Saturday, June 11 2011
MISSION APPROVED WINS SHOCKER IN MANHATTAN
ELMONT, N.Y. – Eleven months after nearly knocking off champion Gio Ponti in the Grade 1 Man o’ War, 7-year-old Mission Approved returned to turn the trick Saturday, wiring the field at odds of 21-1 to take the Grade 1, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park.
Claimed by trainer Naipaul Chatterpaul one year ago to the day for $35,000, the bay son of With Approval became one of the most improbable winners of the Manhattan in its 110-year history.
TRUE NORTH PRESENTED BY EMIRATES AIRLINE (G2) RECAP; Saturday, June 11, 2011
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trappe Shot burst through an opening along the rail straightening for home and onto an 8 ½-length victory over This Ones for Phil in Saturday’s 33rd running of the Grade 2 True North Handicap Presented by Emirates Airline at Belmont Park.
A 4-year-old chestnut son of Tapit ridden by John Velazquez, Trappe Shot completed the muddy six furlongs in 1:08.86 after tracking long shot Khan of Khans through an opening half-mile in 45.43. The win gave trainer Kiaran McLaughlin his second stakes score on the Belmont Stakes undercard, having upset the Grade 1 TVG Acorn one race earlier with It’s Tricky.
IT’S TRICKY PULLS UPSET IN TVG ACORN
ELMONT, N.Y. – It’s Tricky barreled into the lead at the top of the stretch and held off heavy favorite Turbulent Descent to upset Saturday afternoon’s 81st running of the Grade 1, $300,000 TVG Acorn on the Belmont Stakes undercard at Belmont Park.
Ridden by Eddie Castro, the 3-year-old Mineshaft filly stayed just off early fractions of 22.97 and 45.90 set by Savvy Supreme, then moved up eagerly on the turn and forged to the front with Turbulent Descent in hot pursuit. The 3-4 favorite came within striking distance with a furlong to go, but It’s Tricky dug in to pull clear through the final yards for the 3 ¾-length victory.
Friday, June 10 2011
BROOKLYN HANDICAP (G2)/POKER (G3) RECAP: Friday, June 10, 2011
ELMONT, N.Y. – Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott swept Friday’s graded stakes at Belmont Park, finishing first and second in the Grade 2, $150,000 Brooklyn Handicap Presented by Ram with Birdrun and Drosselmeyer and capturing the Grade 3, $100,000 Poker with Courageous Cat.
Birdrun seized the lead entering the clubhouse turn and maintained a clear advantage while setting fractions of 49.71, 1:13.88, and 1:38.21 while being shadowed by Drosselemeyer, who moved in tandem with Alma d’Oro to challenge for the lead with three furlongs remaining. The pacesetter had plenty in reserve, however, turning back those bids and widening his lead in the stretch to win by 3 ¾ lengths.
BROOKLYN/BELMONT DAILY DOUBLE WILL PAYS
ELMONT, N.Y. – The following are the $2 Brooklyn/Belmont Daily Double payouts for Brooklyn Handicap winner Birdrun (No. 4) with:
DOUBLE PICK 6 CARRYOVER INTO BELMONT STAKES CARD
ELMONT, N.Y. – The Pick 6 at Belmont Park went unhit for the second consecutive card, creating a $149,402.44 carryover into Belmont Stakes day, which features a $1 Million Guaranteed All Graded Stakes Pick 6.
Tomorrow’s Pick 6 begins at 2:34 with race 6, the Grade 1 TVG Acorn. It continues with the Grade 2 True North Presented by Emirates Airline, Grade 2 Woody Stephens Presented by VisitNassauCounty.com, Grade 1 Foxwoods Just a Game, and Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan, and culminates with the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes.
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Friday, June 10, 2011
ELMONT, N.Y. – One day out from a start in the 143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, trainer Graham Motion was looking for virtually nothing to happen with his Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness runner-up, Animal Kingdom.
Driving back to his barn after Animal Kingdom turned in an easy gallop once around the main track at 9 a.m., Motion expressed something bordering on relief.
Thursday, June 09 2011
BELMONT PARK NOTES: Thursday, June 9, 2011
ELMONT, N.Y. – With trainer Graham Motion back at his home base in Fair Hill, Md., assistant John Panagot oversaw the morning exercise of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom on Thursday in preparation for the 143rd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes.
Exercise rider David Nava rode Animal Kingdom onto the main track at 8:45 a.m., just after the renovation break, while Panagot watched through his binoculars. Starting at the chute gap, Animal Kingdom strode into a gallop on the backstretch behind two horses from David Donk’s barn used to help him focus. He went an easy mile.
NYRA TO OFFER $1 MIL GUARANTEED P4 AND P6 ON BELMONT STAKES DAY
ELMONT, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) is offering a $1 Million Guaranteed All Graded Stakes Pick 4 and a $1 Million Guaranteed All Graded Stakes Pick 6 on Belmont Stakes Day, Saturday, June 11, along with a two-day Daily Double on Friday, June 10, linking the Brooklyn Handicap, presented by Ram, with the Belmont Stakes.
The $1 Million Guaranteed Pick 6 will begin with race 6, the Grade 1 TVG Acorn at 2:34 p.m. EDT, followed by the Grade 2 True North, presented by Emirates Airline (3:15 p.m.), the Grade 2 Woody Stephens, presented by VisitNassauCounty.com (3:59 p.m.), the Grade 1 Foxwoods Just a Game (4:43 p.m.), the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan (5:39 p.m.), and concludes with the 143rd running of the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes at 6:35 p.m.
MONMOUTH-BASED RULER ON ICE TARGETS BELMONT STAKES
OCEANPORT, N.J. * Trainer Kelly Breen says Ruler on Ice is the best he’s ever been * bloodwise, that is * which could make the Monmouth Park-based runner a longshot threat in Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes, final jewel of racing’s Triple Crown.
The gelded son of Roman Ruler, who finished third in the Sunland Derby (G3) in March, and then ran second in the Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico as a prep for the Preakness, has not run since that May 7 race because of “poor blood,” according to Breen.
Wednesday, June 08 2011
TRUE NORTH (G2) AND WOODY STEPHENS (G2) ADVANCES; for Saturday, June 11
TRAPPE SHOT, CALIBRACHOA LOOK TO EXTEND STREAKS IN TRUE NORTH; TRAVELIN MAN CUTS BACK FOR WOODY STEPHENS
ELMONT, N.Y. – Trappe Shot and Calibrachoa put their winning streaks on the line when they square off in the Grade 2 $250,000 True North Handicap Presented by Emirates Airline on Saturday at Belmont Park.
The six-furlong True North for 3-year-olds and up is one of two graded sprint stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard, joined by the Grade 2 $250,000 Woody Stephens Presented by VisitNassauCounty.com for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs. Both will be contested on Belmont’s main track.
GIO PONTI HEADS THE FIELD IN HIS THIRD MANHATTAN
ELMONT, N.Y. – One of the most accomplished racehorses in recent history, Castleton Lyons Farm’s Gio Ponti returns to the turf at Belmont Park on Saturday to run in his third straight Grade 1, $400,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap.
The 139th running of the historic grass race, run at 1 ¼ miles on the Inner Turf Course, is race No. 10 on the card, the third leg of the $1 Million Guaranteed All Stakes Pick 4 that culminates with the Belmont Stakes.