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.
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.
If Benny the Bull's victory in the True North Handicap (gr. II) is any indication of how trainer Rick Dutrow and owner IEAH Stables will fare with Big Brown later in the day in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), things are looking good for the Triple Crown-chasing team.
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.
Gio Ponti, off for more than seven months and making his 3-year-old debut, rallied from last to take the $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) by two lengths under Garrett Gomez June 6 on the Belmont turf.
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.
Last year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old filly Indian Blessing makes her highly-anticipated return in the $250,000 Acorn (gr. I) June 7 at Belmont Park, and trainer Bob Baffert is expecting her to rebound nicely from her first career defeat.
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.
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.
A deal to keep New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. from shuttering could be at hand, according to the head of the state Assembly's racing committee.
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.
Less than two weeks after being caught at the wire in the Lamplighter Stakes, Bill Mott will send Prussian back to the starting gate in the $100,000 Hill Prince Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 6 at Belmont Park.
Big Brown brought smiles to the faces of his connections June 3 after a crucial five-furlong breeze in 1:00 on Belmont Park's main track shortly before 9 a.m. EDT.
The New York Racing Association said June 2 a field of nine is probable for the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), third leg of the Triple Crown.
Ready's Echo and Tale of Ekati are headed to the Belmont Stakes, while Tomcito and Spark Candle are out.
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.
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.
West Point Stables' Macho Again had a solid work this morning for trainer Dallas Stewart at Churchill Downs, going a half-mile in :48.20 over the fast main track under exercise rider Kenny Borque. The move ranked 11th of 55 at the distance.
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.
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.
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.
Ian McKinlay, the hoof-lameness specialist who has been treating Big Brown's quarter crack, said Monday morning the colt's left front foot has shown improvement.
James Barry purchased his 4-year-old Divine Park for just $20,000 at Keeneland's September yearling sale in 2005. Less than three years later, the son of Chester House became a grade I winner when he ran down the talented Commentator in the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Macho Again, winner of the Derby Trial and second to Big Brown in the Preakness (gr. I), will be pointed for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), according to West Point founder and president Terry Finley.
With his huge Preakness Stakes (gr. I) win in his rear-view mirror, Big Brown left Baltimore Monday morning right at 10 a.m. to head to New York and his date with destiny in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Undefeated Bustin Stones, one of the leading sprinters in the country, will not run as planned in the Metropolitan Mile Handicap (gr. I) May 26 at Belmont Park, trainer Bruce Levine said May 11.
On May 10 at Belmont Park, North America got its first look at the colt who could have the best chance at spoiling Big Brown's entry into racing immortality, as Japanese invader Casino Drive blew away eight challengers to win the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) in sensational fashion.
New York Racing Association simulcasts will return to 16 East Coast tracks, thanks to an agreement signed May 8 between the NYRA and the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative.
Jet Set Racing's Tomcito, one of four horses that did not make the cut in last week's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be looking to make a splash in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) instead. To do that, the son of Street Cry will take the traditional route, entering in the $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) May 10, a 1 1/8-mile contest that serves as the local prep for third leg of the Triple Crown.
The Task Force on Retired Racehorses, a state-appointed committee, has planned a summit in Saratoga Springss, N.Y., July 29 to explore the potential for the installation of synthetic surfaces at the state's racetracks.
After a 12-hour trans-Pacific journey, including a one-hour lay-over in Anchorage, Alaska, and a brief stint at Aqueduct to clear quarantine, three Japan-based horses -- Casino Driver, Champagne Squall, and Spark Candle -- have begun to settle in at Barn 17 at Belmont Park.
HorseRacing TV will add two prominent racetracks to its programming schedule when Belmont and Arlington parks begin their annual spring/summer meetings this week.
- By Tom LaMarra
Another group of racetracks won't be importing the signal from Belmont Park beginning April 30 because they collectively have failed to strike a deal on signal rates with the New York Racing Association.
The Mid-Atlantic Cooperative, which represents 16 racetracks and their affiliated off-track wagering outlets, has failed to reach an agreement with the New York Racing Association on signal rates, which puts simulcast of races from Belmont Park in jeopardy.
Belmont Park ushers in its 59-day spring/summer meet April 30, on the heels of a tumultuous winter for the New York Racing Association.
Gary Stevens has assumed a newly created position of Senior Advisor " Racing and Bloodstock Affairs, at IEAH Stables.
The Belmont Child Care Association has received a donation of $300,000 from Roy and Gretchen Jackson, owners of the late 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro.
New York-based trainer Gary Sciacca was suspended 120 days by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board, effective Nov. 19, for his connection to the administration of a prohibited substance on race day to one of his horses in 2003.
Florida-based trainer David Fawkes had good luck shipping Take d'Tour to New York to win grade I races in 2006 and 2007, and now he looks forward to doing well with his first New York-based stable at Aqueduct's fall and winter meets.
- By Tom Precious
With a franchise expiration date of Dec. 31 fast approaching, it still remains very unclear who will be in control of Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga in 2008 and beyond.
- By Ryan Conley
The parent company of TVG reported a record handle of $148.5 million for the third quarter of 2007, and announced a new wagering partnership in New York during a Nov. 1 conference call with analysts.
- By Ryan Conley
Next year's Breeders' Cup World Championships are set for the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita Park, but which venue will host the event beyond that running is still in the works.
The Spitzer administration is signaling it could be game for the opening of a casino at Belmont Park, despite its recent public plan that removed the track from the running for a gambling facility.
A total of $111,903,685 was wagered from all sources on the 11-race Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Monmouth Park Oct. 27, according to preliminary data, a decline of 20.3% from the all-time record set at Churchill Downs last year.
Strong business trends continue on the New York Racing Association circuit with significant gains in purse, handle and attendance figures registered in the recently concluded 2007 Belmont Park Fall Championship meet.
Trainer Todd Pletcher worked 12 of his pre-entered Breeders' Cup horses Oct. 21 at Belmont Park, while Discreet Cat sizzled in prepartion for the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Trainer Tony Dutrow won his 1,000th career race Oct. 18 in the ninth race at Belmont Park with Zayat Stables' New York-bred La Ransom.
Jockey Todd Glasser was sent to North Shore University Hospital after falling from his mount, Titanium Menace, in the first race at Belmont Park Oct. 18.
The anticipation for The Green Monkey's second career start was a little less this time, however the result was the same, as the $16-million colt turned in another disappointing performance at Belmont Park Oct. 13, fizzling out in the stretch to finish a well-beaten fourth in a field of seven maidens.
Criminologist has four turf victories this year. Dance Away Capote is the lone starter with a graded stakes win to her credit. Those two headline a field of six in the 30th running of the $100,000 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares Oct. 13 on the Belmont turf.
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