After 4-5 favorite Starrer unseated jockey Chris McCarron just after the start, 11-1 Tweedside went on to win Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), giving sire Thunder Gulch a sweep of Belmont Park's 1 1/2-mile main track stakes races for 3-year-olds. McCarron was uninjured in the mishap.
The number of 1 1/2 mile dirt races in America for quality horses can be counted on one hand. Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, the final leg of New York's Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies is run at this majestic distance, just like its male counterpart, the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Sharp Performance, rising to the stakes ranks after winning an allowance and maiden race in consecutive starts, scored a one-length victory Sunday in the $150,000 Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont Park.
Jockey Mike Luzzi broke his left ankle when thrown by his mount in the gate before the third race at Belmont Park Sunday.
England's Legend, fully recovered from a splint problem, beat Gaviola by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday in the $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) for fillies and mares at Belmont Park.
Gaviola has seen her share of bad luck in her past few outings, but the 4-year-old daughter of Cozzene is looking to change that in Saturday's $250,000 New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Godolphin's E Dubai avenged his second-place finish to Hero's Tribute in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) with an impressive 5 3/4-length victory in Sunday's $150,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park. The winning time marks the fastest running of the Dwyer since the race was switched to its present distance in 1994.
After trailing the field through the opening half-mile, Centennial Farms' King Cugat rallied while five wide on the second turn to win the $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) by a half-length Saturday at Belmont Park. The winning time marks the second-fastest running of the Bowling Green behind only With Approval's course record time of 2:10 1/5 in 1990.
Since 1997, trainers Christophe Clement and Bill Mott have each racked up 15 stakes a piece on the Belmont Park turf. And each will enter Saturday's $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont looking to break the tie. Clement will bring Forbidden Apple and Mott will bring King Cugat for the 1 3/8 mile event.
Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great won the $500,000 Suburban Handicap (gr. II) in wire-to-wire style on Sunday at Belmont Park, defeating Lido Palace by 2 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile race.
Ashland Stakes (gr. I) winner Fleet Renee, who subsequently disappointed as the favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), made amends for her Oaks performance with a 5 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $250,000 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.
S.J. Bee Stable's Buster's Daydream reprised his success in the Flash Stakes (gr. III) with a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's $106,300 Tremont Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
Critical Eye swept to the lead in the final strides to win Saturday's $250,000 Hempstead Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Jostle at Belmont Park. The win marks the second career grade I victory for the New York-bred daughter of Dynaformer.
Beautiful Pleasure, the champion older mare of 1999, will make her first start of the year in Saturday's grade I Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park where the 6-year-old mare will face seven rivals in the 1 1/16 mile contest, including stablemate Darling My Darling. Beautiful Pleasure races for John Oxley while Darling My Darling races for his wife, Debby Oxley, both are trained by John and Donna Ward.
Tweedside drew away to a six-length win in the $107,800 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park Sunday as favored Platinum Tiara finished third.
Dat You Miz Blue dueled outside of Dream Supreme through the early going and then drew away to a 6 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $106,800 Vagrancy Handicap (gr. III) at Belmont Park.
Proud Man earned his fourth grade III stakes win of the year Saturday, inching to the lead late in the stretch to win the $114,600 Hill Prince Stakes by a neck at Belmont Park.
- By Tom LaMarra
The success of a charity promotion on the "Imus in the Morning" radio show has led National Thoroughbred Racing Association officials to consider a similar endeavor tied to this year's Breeders' Cup championship Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.
Under highweight of 122 pounds, Tracy Farmer's Albert the Great broke well and continued on to win Sunday's $250,000 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) by 3 1/4 lengths at Belmont Park.
This week's Belmont Stakes notes from Belmont Park.
An industry-funded study concludes that video lottery terminals in New York will not only save racetracks, but pump at least $1 billion into the state's coffers to support education.
The Sheepshead Bay Handicap, switched from turf to a muddy main track, was won by Critical Eye, who romped by 7 1/2 lengths.
Belmont Park's Triple Tiara series for 3-year-old fillies begins Friday with the 71st running of the one-mile, $200,000 Acorn Stakes (gr. I), which will likely feature Carl F. Pollard's champion Caressing. Caressing completed her major preparation for the Acorn with a five-furlong work over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Critical Eye has won on turf, mud, going short and going long, but the only question remaining is just how long can she go. Critical Eye will be tested in Saturday's 11-furlong $150,000 Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park.
Weather wreaked havoc on the lone graded turf sprint on the New York racing calendar, as the $100,900 Jaipur Handicap was forced off the turf and run on the muddy main track on Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, Affirmed Success completed the seven furlongs in 1:21.69 to earn the hard-fought victory in the scratch-plagued race.
Jockey Pat Day earned three victories at Churchill Downs on Sunday to move to within one win of the 8,000 mark.
Hero's Tribute outlasted E Dubai through a protracted speed duel to earn his first career stakes win in Saturday's $200,000 Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park. The 3-year-old son of Sea Hero completed the one-turn, 1 1/8-mile race in 1:47.47 on a sloppy track in earning his first win in a race longer than seven furlongs.
Michael Tabor's Buckle Down Ben, a possible entrant for the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), has been entered to run in a one-mile allowance race at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Earlier this week, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said the son of Devil His Due would be trained up to the 1 1/2-mile third leg of the Triple Crown.
Pebo's Guy, an 11-1 shot, won the $86,625 Kingston Handicap at Belmont for the second time in three years Sunday, scoring by 1 1/2 lengths over John Paul Too. The Kingston was the third leg of a Pick Four wager which returned $253,234.
In the classic film Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn portrays a modern day princess who both resists her stringent obligations and yearns for the pedestrian pleasures of everyday life. In an effort to personify the players atop New York's current group of stakes fillies and mares, and Apple of Kent who is poised to join them, you wouldn't be taking great liberty by invoking the image of Hepburn's demure but spirited character into their respective profiles.
Trainer Shug McGaughey will saddle two in Saturday's $200,000 Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares going one mile at Belmont Park.
Jockey Joe Bravo earned his fourth win on Saturday's Belmont Park card by guiding Overbrook Farm's homebred Katz Me If You Can to a 3/4-length victory in the $150,000 Genuine Risk Handicap (gr. II). The D. Wayne Lukas-trained 4-year-old filly carried lightweight of 113 pounds and stopped the timer in 1:09.55 for the six furlongs on a fast track.
Champion Caressing and the lightly raced Victory Ride are being pointed toward the $200,000 Acorn (gr. I, June 8) by their respective connections.
Outofthebox, preparing for $250,000 Flamingo Stakes (gr. III), worked five furlongs over a sloppy Gulfstream Park strip Sunday in 1:00 flat, handily. Gotham Stakes (gr. III) third-place finisher Voodoo worked three furlongs in :36 2/5 while breezing on a Belmont Park training track listed as "good."
When he left California in early January to spend the winter in Dubai, trainer Eoin Harty hinted he might split his stable when he returned in April. He confirmed that on Thursday.
A silhouette rendition of the New York skyline is featured in the official logo for this year's Breeders' Cup championship day, scheduled for Oct. 27 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The logo will be used by the national and international media outlets covering the event and will appear in Breeders' Cup advertising, promotions and on officially licensed merchandise. Belmont Park will also utilize it on all event-related materials.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- News of Affirmed's death on Jan. 12 reminded me just how much one horse can elicit emotions that change your life.
Belmont Park offered record purses during its 33-day meet and took in a slightly higher total commingled handle than last year, but on track, it couldn't compete with Major League Baseball's Yankees and Mets.
Under a dense blanket of fog, all three of trainer Christophe Clement's Breeders' Cup hopefuls worked on the turf Thursday morning at Belmont Park. New York Racing Association clockers caught Forbidden Apple (Mile) going a half-mile in :49. Stablemates Ciro and Craigsteel, both bound for the Turf, each worked five-eighths, galloping out three-quarters.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, a model of consistency himself, sent three of his eight Breeders' Cup hopefuls to the main track at Belmont Park Wednesday morning, and the trio came back with identical results. Hap (Mile) and Vision and Verse (Classic) both breezed five furlongs in 1:01 2/5, with King Cugat (Mile) going a half in :48 3/5 and galloping out in -- you guessed it -- 1:01 2/5.
Volponi earned his first career win Sunday at Belmont Park, upsetting formerly undefeated 4-5 favorite Baptize in the $113,300 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Robert Spiegel's homebred Ruff rallied from the back of the field of eight 2-year-old fillies to win the $111,300 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) by three lengths Sunday at Belmont Park.
Hall of Fame trainer Philip Johnson will saddle two horses in Sunday's $100,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT), Belmont Park's closing day co-feature race.
Ogden Phipps' Dancinginmydreams, who broke down approaching the stretch during Saturday's Frizette Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park, is recovering following extensive surgery on her broken right leg Saturday night at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center.
Kenneth Taylor's Xtra Heat handed Gold Mover her first career defeat, winning the $110,100 Atarita Stakes (gr. II) by a neck Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Mark Johnston, the John E. Salzman-trained Xtra Heat completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.71 on a fast track.
Centennial Farms' King Cugat launched a powerful closing run at the top of the stretch to catch pacesetter Mandarin Marsh at the wire, winning the $200,000 Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) by a nose Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Jerry Bailey, the Bill Mott-trained King Cugat completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.63 on firm turf.
Peter Callahan's Fistfite moved up to the lead on the turn and edged away in the stretch to win the $108,800 Cowdin Stakes (gr. III) by 2 1/4 lengths Sunday at Belmont Park. Under Richard Migliore, Fistfite completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.63 on a fast track.
Delaware Township earned his first graded stakes win Saturday at Belmont Park, defeating Bevo by 1 1/2 lengths in the $250,000 Forest Hills Handicap (gr. II).
Albert the Great became Nick Zito's first Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner when the 3-year-old drew off through the stretch to win the $1 million race by six lengths Saturday at Belmont Park. Earlier in the day, Zito saddled his third consecutive Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner.
Winning the Beldame in stakes-record time, Riboletta defeated Beautiful Pleasure in a pre-Breeders' Cup showdown between the two top mares from the West Coast and the East Coast.
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