The 2010 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) logo features a galloping horse before the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York City skyline, and the Empire State Building. The 142nd Belmont is set for June 5.
The last day of 2009 found Ramon Dominguez in the same place as the first -- atop the jockey standings and in the winner's circle at Aqueduct.
NYRA president Charles Hayward said the state needs to choose a casino operator for Aqueduct or the association will run out of money in June, which puts the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at risk. As of now, the race will be run.
The federal government has given preliminary recognition to a Long Island Indian tribe, setting in motion development of a possible casino close to the New York Racing Association's two downstate tracks.
Edward Evans' Quality Road, whose fiery antics caused him to be scratched at the gate prior to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Nov. 7 at Santa Anita, is scheduled to return to his Belmont Park stall Nov. 17 and be back on the track the following morning, according to trainer Todd Pletcher.
The 2009 Belmont Park Fall Championship meet, permeated by inclement weather and races washed off the turf, saw declines in handle and attendance figures.
The $150,000 Mohawk and the $150,000 Ticonderoga for fillies and mares, two nine-furlong turf stakes originally scheduled for New York Showcase Day Oct. 24 at Belmont Park, have been moved back one day because of anticipated bad weather.
One main track record fell and a second was tied on a beautiful fall day of racing at Belmont Park Oct. 21.
Ronchalon Stable's Belle Allure notched her first stakes win in North America Oct. 21 at Belmont, getting up in the final jumps to edge Kristi With a K in the $106,500 Athenia Stakes (gr. IIIT).
After four months on the sidelines but not out of training, Johanna Louise Glen-Teven's millionaire, Proudinsky, returns to the grass wars Oct. 22 in the $100,000 Knickerbocker Handicap(gr. IIIT), a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park. Originally carded for Oct. 18, the race was moved when inclement weather forced racing off the grass in New York this weekend.
Because of a forecast for heavy rain in the New York area during the latter half of the week and weekend, the New York Racing Association moved the $100,000 Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIIT) to Oct. 22.
Due to heavy rain forecast for the New York area during the latter half of the week, The New York Racing Association has moved the scheduled feature race for Oct. 17, the $100,000 Athenia Stakes (gr. IIIT), to Oct. 21.
It's been a decade since D. Wayne Lukas had his last Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and it is no secret that the 74-year-old is itching for another one. The Hall of Fame trainer may have his best chance at collecting his elusive fifth Derby crown with 2-year-old star Dublin, who leads a field of six in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 10 at Belmont Park.
Eskendereya gave Todd Pletcher a clean sweep of the 2-year-old stakes at Belmont Park Oct. 3 when he split horses coming off the turn and bounded home to an impressive 7 1/4length win in the $154,500 Pilgrim Stakes.
Making her first start on dirt, Dad's Crazy took the lead turning for home and drew clear for a 3 1/4-length win against only two rivals in the $156,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (VIDEO) Oct. 4 at Belmont.
Le Grand Cru took advantage of a short field and a savvy ride by Jose Lezcano, rolling to a 1 1/2-length win in the off-the-turf $250,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
Tim Ice said again that he would nominate Summer Bird to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), as well as the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. I), both at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 7. He was confident about Summer Bird's ability to handle either surface, but said the Classic was the more likely choice.
Several trainers from the Oct. 3 races at Belmont indicated which way they were leaning for next month's Breeders' Cup.
Summer Bird continued his meteoric rise to the top of the Thoroughbred ranks, as he turned back fellow 3-year-old Quality Road to win the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) by a length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
Much like he did earlier in the year in the Carter Handicap (gr. I), Kodiak Kowboy ran down odds-on favorite Fabulous Strike in the final yards to claim the $400,000 Vosburgh (gr. I) by a half-length Oct. 3 at Belmont Park. It was the sixth graded stakes victory for the 4-year-old son of Posse.
Impressive 2-year-old Interactif, fresh off his commanding victory in the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIIT), returns as the one to beat in the $150,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
Cutting back to one mile for the first time in nearly two years, IEAH Stables' and Resolute Group Stables' Court Vision looks to turn a disappointing season around in the $250,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. IIT) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
Though his racing career began just seven months ago, Summer Bird has accomplished extraordinary things in a short period of time. The Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and Shadwell Travers (gr. I) winner will try to defy the odds once again when he faces older horses for the first time in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr. I) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
There was a time not too long ago that a meeting among the nation's best fillies and mares in the $600,000 Beldame (gr. I) was a distinct possibility. But with Rachel Alexandra on the sideline, Zenyatta staying in California for the Lady's Secret (gr. I), and Icon Project now heading to Keeneland's Juddmonte Spinster (gr. I), the Beldame has lost some of its appeal.
Christophe Clement has had many talented stakes winners during his years as one of the nation's leading turf conditioners, but the French-born trainer now admits Gio Ponti may be at the top of that list. On Oct. 3, the 4-year-old son of Tale of the Cat seeks his fifth consecutive grade I grass victory when he lines up for the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park.
TVG announced Oct. 1 it will expand and enhance its live programming and wagering options for the leading East Coast horseracing tracks, including Belmont Park and Keeneland.
Two-time champion Indian Blessing notched her first victory of the season and earned her way back to the Breeders' Cup World Championships by outdueling Sara Louise in a thrilling finish to win the $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) by a head Sept. 26 at Belmont Park. It was the Bob Baffert trainee's second consecutive win in the 6 1/2-furlong contest.
When Indian Blessing romped in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (gr. II) last year she was in the top form of her career and on her way to another Eclipse Award, this one as the nation's top female sprinter.
Paul Pompa Jr.'s D' Funnybone followed up his impressive Saratoga Special (gr. II) win with another no-doubt-about-it victory, this one in the $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) Sept. 19 at Belmont Park. The 2-year-old son of D'wildcat is sure to be one of the favorites for the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) later this fall, if he is entered.
Rutherienne has had some tough beats during a 10-race stretch in which she won just once but finished on the board in every one of those starts. Her improbable victory in the $107,000 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT) Sept. 19 at Belmont Park will make up for some of that disappointment.
Virginia Kraft Payson's multiple graded stakes winner Rutherienne has not been off the board her last 10 starts, but has just one win to show for her efforts. On Sept. 19 at Belmont Park, the 5-year-old mare will try to return to the winner's circle when she takes on six fillies and mares in the $100,00 Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Paul Pompa Jr. is reluctant to compare any of his young horses to 2008 dual classic winner Big Brown, but the New York based owner is not afraid to say that D'Funnybone could be something special.
Mark Stanley's Swift Temper, returning to action off less than two weeks rest, upset odds-on favorite Seventh Street in the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Sept. 12 in the mud at Belmont Park. The 1 3/4-length victory earned the 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway an automatic berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.
Godolphin Stable's Seventh Street looks to notch her third grade I win of the season and lock up a spot in the Breeders' Cup later this season when she faces five fillies and mares in the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Sept. 12 at Belmont Park.
- By Esther Marr
In mid-July, Ruben Beltran, Consul General of Mexico, paid a visit to Anna House, a childcare center located on the backstretch of Belmont Park for the working families at the New York racetrack.
Online wagering companies TVG and Betfair have pledged an additional $400,000 to the New York Racing Association to invite Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to participate in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park Oct. 3.
All-sources handle for the recently-concluded 64-day Belmont Park spring/summer meet decreased 13.9% from 2008 totals, in contrast with industry-wide decreases of 16.9% in June, and 10.5% through the first six months of 2009 compared to 2008 figures. Incessant rain throughout the meet resulted in 77 races taken off the turf and many more turf races which could not be carded.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez and trainer Gary Contessa continued to dominate the competition in New York. Dominguez ran away with the jockey title for the 64-day spring/summer meet at Belmont Park and Contessa edged Christophe Clement for the training title.
Funny Moon came charging down the lane under Alan Garcia and outran a host of rivals in deep stretch to win the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont Park July 25. It was the first graded stakes victory for the 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez set a modern-day record for victories at Belmont Park's spring/summer meet when he guided Michael Dubb and Robert Joscelyn's I've Got Speed to win the fifth race July 24, notching his 93rd winner for the meet.
Hightap, a winner of consecutive graded stakes for Steve Asmussen, will take on seven 3-year-old filly rivals in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 25 at Belmont Park.
Silver Timber, in a no-holds-barred speed duel with even-money favorite Heroes Reward from the very start, finally inched clear of his rival in upper stretch and held on for a narrow victory in the $156,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Belmont turf July 18.
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.
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