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.
All-sources handle declined 2.2% during the recently-concluded Belmont Park Spring/Summer meet, the New York Racing Association announced July 23.
Racing at Belmont Park was canceled July 20, which would have been the final day of the spring/summer meet.
Godolphin Racing's Music Note put on an awesome display in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 19 Belmont, taking over at the quarter-pole and romping to an 11-length win for her second consecutive grade I score.
The coupled entry of Music Note and Little Belle, both grade I winners trained by Saeed bin Suroor, head a short field of five in the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) July 19 at Belmont, but don't count out Acoma, a good-looking Empire Maker filly who enters off a three-race win streak.
Last year's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) winner Kip Deville has a clear edge in class over his four contenders in the $100,000 Poker Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 13 at Belmont, but will have to carry 125 pounds, which is nine to 11 more than his rivals.
ESPNews will televise the 49th running of the $500,000 Man o'War Stakes (gr. IT) July 12 at Belmont Park, featuring the turf debut of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
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.
Lucky Island showed his greed for speed in the $161,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II), grabbing the lead after bursting out of the starting gate from the one hole and rolling to a 4 1/4 length victory, without a serious challenge, July 4 at Belmont Park in New York.
Joseph V. Fields Jr.'s homebred mare Any Limit hit the winner's circle for the first time in nearly 17 months July 4 at Belmont, getting the early jump on six rivals, then holding off Wild Gams in a determined stretch drive to narrowly win the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II).
Bob Baffert offered no excuses for his prized filly Indian Blessing during her last two races, the only two losses of her career. In fact, Baffert says those two setbacks should only help the daughter of Indian Charlie going forward. Her next test is the $250,000 Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 5 at Belmont.
Looky Yonder took down Dream Rush in the May 25 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II), but the 4-year-old daughter of Johannesburg will have to deal with a whole new set of tough customers in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) July 4 at Belmont, including Rite Moment, who has been nearly flawless this season.
Shadwell Stable's Lucky Island, an Argentine-bred colt that has won three straight, including the May 10 Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III), will face the stiffest competition of his short career July 4 in the $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
IEAH Stables' Frost Giant gamely battled back along the rail after being passed by Solar Flare at the top of the stretch, re-rallying to post a shocking 40-1 upset win in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park.
Two-time graded stakes winner A.P. Arrow will make his first start since finishing fourth to Curlin in the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), as he takes on seven intriguing rivals in the $400,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park.
A three-time graded stakes winner, including a dominating five-length triumph in the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) last month, Brereton Jones' Proud Spell will face just three fillies in the $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) June 28 at Belmont Park none of them with any more than an allowance win to their credit.
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.
Robert Scarborough's Mauralakana looks to increase her value as a future broodmare even more when she seeks her fourth stakes victory of the season June 21 in the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
New York officials announced the evening of June 15 a deal to avert the closure of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp. by having the state take over the entity. The move could be a prelude to a statewide consolidation of all OTB corporations.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch, keen on defending her champion older female title of 2007, made it look easy in the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap with a commanding victory in the Belmont Park fixture June 14.
A well-matched group of turf sprinters will each seek their first graded stakes score June 15 at Belmont Park, as 10 go to post in the $150,000 Jaipur Stakes (gr. IIIT). The six-furlong contest will be held on the inner turf.
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.
One day after Big Brown was eased in his attempt to win the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) and the Triple Crown as the 3-10 favorite, one of his co-owners said there is nothing physically wrong with the Boundary colt.
Slightly more than 12 hours after saddling Da' Tara to an upset victory in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), trainer Nick Zito was back at his barn at Belmont Park the morning of June 8 to oversee his stable.
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.
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