Saturday, October 04, 2008
BELMONT PARK NOTES, Friday, OCtober 3, 2008
The upcoming three-day Columbus Day weekend at Belmont Park features a trio of stakes races for fillies and mares on the turf, beginning with the 31st running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Athenia Handicap at a mile and one sixteenth on Saturday, October 11.
Heading the field is Stuart S. Janney III’s multiple-graded stakes winner, Criminologist, who was up in the final strides to take the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Handicap over a soft turf last month.
Sunday’s feature is the second running of the $100,000-added Xtra Heat at six furlongs, with Castletop Stable’s Diamondrella; Richard Englander’s House Quest; Robert E. Masterson’s Sheets, and Hickory Plains’ Farm’s Trouble Maker listed as probable starters. David A. Ross’s Libor Lady is questionable.
Monday’s Columbus Day attraction is the 16th running of the $100,000-added Pebbles at a mile, in which Darley Stables’ Raw Silk, winner of the Grade 2 Sands Point earlier this year, will try to rebound from her fifth-place finish behind Backseat Rhythm in the Grade 1 Garden City.
Also expected are North Shore Racing’s According to Plan; Stuart S. Janney’s Forest Trail; Faisal Salman’s Jazz Jam; Fares Farm’s Mousse au Chocolat; High Five Racing Stable’s One Man to Beat; William Backer’s Sales Tax, and Zayat Stables’ Zee Zee.
With post time of 1 p.m. ET, October 13, Columbus Day, is the only Monday with live racing during the Fall Championship meet. Racing will resume Thursday, October 16 as Belmont Park will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday, October 14 and 15.
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On Saturday, October 18, it’s a New York celebration. Seven New York-bred stakes races, with purse money totaling $1 million, are highlighted by the $250,000 Empire Classic and a $500,000 guaranteed all-stakes Pick 4.
Family fun is guaranteed as well, with a pumpkin patch, hay rides, pumpkin carving and a scarecrow hunt all part of the free festivities in Belmont Park’s beautiful backyard from noon until 4 p.m.
From 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the festival tent, a premium sampling area offers whiskey and wine tasting, hand-rolled cigars, massages, and live music, all free of charge!
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Racing with a French twist comes to Belmont Park on Sunday, October 5, with the simulcast of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from Longchamp Racecourse, with a post time of 10:40 a.m.
Advance wagering on the race will be available beginning Saturday, October 4 at all windows and Telebet. Also available through Telebet from Longchamp will he the Grade 1 Prix de l’Opera (post time 10 .am.) and the Prix Barzen Handicap (post time 12:05 p.m.).
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