Saturday, September 26 2015
Joe HirschTurf Classic (G1) Quotes
Chad Brown, winning trainer of Big Blue Kitten (No. 3), runner-up Slumber (No. 5) and fifth-place finisher Shining Copper (No. 7): "I thought they both [Big Blue Kitten and Slumber] ran terrific. Today, Big Blue Kitten got the better of Slumber at a mile and a half. I'm proud of both horses. The race pretty much went the way I expected. Shining Copper has run admirably all summer as the pacemaker for us; nearly won a couple of Grade 1s. I didn't want to deter from our plan of him being the pacemaker, and we stuck with that plan. He did his job and set up the race for Big Blue Kitten and his stablemate. Maybe with 70 yards to go, I was a little concerned, but he had enough. Very impressive effort today."
Vosburgh (G1) Quotes
Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Rock Fall (No. 7): "He's blessed with a lot of natural talent but to go along with that he's got a lot of fight, which is great. There are a lot of similarities between him and his sire [Speightstown] and the way they train. You wouldn't necessarily know they're as good as they are. Watching in the mornings, he can be a little idle, but you just have confidence that come game time he'll show up. He takes care of himself well. I was a little worried, I didn't quite overdo it with training coming into this race. I wanted to get this one and still have something for the Breeders' Cup, so I was hoping I didn't cut it too close and he pulled it out. It's a fine line between running well in the prep and hoping you have something left for the Breeders' Cup. He's been winning races since March and seven in row so we just want to continue ticking over."
‘Surprises’ abound in talented Bongard, Gimma fields
ELMONT, N.Y. - New York-bred 2-year-olds will take the stage at Belmont Park in a pair of stakes races on Sunday, the $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard and $150,000 Joseph A. Gimma for fillies, supporting the day's feature race, the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo, and demonstrating that there is no shortage of homegrown talent in this year's crop of juveniles from the Empire State.
Pilgrim (G3) Quotes
Matthew Schera, winning owner of Isotherm (No. 5): "We bought him in the Keeneland September sale last year. We all loved him. Everyone can see he's one of the prettier horses around. I kept telling everyone that he trains better than he ran last time, but he still won so we kind of expected something more today and it looks like he came out and he did it. We even think he likes the dirt too, so we'll see down the road for that. As long as he comes out good and he's healthy, we'll go to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf."
Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) Quotes
Linda Rice, winning trainer of La Verdad (No. 2): "I think she needed the race. She's been carrying a little extra weight with having had that issue at Saratoga. We missed a little training. I thought she broke just a tip flat-footed today. She's usually much quicker away from there, but she hadn't run in a while. I've had to work hard to get her here and we lost some time, but I think this race will do her a lot of good. She'll move forward and will be harder to beat next time."
Jose Ortiz, winning jockey aboard La Verdad (No. 2): "She broke well. She took the lead easy. I had a little pressure from the outside, but after that she settled down and she was fine."
Beldame (G1) Quotes
Kiaran McLaughlin, winning trainer of Wedding Toast (No. 2): "[The layoff was] not much of a concern if you saw her worktab. Last week, she worked three-quarters [of a mile] in 12, so she's been fit. She just had a little foot issue and we had to skip the [Grade 1] Personal Ensign [at Saratoga] and then, thinking about it, we thought this was a better spot anyway because she loves the one turn. As good form as she's in, she'll be able to handle two turns [in the Breeders' Cup Distaff]. She's won at two turns. But this race was here and it's a Grade 1, so it worked out well. I don't say it very often, but I asked him [Jose Lezcano] not to give her a hard race if he didn't have to because she looked that good on paper. We have a big race in five weeks. Couldn't have asked for better, it really went perfect."
Thursday, September 24 2015
Belmont Park Notes - Thursday, September 24
• Enduring Twilight Eclipse targets G1 Turf Classic
• McLaughlin fires with a pair of first-out winners
• Perfect Title seeks graded stakes score in Turf Classic
• Bob Le Beau wins G1 Lonesome Glory 'Chase, Overwhelming takes Entenmann
ELMONT, N.Y. - Since the summer of his 2-year-old year, West Point Thoroughbreds' Twilight Eclipse has been the enduring star of trainer Tom Albertrani's barn. Now 6, the Purim gelding will make his 28th career start in Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Wedding Toast returns in G1 Beldame
ELMONT, N.Y. - Godolphin Racing's Wedding Toast, a dominating winner of the Grade 2 Ruffian and the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps this spring, will find herself back amid comfortable surroundings this Saturday at Belmont Park, taking on five rivals for her racing return in the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame.
Sunday, September 20 2015
Noble Damsel (G3) Quotes
Jimmy Toner, winning trainer of Recepta (No. 5): "I think the key to her development this year is more maturity than anything. She was kind of washy and sort of flighty last year and couldn't take too much. We gave her the winter off and brought her back in the spring, and she's taken every step that we've wanted her to take. I was a little disappointed with her race in Monmouth, but what are you going to do? Since that time, she's responded to everything we've done. We'll probably come back in the Athenia [Grade 3, October 17, Belmont Park]. We mapped out a plan for her early on: the De La Rose, which was restricted - worked out perfect. Wanted to get a graded stake - worked out perfect. She'll have two more starts this year, and if she comes back next year bigger and stronger I think she can develop into something special."
Saturday, September 12 2015
Sentiero Italia victor in Sands Point; gives Rosario 5th winner
ELMONT, N.Y. - Godolphin Racing's Sentiero Italia was not to be deterred as rain began to fall at Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon as she put away the competition with the greatest of ease, romping to a 3 ¾-length victory in the Grade 2, $500,000 Sands Point.
Friday, July 10 2015
A Lot leads field of six in Manila
ELMONT, N.Y. - Amerman Racing LLC's A Lot will look to repeat his Paradise Creek success when he takes on five rival sophomores going a mile on the Widener turf in the $100,000 Manila Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park. The graded stakes-placed son of Tapit picked up his first black type score in the seven-furlong Paradise Creek on May 23 last time out, romping to 5 ¾-length victory under Johnny Velazquez.
Friday, July 03 2015
Texas Red returns in G3 Dwyer
ELMONT, N.Y. - The Grade 3, $500,000 Dwyer - to be run on the second annual Stars & Stripes Day at Belmont Park - will feature the return of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red, who has not raced since finishing second in the Grade 2 San Vicente on February 1 at Santa Anita Park.