Belmont Park

NYRA Handle Tops $1.8 Billion in 2020

Total handle on the 157 race days held at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course meets in 2020 was $1,813,935,091, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday. The average daily handle of $11,553,727 was a 19% increase over 2019. Since New York racing resumed June 3 through the end of 2020, all-sources handle totaled $1,586,344,888, a $7,059,402 increase over the same period in 2019. Average daily handle from June 3 through the end of 2020 was $13,443,601, marking a 16% increase over the same period in 2019. With...

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Brown, Ortiz Take Belmont Titles

Chad Brown earned his ninth consecutive leading trainer title at the Belmont Park Fall Meet, which concluded Sunday. Brown won 22 races during the 27-day stand. Jose Ortiz won 40 races to take the leading rider title for the first time. "I'm just happy I can go out there and do what I love the most and be successful. I work very hard for it and I'm happy to be getting good opportunities," Ortiz said. "It means a lot. Belmont is a great place to race and I think it's...

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War Dancer Sires First Stakes Winner in Awad

Step Dancer became the first winner for his freshman sire (by War Front) when he led home a one-two for War Dancer on debut Sept. 4, and he gave the MGSW turf router a first black-type victory Saturday. Third in the GII Pilgrim S. Oct. 3, the bay worked his way to the rail from the seven post while traveling towards the back half of the field early here. He snuck a bit closer heading for the home turn, and remained inside for the stretch run as he waited for...

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Oct. 25 Insights

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency BROWN & KLARAVICH UNVEIL LATEST EUROPEAN IMPORT 5th-BEL, $80K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6fT, 2:49p.m. Klaravich Stables' 400,000gns TATOCT purchase MILESTONE PAYMENT (IRE) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) makes her career bow in New York for trainer Chad Brown Saturday. Out of SW & MGSP Boastful (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}), the gray is a half-sister to stakes winner Stage Play (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}). Their dam is a half to Irish Highweight Lesson in Humility (Ire) (Mujadil), who is the dam of GSW & GISP Tiger Moth (Ire)...

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Pletcher Breeders' Cup Troops Gearing Up at Belmont

Trainer Todd Pletcher breezed a quintet of Breeders' Cup contenders over the past two mornings at Belmont Park. Halladay (War Front) (Mile), winner of the GI Fourstardave H. last out Aug. 22 at Saratoga, worked five-eighths in company Friday in 1:00.60 on the fast dirt training track. He was scratched out of the GI Shadwell Turf Mile Oct. 3 at Keeneland with a hind leg infection. "I thought it was a good work. We normally don't work him in company, but seeing as we're a little rushed for time between...

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After Raising Purses, NYRA Hoping For Strong Winter Run at Aqueduct

It's racing during the frigid winter months at a blue-collar racetrack, so Aqueduct may not always be the easiest sell. But New York Racing Association (NYRA) officials are expecting a strong five-month run once the track opens Nov. 6, counting on robust purses to convince owners and trainers to choose the Big A over options like Gulfstream and Oaklawn. Typically, purses decrease once the fall meet at Belmont is over. Racing at Aqueduct handles less than it does at Belmont and there is a drop off in the quality. But...

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Empire Maker Filly Comes Out Running for Shug

2nd-Belmont, $80,000, Msw, 10-18, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:10.84, ft, 3 1/2 lengths. CAFE SOCIETY (f, 2, Empire Maker--Full Tap, by Tapit), let go at 10-1 from a 7-2 morning line for a barn that doesn't win with many firsters and doesn't train many 2-year-old sale grads, proved best of a promising-looking group Sunday at Big Sandy. Away alertly to press favored second timer Exact (Competitive Edge) through a :22.67 opening quarter, the bay challenged for the lead through a :46.08 half. She put away that foe by midstretch, and ran...

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Performer Returns Running at Belmont

3rd-Belmont, $67,900, Alw (C), Opt. Clm ($80,000), 10-17, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:33.93, my, 1 3/4 lengths. PERFORMER (c, 4, Speightstown--Protesting {GSP, $213,050}, by A.P. Indy) made light work of his first start since taking the GIII Discovery S. last November, galloping home as easy as you please in a one-mile Belmont allowance Saturday afternoon. Quickly into stride beneath Joel Rosario, the attractive chestnut colt raced a touch keenly from third while hugging the rail through solid opening splits. Rosario decided he could wait no longer rounding the turn and allowed the...

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Decorated Invader Turns Back for Hill Prince

West Point Thoroughbreds, William Sandbrook, William Freeman and Cheryl Manning's Decorated Invader (Declaration of War), a close fifth as the 4-5 favorite in the 1 3/16-mile Saratoga Derby last time Aug. 15, resurfaces in Sunday's GII Hill Prince S. at Belmont Park. Last term's GI Summer S. winner and unlucky GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf fourth-place finisher kicked off his sophomore campaign with three straight ultra-impressive victories, including Belmont's GII Pennine Ridge S. at this same one-mile distance June 20 and Saratoga's GII National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame...

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Sunday's Racing Insights: Well-Bred Juveniles Debuting All Over

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 2nd-BEL, $80K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, post time: 12:55 p.m. ET Several well-bred firsters will look to run down the likes of morning line favorite Exact (Competitive Edge), who was second over track and trip Sept. 18. Allen Stable and Shug McGaughey unveil Cafe Society (Empire Maker), a $135,000 KEESEP yearling turned $475,000 OBSAPR 2-year-old off a :10 flat breeze. Dam Full Tap (Tapit) was carrying Cafe Society when she brought $375,000 at the 2017 Keeneland November sale. The three-time winner, who was third in...

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Friday's Insights: Full-Brother to Constitution Debuts at Belmont

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 8th-Belmont Park, Msw, $63k, 2yo, 1 1/16m, post time: 4:14 p.m. Bridledwood Farm and Don Alberto's homebred CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (Tapit), a full-brother to multiple Grade I winner Constitution, debuts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Bridlewood and Don Alberto partnered to purchase the gray colt's dam Baffled (Distorted Humor), in foal to Tapit, for $3.5 million at the 2016 Fasig November sale. Don Alberto bought out the parnership for $1.8 million at last year's Fasig November sale. The mare's yearling filly by Medaglia d'Oro sold to Mandy...

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The Week in Review: HBPA Says 'Ramrodded' Integrity Act Could Get Challenged As 'Unconstitutional'

If the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) gets passed by the United States Senate and then signed into federal law, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) could launch a legal challenge against it based on the alleged unconstitutionality of the independently overseen anti-doping, drug testing, and racetrack safety standard programs that the new federal law would create. Leroy Gessmann, who serves as both the NHBPA president and as Arizona HBPA's executive director, told commissioners at the Oct. 8 Arizona Racing Commission (AZRC) meeting that "this thing is...

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