a major accomplishment by the officials involved, but they also acknowledge it's just the beginning. Safety and integrity standards will change, and compliance will be reviewed at least every two years.
The Daily Racing Form, together with the New York Racing Association, invites family, horsemen, media, and friends to remember and celebrate the life of turf writer Joe Hirsch during Belmont Stakes Week. The tribute service will be held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. June 5 at Belmont Park in the North Shore Terrace (4th floor Clubhouse level).
A suspect allegedly involved with stealing equipment from the barns of Belmont Park-based trainers Bruce Levine and Linda Rice during the weekend of Feb. 28 was arrested by Nassau County Police on March 2.
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