Thursday, July 23 2009


SARATOGA SIMULCAST AT BELMONT PARK


ELMONT, N.Y. – While The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) moves its base of operations from Belmont Park to Saratoga Race Course beginning July 29, fans and horse players can catch all the upstate action right here on Long Island through Labor Day.

For all race days during the duration of the Saratoga meet (Wednesday – Monday, July 29 – Sept. 7, 2009) the first and second floor of the Belmont Park Clubhouse, including the Belmont Café and the backyard, will be open for simulcast wagering. On Saturdays and Sundays only, the North Shore Terrace on the fourth floor of the Belmont Clubhouse will also be open. For credentialed NYRA Rewards members and guests only, the Players Club rooms located in the Paddock Dining Area on the second floor will be open, though guest maximums may apply on certain dates.





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Tuesday, July 21 2009


RACHEL ALEXANDRA ‘ON TARGET’ FOR HASKELL


Stonestreet Stables’ and Harold McCormick’s Preakness and multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Rachel Alexandra put in her third workout over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course Monday morning since winning the Mother Goose more than three weeks ago.

With regular exercise rider Dominic Terry up at 6 a.m., Rachel Alexandra breezed six furlongs in 1:13.88, the best of six workouts at that distance for the morning.





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Sunday, July 19 2009


“BARGAIN” SILVER TIMBER TAKES JAIPUR


ELMONT, N.Y. – Silver Timber, already a successful claim for trainer Chad Brown and owner Michael Dubb, made it even more worthwhile Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park when he pulled clear of favored Heros Reward in the stretch and went on to a 1½-length victory in the 26th running of the Grade 3, $156,00 Jaipur Stakes.

Ridden by Eibar Coa, the 6-year-old gelded son of Prime Timber dueled saddlecloth-to-saddlecloth through fractions of 21.71 and 44.53 with the even-money choice, then edged away to hit the wire in 1:07.60 for the six furlongs over the firm turf to earn his first stakes victory.





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Friday, July 17 2009


BELMONT PARK NOTES: Friday, July 17, 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – A field of six 3-year-old fillies appears likely for next Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, the final stakes race at Belmont Park before racing moves up the Northway to Saratoga Race Course.

Edward P. Evans’ Casanova Move, Godolphin Stable’s Devotee, Alan Brodsky’s Don’t Forget Gil, Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III’s Funny Moon, Ron Winchell’s Hightap and Puglisi Racing’s Livin Lovin are probable starters in the 1 1/4 mile race, which will be run for the 93rd time. Tri-Bone Stables’ What a Pear is questionable.





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Thursday, July 16 2009


MEXICAN CONSUL GENERAL TO VISIT ANNA HOUSE


ELMONT, N.Y. – The Honorable Ruben Beltran, Mexico’s consul general in New York, will visit the Belmont Child Care Association’s (BCCA) Anna House on Wednesday, July 22, to thank the BCCA, The New York Racing Association, Inc., and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) for the work these organizations do to support the Mexican community in New York.

Ambassador Beltran will arrive at Anna House on the Belmont Park backstretch between 11 and 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. After a tour of the facility and brief remarks, there will be a reception open to the Mexican community of both Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack. Following the reception, the Ambassador will spend the afternoon at Belmont Park, where a race will be named in honor of the Mexican Consulate.





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Wednesday, July 15 2009


JERKENS SEEKS FIFTH JAIPUR WIN ON SATURDAY


ELMONT, N.Y. – No trainer has enjoyed as much success in Belmont Park’s Grade 3, $150,000 Jaipur as Hall of Famer H. Allen Jerkens, who has won the turf sprint four times in the past ten years.

Jerkens, who will saddle Judson L. Streicher’s Le Grand Cru in Saturday’s 26th running of the Jaipur, first won the race in 1999 with Jacobson and Harbor View’s Notoriety, again in 2003 with Joseph V. Shield’s Garnered, and in 2005 and 2007 with Joseph Allen’s Ecclesiastic.





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Sunday, July 12 2009


GIO PONTI AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME IN MAN o’WAR


ELMONT, N.Y. – After a wide trip all the way around, Gio Ponti edged away through the final sixteenth to win the 51st running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Man o’War by 1 ¾-lengths under red-hot jockey Ramon Dominguez Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park.

In hand leaving the first turn, the four-year-old son of Tale of the Cat sat well off the rail through slow early fractions of 25.23 and 49.99 set by longshot Musketier (GER). After circling five-wide entering the stretch, Gio Ponti quickly closed the gap and took over the lead from pacesetting Musketier, who held on to finish second. The final time for the mile and three-eighths was 2:12.56 over a firm inner turf course.





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Saturday, July 11 2009


NYRA TESTING PADDED RIDING CROPS


ELMONT, N.Y. – Jockeys at Belmont Park this week began testing padded crops designed to be gentler on horses, with the goal of fully implementing the new equipment by the start of The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s six-week Saratoga meeting on July 29.

Changes to the design of the crop include a new maximum length of 30 inches and maximum weight of eight ounces. The “popper” – the end of the crop that touches the horse – has been lengthened to seven inches and cushioned to absorb shock.





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Thursday, July 09 2009


Industry Groups Announce Pledges to Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation


The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and many members of the Jockeys’ Guild who ride at its three racetracks, along with the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and The Jockey Club, have jointly pledged more than $100,000 in financial support in 2009 to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), which provides humane retirement options for Thoroughbreds at the end of their racing careers, it was announced today.

NYRA will contribute $50,000 while NYTHA and The Jockey Club will donate $25,000 each. All 29 of the regular NYRA-based riders have pledged to donate, through a voluntary checkoff program, $1 from each mount.





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GIO PONTI STRETCHES OUT IN MAN o’WAR


ELMONT, N.Y. – Saturday’s 51st running of the Grade 1, $500,000 Man o’War has drawn able invaders from across the United States and Europe, but local turf talent is coming up strong in the 1 3/8-mile contest over Belmont Park’s inner turf course. Run as the day’s seventh race, the Man o’War is the opening leg of The New York Racing Association, Inc.’s $350,000 guaranteed late pick four on races 7-10.

Castleton Lyons Farm’s Gio Ponti enters the race off back-to-back Grade 1 scores for trainer Christophe Clement in the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 6 and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap at Santa Anita in March.





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Tuesday, July 07 2009


BELMONT PARK NOTES: Monday, July 06, 2009


ELMONT, N.Y. – Rachel Alexandra put in her first workout this morning over the Oklahoma Training Track at Saratoga Race Course since winning the Grade 1 Mother Goose in a record-setting performance eight days ago.

Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen, and his lead pony Dakota guided Rachel Alexandra, with exercise rider Dominic Terry aboard, onto the training track at 5:50 a.m. The sensational three-year-old filly owned by Jess Jackson breezed four furlongs in 50.67 seconds over a track labeled as “fast.” Rachel Alexandra took the first quarter in :25 and galloped out five furlongs in 1:05.





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Monday, July 06 2009


MUNNINGS OVERPOWERS ELDERS IN TOM FOOL


ELMONT, N.Y. – Munnings took command at the top of the stretch after a rail-skimming move under jockey John Velazquez and ran off to an impressive victory over three rivals Sunday afternoon in the 35th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont Park.

The three-year-old son of 2004 champion sprinter Speightstown, only the fourth sophomore to win the race, sat behind early fractions of 22.10 and 44.47 set by Riley Tucker, then darted through an opening on the inside to grab the lead and rolled home 2¼ lengths clear of the pacesetter.





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