Friday, September 26 2008
RACING CANCELLED AT BELMONT PARK TODAY
With Belmont Park hit with an inch and a half of rain overnight and the prediction that two more inches, accompanied by high winds, are on the way today, the New York Racing Association has cancelled today’s live racing program. Belmont Park will remain open for simulcast wagering and the NYRA Rewards account wagering Telebet option will be available as well.
Today’s cancellation will also enable NYRA to keep Belmont Park’s track and turf courses in the best condition possible for Saturday’s race card, which features five Grade 1 stakes, topped by the 90th running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. With a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, reigning Horse of the Year Curlin would become the first American thoroughbred to top $10 million in career earnings.
Thursday, September 25 2008
AWAITING HISTORY IN THE JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP
Through history, the Thoroughbreds who became America’s leading money-earner rank amongst the greatest racehorses of all time, from Man o’War to Seabiscuit, Citation to Kelso, Alysheba to Cigar.
Saturday at Belmont Park, reigning Horse of the Year Curlin seeks to add his name atop that exclusive list and become American’s first $10 million horse in the 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational.
FILLIES LOOK TO GRAB A SHARE OF THE SPOTLIGHT ON SATURDAY
They’re fast. They’re determined. They’re gifted. And Saturday at Belmont Park, both Ginger Punch and Mauralakana (FR) take another step toward championship honors as the respective favorites in the Grade 1, $600,000 Beldame and the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational on the turf.
The nine-furlong Beldame (Race 6, 3:40 p.m.) and the Flower Bowl, at 1¼ miles (Race 7, 4:13 p.m.) are but two of five Grade 1 races on the day, headlined by the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, in which reigning Horse of the Year Curlin goes for a repeat victory and a chance to become the first American horse to break the $10 million barrier. Also on Saturday’s card are the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational and the $400,000 Vosburgh at six furlongs.
J BE K LOOKS FOR HIS OWN STAR POWER IN VOSBURGH
He may be overshadowed by his famous stablemate, reigning Horse of the Year Curlin, but on Saturday, Zayat Stables’ 3-year-old speedster J Be K is looking to generate some buzz of his own in the 69th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.
The leading East Coast prep for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on October 25, the Vosburgh (race 8, 4:46 p.m.) is part of a five-race Grade 1 extravaganza at Belmont, the centerpiece of which is the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, in which Curlin will attempt to become the first American horse to break the $10 million barrier. Also on Saturday are the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, the $600,000 Flower Bowl for fillies and mares on the turf and the $600,000 Beldame, also for fillies and mares.
STRIKE A DEAL COULD SAY `CHEESE!’ IN TURF CLASSIC WIN PHOTO
For years, Alan Goldberg forged a reputation as a dangerous trainer, one who does not ship in for races on a whim but on a real chance for a win.
And Saturday afternoon, he hopes to live up to his reputation when he sends Jayeff B Stable’s Strike a Deal to Belmont Park for the 32nd running of the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at a mile and a half on the Widener Turf Course.
Although the star of the day is defending Horse of the Year Curlin and his quest to become the first American horse to earn $10 million when he goes to post later in the day in the 90th running of the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, Strike a Deal has a big chance to upstage the day if he can win the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and end an eight-race losing streak. The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic will be race 9 (5:19 p.m. Eastern) on the 11-race card and will be the third leg of a guaranteed $500,000, all Grade 1 Pick 4.
MSG PLUS to telecast the JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP
New York, NY, September 25, 2008 – MSG Plus, in partnership with New York Racing Association (NYRA), announced today that for the first time the network will telecast the Jockey Club Gold Cup live from Belmont Park on Saturday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. The frontrunner for this year’s 90th running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup is Curlin, arguably the top thoroughbred in the world, who is chasing one more big win to become racing’s first $10 million horse.
“On the heels of televising the Woodward Stakes, we are excited to provide racing fans with live coverage of the Jockey Club Gold Cup on MSG Plus this Saturday,” stated Lydia Murphy-Stephans, executive vice president of programming and production, MSG Media. “This continues our commitment to offer New York area sports fans coverage of a variety of first-rate sporting events, and adds to our expanding lineup of premier horse racing programming.”
Wednesday, September 24 2008
CURLIN ARRIVES AT BELMONT PARK
Stonestreet Stable’s Curlin, the defending Horse of the Year, arrived at Belmont Park Tuesday afternoon after a “very uneventful” van ride from Saratoga Race Course.
With a victory in Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, the 4-year-old Smart Strike colt will become American racing’s all-time leading money winner and the first American Thoroughbred to reach $10 million in career earnings. The winner’s purse of the Jockey Club Gold Cup is $450,000.
Curlin arrived at Belmont Park at 1:15 p.m. and was in his barn 15 minutes later. After some time in his stall and one turn around the shedrow, he was given a bath. Playful in the autumn air, Curlin’s dappled chestnut body lit up underneath the September sun.
Tuesday, September 23 2008
CURLIN HAS FINAL TUNEUP FOR RECORD-BREAKING ATTEMPT
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin had a “perfect” workout Monday morning in his final move before attempting to become the first American racehorse to break the $10 million mark in Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational at Belmont Park.
Under regular exercise rider Carlos Rosas, the 4-year-old Stonestreet colt covered a half-mile in an easy 51.85 on the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Race Course. Curlin went in fractions of 13 and 25.70 while galloping out five furlongs in 1:06.15 over the fast training track.
“Perfect,” said Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen. “It was his normal work before he runs. He got over the ground really well and we are all excited about Saturday.”
Monday, September 22 2008
LONESOME GLORY RECAP
Harold A. Via Jr.’s Good Night Shirt, tracing his own hoofprints that lead to a championship season in 2007, returned to Belmont Park on Sunday afternoon and successfully defended his title in the second running of the Grade 1, $150,000 Lonesome Glory Steeplechase at two and a half miles over national fences.
Last year, he followed his Lonesome Glory victory with a fourth in the Grand National at Far Hill, N.J., but then won the Colonial Cup at Camden, S.C. to win the Eclipse as 2007’s top steeplechase horse.
This year, the 7-year-old Concern gelding won the Georgia Cup and Iroquois and made the Lonesome Glory his fourth straight Grade 1 victory. And this was despite a four-month layoff and spotting his rivals from four to 20 pounds as the 158-pound highweight in the Lonesome Glory.
BELMONT PARK NOTES, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008
Shadwell Stable will be represented Saturday in the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh by Argentina-bred Lucky Island, whose four-race win streak was snapped when he stumbled at the break and lost all chance as the favorite in the Grade 1 Forego Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.
The four-year-old son of Lucky Roberto worked a half-mile in 49.13 this morning at Belmont Park’s fast training track and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s assistant, Artie Magnusson, reported he is “doing better than ever.”
“First Defence ran really big in the Forego, but it was unlucky for us,” said Magnusson.
Sunday, September 21 2008
INDIAN BLESSING BLOSSOMS AGAIN IN GALLANT BLOOM
If the idea was to give Indian Blessing a strong race, the idea lasted for about five furlongs Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park. But suddenly, as if she had grown tired of Zada Belle’s company, Indian Blessing pulled away to an easy 6¼-length victory in the 15th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap for fillies and mares at six and a half furlongs.
The 3-year-old Indian Charlie filly has now won eight of 10 career starts, and Saturday’s winner’s share of $90,000 lifted her to more than $2 million in lifetime earnings. The champion juvenile filly of 2007, Indian Blessing is likely headed to Santa Anita for the $1 million, seven-furlong Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Saturday, October 24.
IT’S YOUR TURN, CURLIN!
In the days leading to next Saturday’s 90th running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, two words are going to be used over and over again: history and class.
Both words can be combined into one word – Curlin.
Stonestreet Stable’s reigning Horse of the Year could become the first American Thoroughbred to reach $10 million in earnings. Curlin has earned $9,796,800 and trails only Cigar, who earned $9,999,815, as racing’s top money-earner. The winner’s share of the Jockey Club Gold Cup purse is $450,000, and that would vault Curlin to the top of the money pile. Second ($150,000), third ($75,000) or fourth ($37,000) would leave Curlin short of Cigar’s mark.