Saturday, October 24 2015

Empire Classic Handicap (NYB) quotes

Tom Albertrani, winning trainer of Empire Dreams (No. 8): "We always thought that the 1 1/8 miles might've been a little out of his realm, but he was so much the best today. It worked out perfectly. He came into the race doing really well, a little time off helped him as well. Manny [Franco] gave him a perfect ride, just nice and patient. There was a good pace in front of us and he just reeled them in. He's always run well at Belmont and we got what we needed today. We got the right pace. He loves this track, so it just worked out."

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Friday, October 23 2015

Empire Showcase Day serves as New York-bred prelude to Breeders’ Cup

ELMONT, N.Y. - The Saturday before the Breeders' Cup, Belmont Park will host Empire Showcase Day, a championship event of its own exclusive to New York-bred horses featuring eight stakes races worth $1.75 million led by the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap.

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Sunday, October 18 2015

Futurity (G2) Quotes

Kiaran McLaughlin, winning trainer of Annual Report (No. 2): "He got squeezed and dropped back but once he got going he was very impressive. That was a nice win. It ended up an excellent race because he went to the lead at Parx [but today] he took the dirt well and finished strong. We'll probably stretch him out before too long. I loved the way he moved through the turn."

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Friday, October 16 2015

Belmont Park Notes 10/16

• McLaughlin readies Breeders' Cup quartet
• Toner betting big on Recepta
• La Verdad, Palace on track for BC assignments

ELMONT, N.Y. - Preparations continued on Thursday and Friday for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin's Breeders' Cup string, which is led by Grade 1 winner Frosted, who breezed five furlongs in 59 seconds this morning at Greentree Training Center in Saratoga and will target the Grade 1, $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

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Pletcher pair set for G2 Matron

ELMONT, N.Y. - Sunday's feature graded stakes at Belmont Park, the Grade 2, $200,000 Matron for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs, will see a talented field of six each looking to make their mark in the juvenile division.

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Tuesday, October 13 2015

Belmont Park Notes

• Honor Code preps for BC Classic
• McLaughlin possible to send five starters to the Breeders' Cup
• Artemis Agrotera breezes :59 from the gate, in the hunt for BC Filly & Mare Sprint
• Tonalist leads Clement's Breeders' Cup contingent
• Fields taking shape for next weekend's graded stakes

ELMONT, N.Y. - Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey was well-pleased Monday morning after Breeders' Cup Classic candidate Honor Code worked a sparkling five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 over the main track at Belmont Park.

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Saturday, October 10 2015

Knickerbocker (G3) Quotes

John Velazquez, winning rider aboard Messi (No. 2): "When he ran for the first time at Belmont he was last at the quarter pole and he came running. Going a little shorter today I was a little worried about it, but they were going so slow and he was pulling all the way to the half-mile pole. I got stopped at the half-mile pole and I thought it would be hard not to let him go and catch up. Once he got going - at the quarter-mile pole - it took him a little bit to get going, but once he switched [leads] down the lane I thought he was going to get there. It was little by little, but he had a nice kick coming home."

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Friday, October 09 2015

Devine Aida looks for turnaround in Pebbles

ELMONT, N.Y. -Stronach Stables' Devine Aida looks to return to the winner's circle on Monday in the Columbus Day feature at Belmont Park, the $200,000 Pebbles for 3-year old fillies on the turf.

Making her first start for trainer Christophe Clement and coming off a five-month layoff, Devine Aida gets some class relief and returns to the turf after a fourth-place effort in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in March followed by a last-place finish in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan on May 15, her last outing under trainer Ramon Morales. Prior to that, Devine Aida was undefeated in two starts on the turf in Florida during the winter, including the Ginger Brew at Gulfstream, winning by a combined 10 lengths.

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Thursday, October 08 2015

Mr Speaker and Legendary square off again in G3 Knickerbocker

ELMONT, N.Y. - Drawing a talented field of 11 runners headlined by defending champion Legendary and multiple graded stakes winner Mr Speaker, Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Knickerbocker Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf at Belmont Park will look to establish some order in the older turf horse division on the East coast.

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Saturday, October 03 2015

Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) Quotes

Christophe Clement, winning trainer of Tonalist (No. 6): "We're back here, we won this race a year ago and it's great. I thought that even when he got beat this year, he never ran a bad race. He's a top class horse. We're back on top. I'm delighted for Mr. Evans. Obviously, he believed in us all along. And mostly I'm delighted for the horse, I've never lost my faith in the horse. I never thought he was disappointing, he was a bit unlucky for the year, but the way he won today was very impressive. I was very happy with the way Tonalist was travelling. He always looked very comfortable. I thought that at any stage of the race, he could've taken them on. He's back to what I always believed. He's a top class horse. It's a wonderful race, it's great to win it two years in a row. Every start this year, I wouldn't have traded my position with anyone else, even when we got beat. People forget about him, but I never forgot about him."

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Champagne (G1) Quotes

Dominick Schettino, winning trainer of Greenpointcrusader (No. 2): "He was training good up to the race. His first two races, even though he won, he had tight trips down inside. We talked about the track, being inside, I basically left it up to Joe. He got a little shuffled back at the break and the rest was up to Joe."

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Frizette (G1) Quotes

Steve Asmussen, winning trainer of Nickname (No. 5): "Alex Solis and Jason Litt purchased this filly as a yearling. I met with them this winter in Ocala during the sales about the possibility of getting to train for [Larry, Nancy and Jamie Roth]. We went out and looked at the 2-year-olds that they had. When this filly walked out of the barn, it was hard to believe she was one of the 2-year-olds. She just had that look and that feel about her from that moment. For things to come together so nice for our stable, the Roths, Alex and Jason - from thinking and looking at her and hoping to being in the position we are today, a Grade 1 winner of a race of the caliber of the Frizette, is wonderful. In the paddock, she looked like she ran.[Assistant] Toby [Sheets] has done a wonderful job with her. She's a beautiful mare who just ran a very good race. For her to go from three-quarters [to a mile] I definitely was concerned about the off going, mainly because of how big she is. That's a lot of weight to get through the mud. She looked so good coming into the stretch; very professional. I'm extremely proud of her."

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