Expected for the 137th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Champagne at a mile are A.P. Cardinal, Break Water Edison, Cribnote, Girolamo, Gone Astray, Hello Broadway, Munnings, Reynaldothewizard, Ventana and Vineyard Haven. Questionable is Flying Pegasus.
Vineyard Haven, a son of Lido Palace, won Saratoga’s Grade 1, seven-furlong Hopeful on September 1 for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who is also part-owner.
That race was practically gift-wrapped for Vineyard Haven, as Cribnote went extremely wide at the quarter-pole. Still, Cribnote, a son of Read the Footnotes, managed to hold second over Munnings.
Bon Jovi Girl exits a huge win at Delaware Park, where she was a 9 ¾-length winner in an off-the-turf event at a mile and a sixteenth. Collegiate was third to the impressive Mani Bhavan in the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga, and Persistently was beaten two lengths by Doremifasolatido here in the Grade 2, seven-furlong Matron on September 13.
Under the “Win and You’re In” format, the winners of the Champagne and Frizette will automatically qualify, respectively, for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies next month at Santa Anita.
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Also on Saturday, Belmont Park will host the 59th running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Jamaica Handicap for three-year-olds at nine furlongs on the inner turf.
Court Vision, Gio Ponti, Roman Tiger, Sailor’s Cap, Thou Swell and Vacation are probable.
Court Vision won the Grade 2 Remsen as a two-year-old at Aqueduct last fall and goes back to the turf in search of his first victory of 2008. Gio Ponti defeated Court Vision by a nose in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby on July 19 at Colonial Downs. Roman Tiger has been in the thick of all his races, and was beaten a half-length in Delaware Park’s Grade 3 Kent in his last start.
Sailor’s Cap won the Grade 3 Colonial Turf Cup over soft ground, while Thou Swell was second in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga on August 4. Vacation was runner-up in Saratoga’s Grade 3 Saranac on August 31.
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On Sunday, October 5, Belmont Park’s feature race will be the 139th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Jerome Handicap for three-year-olds at a mile.
Cool Coal Man, third behind Kentucky Derby/Preakness winner Big Brown and stablemate Coal Play in the Grade 1 Haskell at Monmouth Park, is likely here, as are Harlem Rocker, winner of Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Withers; Aqueduct’s Grade 1 Wood Memorial winner Tale of Ekati; Visionaire, winner of Saratoga’s Grade 1 King’s Bishop and Aqueduct’s Grade 3 Gotham, and You and I Forever, who was beaten a neck by Mambo in Seattle.
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Sunday is also the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe from Longchamp Racecourse, France-Galop, France.
Because post time for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is early this year, Belmont Park will offer advance wagering on Saturday, October 4 on all four races from Longchamp, including the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera (Sunday, 10 a.m.) and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Sunday, 10:40 a.m..) at all windows on-track and through Telebet.
Sunday, October 5, fans will be able to bet through Telebet, which opens at 9:45 a.m.
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The Nassau and Queens Dental Society will offer free oral cancer screenings at Belmont Park on Friday, October 3, from noon to 4 p.m. in the backyard picnic area adjacent to the paddock tote board.
In the event of rain, the screenings will be held on the first floor grandstand.