The 33-day Belmont Park Fall Championship meeting runs from September 10th to
October 24th. This meeting as usual will have a very large impact on the Breeders’ Cup. The first post
will be at
After the opening General Douglas MacArthur Stakes, the first weekend gets off to a huge start
with four Grade I stakes races. The Grade I Woodward, Grade I Man O’ War and the Grade I Gazelle will
all be contested on the first Saturday of the meeting. The Grade I Garden City Breeders’ Cup Handicap
will be run on Sunday September 12th.
The Woodward is worth $500,000 and is to be run at 1 and 1/8th miles. The probable favorite
for the race will be GHOSTZAPPER who has posted the highest Beyer speed figure of the year when he
won the Iselin at Monmouth. The field isn’t expected to be more than six horses and the main contender
in the race is expected to be MIDWAY ROAD. After trying the two turns and the route distance that race
put GHOSTZAPPER on the map for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. A win in this race puts him right at the top
of the list.
The Man O’ War also carries a purse of $500,000 and is to be run at 1 and 3/8th’s miles on the
turf. This race will have an impact on the Breeders’ Cup turf and is expected to attract Sword Dancer
hero BETTER TALK NOW. He will try to string together two Grade I wins if he can get the victory on
Saturday. Others that are expected to run are BALLINGARRY, EPALO, GREEK SUN,
REQUEST FOR PAROLE and possibly BALTO STAR. The winner of this race will have a say in the
Breeders’ Cup come October 30th.
The Gazelle has a purse of $250,000 and will be run at 1 and 1/8th miles and will be restricted
to three year old fillies. This race will feature the top three year old fillies who will try to make their mark
before moving onto the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
The Garden City Breeders’ Cup Handicap will be run on Sunday and will carry a purse of
$300,000. The race is scheduled for the turf and will be run at a distance of 1 and 1/8th miles for three
year olds fillies. This race is obviously a race that may produce a Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare turf
entrant. The following races are the other Grade I races to be held at Belmont this fall. Please note:
(All races are Grade I’s except for the Futurity and Kelso).
Man o' War
Garden City Breeders' Cup
Jockey Club Gold Cup
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational
Flower Bowl Invitational
In addition to these Grade I races Belmont will also host the New York Showcase day. On
October 23rd there will be seven New York bred Stakes races with the $250,000 Empire Classic the
highlight of the day.
The guaranteed pick four pools of $400,000 will be offered six times during the course of the
Belmont fall meet. NYRA will sponsor the guarantee four times during the meeting, September 11th,
18th, October 9th, and 23rd. NYRA will serve as the hub for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association
pick fours on September 19th and October 2nd.
Jockey John Velazquez is coming off a record setting Saratoga meeting and trainer Todd Pletcher
is coming off yet another dominating meeting. It will be interesting to see how well they do at this
meeting with all the top stock being put on display. Especially John Velazquez, who will undoubtedly
pick up some of Jerry Bailey’s mounts with Bailey out with a broken wrist. This should all make for
another great Fall Championship meeting; hope to see you there. Good Luck!