The marquee race day of the 2012 Belmont fall meet is Saturday, September 29, with a card featuring five Grade 1 races, highlighted by the $1 million TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational for older males at 1 ¼ miles on the main track. Additional Grade 1 affairs supporting the meet’s most prestigious race are the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational for turf routers, the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for filly and mare turf routers, the $400,000 Beldame Invitational for filly and mare dirt routers, and the $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational for dirt sprinters. Also on September 29 is the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap for dirt milers.
Kicking off the Grade 1 menu for the Belmont fall meet is the $300,000 Garden City for 3-year-old fillies on Saturday, September 15.
Notable additions to the Belmont fall meet are the Grade 2, $200,000 Futurity for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on the dirt and the Grade 2, $200,000 Matron for 2-year-old fillies. Both races, which were run during the Belmont spring meet in 2011, will be contested on Sunday, September 30.
The best New York breds will take center stage on Saturday, October 20 for New York Showcase Day, always one of the most popular days of the Belmont fall meet. Headlined by the $250,000 Empire Classic for dirt routers, the day features seven stakes races for New York breds with purses totaling $1.15 million.
Eleven graded races during the Belmont fall meet are Breeders’ Cup Challenge events, with the winners receiving an automatic starting position in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup Championship race, pre-entry and entry fees paid, and a travel allowance of $10,000 for North American runners and $20,000 for international runners when they start in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The eligible races during the Belmont fall meet are the Gallant Bloom Handicap, the Beldame, the Flower Bowl, the TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the Kelso, the Vosburgh, the Foxwoods Champagne, the Frizette, the Miss Grillo, and the Pilgrim.
The Aqueduct fall meet features 11 graded stakes races, highlighted by the prestigious Grade 1, $350,000 Cigar Mile on Saturday, November 24. The supporting card for the Cigar Mile includes the Grade 1, $350,000 Gazelle for filly dirt routers, the Grade 2, $250,000 Remsen for 2-year-old dirt routers, and the Grade 2, $250,000 Demoiselle for 2-year-old filly dirt routers.
Notable additions to the Aqueduct fall stakes schedule are the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua for juveniles going a mile on the dirt and the Grade 3, $150,000 Tempted for juvenile fillies. Both races, which were run during the Belmont fall meet in 2011, are scheduled for Sunday, November 4.