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Kozak to Take Over for Passero at NYRA

Kozak to Take Over for Passero at NYRA

The New York Racing Association Aug. 1 announced that John Passero has resigned as director of racing surfaces, effective at the conclusion of the Saratoga meeting Sept. 1. Glen Kozak will take over Passero's responsibilities at the start of the Belmont Park meeting Sept. 5.

Prioress: Indian Blessing Back On Top

Prioress: Indian Blessing Back On Top

Cutting back to six furlongs, Hal and Patti Earnhardt's Eclipse Award-winning filly Indian Blessing returned to the winner's circle for the first time since February, as she took over at the top of the stretch and drew away for a convincing five-length score in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 5 in the mud at Belmont Park.

Mauralakana Becomes Millionaire in NY

Mauralakana Becomes Millionaire in NY

Mauralakana had to work a bit harder than she did when taking the Sheepshead Bay (gr. IIT) at Belmont last month, but the talented mare still earned her third consecutive victory and fourth stakes of the year June 21 when she held off a pair of challengers to capture the $242,000 New York Stakes (gr. IIT) by a neck. She became a millionaire in the process.

Belmont Pick 6 Hit By 29 Bettors

Belmont Pick 6 Hit By 29 Bettors

A Pick 6 Carryover of $1,186,625 from Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day at Belmont Park attracted another $3,217,655 June 11, creating a non-Breeders' Cup New York record Pick 6 pool of $4,404,280. And, when favored Ten Forty came home in the ninth race, 29 winning tickets were worth $103,754 each. None were sold on track.

94,476 Attend Belmont; Handle Soars

94,476 Attend Belmont; Handle Soars

The New York Racing Association reported that 94,476 were on hand under sunny skies on a sweltering day at Belmont Park June 7 to witness yet another Triple Crown upset, with longshot Da' Tara going wire to wire in the 140th Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The victory ended heavily favored Big Brown's attempt to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Juddmonte Farms' Ventura sat patiently off the pace, slipped through along the hedge at the head of the lane and pulled clear to win the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park. The victory came by three-quarters of a length over a fast-closing Lady of Venice. Time for the one-mile race over a "firm" Widener Turf Course was 1:32.75.

NYRA Nixes Hooters Deal

NYRA Nixes Hooters Deal

Kent Desormeaux will not wear the Hooters patch on his pants when he rides Big Brown postward in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The New York Racing Association refused to approve the endorsement deal June 6, citing a "conflict of interest" between Belmont Park sponsors, which include UPS and NetJets.

Belmont Notes: June 5

Belmont Notes: June 5

Trainer David Carroll was aboard Denis of Cork June 5 as the third-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) went to the paddock, stood in the starting gate and then galloped 1 1/4 miles on Belmont's main track.

NYRA Delivers Partnership with UPS

NYRA Delivers Partnership with UPS

The New York Racing Association and UPS have announced a partnership agreement for the Belmont Park Spring race meeting, including the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I). The deal is being made in association with ABC Regional Sports Sales.

Better Talk Now Seeks Manhattan Repeat

Better Talk Now Seeks Manhattan Repeat

Bushwood Stables' seemingly timeless 9-year-old gelding Better Talk Now will seek a rare repeat in the prestigious $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park, but will have to take down 11 talented rivals, including a pair of talented horses saddled by Bobby Frankel, who has won this event three times himself.

Still Dapper Evening Attire to Brooklyn

Still Dapper Evening Attire to Brooklyn

Trainer Pat Kelly was about to take Evening Attire out of stakes competition, to try the 10-year-old gelding in a few allowance races or to pick spots in turf routes as a main-track-only entry. But the seasoned runner turned in such a solid performance in his last start that NYRA stakes coordinator Andrew Byrnes was able to convince Kelly to tackle the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.

Belmont Notes: May 31

Belmont Notes: May 31

Equipped with a new set of stainless steel wires to hold together a small quarter crack in his left front hoof, Triple Crown hopeful Big Brown galloped May 31 as he continues to prepare for the 140th edition of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 7.

Dutrow: 'We Don't Need to Worry'

Dutrow: 'We Don't Need to Worry'

As talented and physically imposing a presence as Triple Crown contender Big Brown is, trainer Rick Dutrow seems just as impressed by the colt's personality and intelligence.

Dutrow: 'It's a Foregone Conclusion'

Dutrow: 'It's a Foregone Conclusion'

In a national media teleconference conducted May 28, trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. continued his boastful and outspoken comments regarding potential Triple Crown winner Big Brown, saying among other things that winning the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) was a "foregone conclusion," the contenders "just can't run with Big Brown," and "there was no way in the world" that Japanese-owned Casino Drive could defeat his horse.

Belmont Notes: Big Brown Right On Target

Belmont Notes: Big Brown Right On Target

Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Big Brown remains "right on target" for the $1-million Belmont Stakes (gr. I), in which he will attempt to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner and the first in 30 years.

Belmont Profile: Anak Nakal

Belmont Profile: Anak Nakal

Four years after Birdstone upset Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid, trainer Nick Zito would love to play spoiler again, as he will send out Four Roses Thoroughbreds' Anal Nakal in the Belmont in hopes of rejecting Big Brown's bid for racing immortality.

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