The first stakes offerings of Aqueduct’s Fall Meet will be this weekend.

On Saturday, fillies and mares will got a mile and a half on the turf in the 52nd running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Long Island Handicap.

Expected here are Haras du Mezeray’s Astrologie (FR) and Shake the Moon (GER), Darley Stables’ Criticism (GB), William L. Clifton Jr.’s Hostess, Lawrence Goichman’s J’Ray, Alain Falourd’s La Hernanda (IRE), Peter Harris’ Marzelline (IRE), Triple Diamond Stable’s Sentimental Union and Jane Schosberg’s Sunshine for Life.

On Sunday, two-year-olds will be featured in the 33rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Nashua, and two-year-old fillies will shine in the 33rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000-added Tempted. Both races are at a mile.

Likely starters for the Nashua are Eli Gindi’s Break Water Edison, Puglisi Racing’s Forty Thieves, Vinery Stables’ Friesan Fire, Phipps Stable’s Gone Astray, Elizabeth J. Valando’s Hello Broadway, Susan Moore’s Prince Charming, Roddy J. Valente’s Rip Rap and Peachtree Stable’s Viscount.

In the Tempted, probables are Darley Stable’s Devotee, Melnyk Racing Stable’s Gemswick Park, Puglisi Stable’s Livin Lovin, TYB Stable’s Morning Chatter and Andrew Farm’s Obsequious, while Coffee in Bed is questionable.

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Tale of Ekati, winner of the Grade 1 Wood Memorial here in the spring, will try to get another Grade 1 victory this fall when he goes to post in the $300,000 Hill ‘n’ Dale Cigar Mile on November.

Tale of Ekati continues to train well at Belmont Park, where he worked a half-mile in 46.72 handily on the fast main track on Wednesday morning for trainer Barclay Tagg.

Kodiak Kowboy, winner of Belmont Park’s Grade 3 Sport Page Handicap last Saturday, is also pointing to this race, as are Visionaire and Chatain.

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Soon, the holiday season will be upon us and one of the sweet traditions of the backstretch is the Belmont Child Care Association’s annual shopping event of children of backstretch workers at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

On December 13, the BCCA will host is seventh annual event, which gives children a chance to be the gift-givers.

Donated gifts, such as toys and clothing for infants, toddlers and teenagers, books and adult clothing, especially warm clothing, are set up at Anna House, Belmont Park’s day care facility, as a “store.” When a child arrives at Anna House, he or she has a chat with Santa Claus, and then with the help of a volunteer, they make a shopping list for their family. They then pick out their presents, which are then wrapped and tagged by Santa’s helpers for Christmas delivery.

Last year, more than 350 children shopped for their families and even more are expected this year.

To donate new items for the shopping events or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact the BCCA at (516) 488-2103, or send to:

Belmont Child Care Association

Shopping Event

2150 Hempstead Turnpike

Elmont, NY 11003

AMEX, VISA and Master Card are all accepted.

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Pick the Pros & Ponies starts up again at Aqueduct on Sunday, November 2.

It’s a free contest, in which contestants must correctly pick the winners of four designated National Football League games as well as the winners of races 3 and 5 on the day’s card for the chance to win a $1,000 prize. All entries must be in by 1 p.m.

REMINDER: Daylight Savings Time ends, so be sure to turn clocks back one hour on Saturday night.