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.
A New York state government panel said Belmont Park can support a sprawling casino, hotel, retail, and housing development to bring jobs and money to the state.
Nominations for the 2009 Triple Crown of racing the 135th Kentucky Derby (gr. I), 134th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and 141st Belmont Stakes (gr. I) are being taken from horsemen with promising for 3-year-olds.
New York Gov. David Paterson is proposing to permit a casino at Belmont racetrack, a move he believes will raise $370 million in a franchise fee payment to the deficit-ridden state.
The Race Track Chaplaincy's New York division has teamed up with Darley USA, a group of local breeders and owners, and a concerned group of Saratoga residents to bring some Christmas joy to approximately 100 people connected to the backstretch community at Saratoga Race Course.
The New York Racing Association will raise the purses on 13 grade I races offered at Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga in 2009. The hikes are part of the 2009 NYRA stakes schedule, which was approved by NYRA's Board of Directors at a meeting Dec. 3. It now awaits approval from the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.
The 37-day 2008 Belmont fall meeting, which ended on Oct. 26, produced mixed business results. All-sources handle on NYRA races was $356.3 million, compared with the 2007 figure of $346.5 million, for an increase of 2.8%. Because the 2008 meet included four more days than the 2007 meet, there was actually an 8.3% decline in the equivalent daily average all-sources handle figure.
Sunshine for Life, sent off as the longest shot in a field of seven fillies and mares, took advantage of a soft pace and uncontested lead, going gate-to-wire while pulling off a shocking upset in the $110,300 Athenia Handicap (gr. IIIT) Oct. 11 at Belmont Park.
The nation's financial crisis has stepped up efforts to prod state government in New York to select an operator for the long-stalled video lottery terminal casino at Aqueduct, and launched a renewed effort to bring VLTs to Belmont Park.
In an awesome-looking performance, Vineyard Haven won the $400,000 Champagne (gr.I) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park. The victory would likely stamp him as an early favorite for the $2-million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr.I) Oct. 25, if he was being pointed to the Oct. 25 race at Santa Anita.
Vineyard Haven, Cribnote, Munnings and Break Water Edison, the top four finishers, respectively, in the Hopeful Stakes (gr.I) last month at Saratoga, meet again in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes (gr.I) at Belmont Park Oct. 4.
Castleton Lyons' Gio Ponti, who has established himself as one of the top 3-year-old turf runners in the nation this year, looks to return to his winning ways when he takes on six sophomores in the $250,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park.
Trainer Tom Albertrani is looking forward to taking big steps with Gemswick Park and Royal Ballade in the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (gr.I) Oct. 4 at Belmont Park. Gemswick Park, owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk, and the Darley-owned Royal Ballade, are coming off open-length maiden wins at Belmont Sept. 14. Both fillies led from gate-to-wire.
Already a graded stakes winner overseas, Godolphin Stable's Tam Lin became a grade II winner on American soil when he wore down Forefathers in upper stretch and sped away to a convincing 4 1/4-length victory Sept. 28 in the $250,000 Kelso Handicap on the Belmont turf.
John Confort and Albert Weiss' Our Golden Dream will try to follow up on her impressive debut when she takes on a full field of 12 juvenile fillies in the $150,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 1 on the Belmont turf.
Jockey John Velazquez reached a major milestone at Belmont Park Sept. 28 with his 4,000th career victory when he guided Rogue Agent to a six-length victory in the muddy first race.
Curlin made racing history by winning the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (gr.I) at Belmont Park in New York Sept. 27. Curlin's victory, which was worth $450,000, made the colt the richest North American-based Thoroughbred of all-time and the first to vault past the $10-million mark.
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