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Belmont to host two 'Super Saturdays' of Breeders' Cup preps

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic will anchor the September 26 card, with the Jockey Club Gold Cup the centerpiece on October 3 (Courtesy of NYRA)
The 38-day fall championship meet at Belmont Park will feature not one but two "Super" Saturdays, with 11 graded stakes worth $4.2 million on September 26 and October 3. In all, 40 stakes worth $10.6 million will be offered during the meet, which runs from Friday, September 11, through Sunday, November 1.

A pair of "Win and You're In" races for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be held at Keeneland Race Course on October 30-31 will anchor the card on September 26: the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) in the Turf division and the $400,000 Vosburgh (G1) in the Sprint division.

Also on the card are the $400,000 Beldame (G1) for fillies and mares, the Gallant Bloom H. (G2) for filly and mare sprinters and the $200,000 Pilgrim (G3) for juveniles on the turf.

The lead-up to the Breeders' Cup will continue on the following Saturday, October 3, with the centerpiece of the fall meet, the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). The 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup, which offers automatic entry and a fees-paid trip to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), is one of four "Win and You're In" offerings on the card.

Rounding out the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races are the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (G1) for turf distaffers, the $500,000 Champagne (G1) for two-year-olds and the $400,000 Frizette (G1) for two-year-old fillies. The $400,000 Kelso H. (G2) at a mile and the $500,000 Hill Prince (G3) for three-year-olds on the turf complete the graded stakes on the card.

"With the Breeders' Cup scheduled at the end of October, it afforded us the opportunity to present two blockbuster days of racing instead of one," said Martin Panza, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations for the New York Racing Association. "We anticipate both to be 'must-see' days at Belmont Park this fall."

The spotlight will shine on the Empire State on Saturday, October 24, when the top New York-breds gather at Belmont Park to complete in eight stakes races worth $1.75 million, highlighted by the $300,000 Empire Classic at 1 1/8 miles.

Fans can watch and wager on all the Breeders' Cup action at Belmont Park and the simulcast center at Aqueduct Racetrack on October 30 and 31, with live racing action at Belmont to include the $200,000 Turnback the Alarm (G3) for fillies and mares on Friday and the $200,000 Bold Ruler (G3) at seven furlongs on Saturday.

The meet will conclude with the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie for filly and mare sprinters on Sunday, November 1.

Thoroughbred action moves to Aqueduct beginning Wednesday, November 4, for the Big A's fall meet, the centerpiece of which is Cigar Mile Day on Saturday, November 28.

Joining the $500,000 Cigar Mile H. (G1) will be the $300,000 Comely (G3) for three-year-old fillies and a pair of prestigious Grade 2 events for juveniles, the $300,000 Remsen and the $300,000 Demoiselle for fillies, both at 1 1/8 miles.

Immediately preceding Cigar Mile Day will be the $250,000 Fall Highweight H. (G3) on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, and the $300,000 Go for Wand H. (G3) for fillies on mares on Friday, November 27.

Kicking off the meet will be the first two of 27 stakes worth $4.8 million: the $200,000 Nashua (G2) for two-year-olds and the $200,000 Tempted (G3) for two-year-old fillies, both at a mile.

The $200,000 Long Island (G3) for turf fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles is slated for the first Saturday of the meet, November 7, with the $150,000 Discovery (G3) for three-year-olds on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, and the $250,000 Red Smith (G3) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf to be run on Saturday, November 14.

Following a winter recess from Monday, December 21 through Friday, December 25, racing will resume on Saturday, December 26 with the $100,000 Damon Runyon for two-year-old New York-breds and the $100,000 Gravesend for sprinters.

The final stakes of the year will be the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for state-breds on Thursday, December 31.

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Breeders' Cup nomination discounts available to July 15

Once horses of racing age are nominated, they remain Breeders' Cup eligible for the duration of their careers (Courtesy of Breeders' Cup Ltd.)
Owners of horses of racing age currently not nominated to the Breeders' Cup program can nominate their runners at discounted rates on or before Wednesday, July 15, for competition in this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships, October 30-31 at Keeneland Race Course. All horses must be nominated in order to compete in any of the 13 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup World Championship races.

The nomination discounts are as follows:

  • Two-year-olds by a nominated Breeders' Cup stallion can join the program for US$12,000; this one-time nomination fee makes the racehorse eligible for its entire racing career to the Breeders' Cup.
  • Three-year olds and up that were foaled in the Northern Hemisphere and sired by a nominated stallion will receive a 50 percent discount off normal racehorse nomination fees and three year-olds and older born in the Southern Hemisphere can nominate for 25 percent of their regular nomination fee.
  • All nominated racehorses are eligible for the Breeders' Cup World Championships and any other racing program of the Breeders' Cup for as long as they race.
  • Following the July 15 deadline, the price for all non-nominated runners reverts back to the standard racehorse nomination fee of US$100,000 or more until October 20, when all runners must be pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup World Championships races.

    Owners may nominate their horses of racing age online at or by calling the Breeders' Cup Racing department at (859) 514-9422.

    Owners of horses or racing age by non-nominated stallions can also take advantage of discounted prices before July 15. Two-year-olds by non-nominated stallions can join the program for US$18,000; Northern Hemisphere three-year-olds and older for US$100,000 and Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds and older for US$50,000.

    Below is the complete list of nomination prices and deadlines.

    Horses of Racing Age sired by Nominated Stallion and Nominated before July 15:

  • Two Year Olds: $12,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $50,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $25,000 (US)
  • Horses of Racing Age Sired by Nominated Stallion and Nominated after July 15:

  • Two Year Olds: $100,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
  • Sired by NON Nominated Stallion and Nominated before July 15:

  • Two Year Olds: $18,000 (US) 
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $100,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $50,000 (US)
  • Sired by NON Nominated Stallion and Nominated after July 15:

  • Two Year Olds: $200,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Northern Hemisphere-bred): $200,000 (US)
  • Three Year Olds & Up (Southern Hemisphere-bred): $200,000 (US)
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    In brief

    At Santa Anita Monday, Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile) worked a half-mile in :47 3/5 in preparation for the August 2 Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth. For more, including video of the work, visit the blog post...

    The New York Racing Association lauded action taken Monday by the New York State Gaming Commission to provide enhanced wagering opportunities for bettors. The New York State Gaming Commission adopted two new rule changes on Monday: decoupling entries in stakes races of $50,000 or more, and adding superfecta wagering to the betting menu of races with coupled entries. The amendments are designed to boost handle by making races more palatable to the betting public. Currently, entries are only decoupled in races worth $1 million or more. The new rule will encompass all stakes races run on the NYRA circuit. "The New York Racing Association is very pleased with the Gaming Commission's decision to decouple entries in stakes races as it could increase field size, wagering opportunities and wagering revenue," said Christopher Kay, Chief Executive Officer and President. "Given additional betting interests and corresponding added handle, significant economic benefits may flow to horsemen, the New York Thoroughbred Breeders and Development Fund, the State of New York through taxes and regulatory fees, and to NYRA." The superfecta amendment could have an even greater impact on handle, according to Kay, and is modeled after the Gaming Commission's existing rule regarding trifectas in races with coupled entries...

    The sixth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit will be streamed live in its entirety Wednesday at The complete agenda for the summit, which is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) and conclude at 5 p.m., is available at the same link. The live stream will also be accessible from a link at Underwritten and organized by The Jockey Club and Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, the summit is being hosted by Keeneland Association in the Keeneland sales pavilion in Lexington, Kentucky. It is free and open to the public. The summit will feature participation from industry leaders including Dr. Larry Bramlage; equine medical directors Dr. Rick Arthur, Dr. Scott Palmer and Dr. Mary Scollay; Dr. Tim Parkin, an equine epidemiologist from the University of Glasgow and a consultant to the Equine Injury Database; and Dr. Mick Peterson, executive director, Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. Among the topics to be covered are racetrack surfaces, the equine and jockey injury databases, continuing education, and post-mortem programs. The event will be emceed by Donna Barton Brothers...

    While Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) winner Golden Horn (Cape Cross) stole the spotlight last weekend when running away with the Eclipse S. (Eng-G1), trainer John Gosden was busy Monday revealing plans for his other' 2015 classic winners: Irish Derby (Ire-G1) victor Jack Hobbs (Halling) and Prix de Diane (Fr-G1) scorer Star of Seville (Duke of Marmalade). Jack Hobbs, who emerged from the shadows of Golden Horn to take the Irish Derby June 27, has the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) as his long-term goal, and Gosden said the Godolphin colorbearer could prep in France. "He is having a short holiday now and is just trotting," Gosden noted. "A race like the Prix Niel ([Fr-G2] September 13) could be for him before the Arc. He is a Halling so if the ground is soft it should help him." Gosden said Star of Seville is set to be back in action at Glorious Goodwood August 1. "Star of Seville will head for the Nassau," he said. "She is in super form and is currently having a freshen up. They don't always handle the track at Goodwood as it can make them off-balance, but if she handles it she certainly has a chance."...

    Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-G1) victor New Bay (Dubawi) is likely to bypass a clash with Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) and Eclipse S. (Eng-G1) scorer Golden Horn (Cape Cross) in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. (Eng-G1) later this month and instead target Deauville's Prix Guillaume (Fr-G2) August 15, according to trainer Andre Fabre. "He is in the King George and we will discuss it with the Prince (owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah), but I think he is more likely to run in the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano," Fabre said. "That is a Group 2 over a mile and a quarter, which will be good for him." Khalid Abdullah and Fabre are still set to be represented in the King George, however, by last year's Hong Kong Vase (HK-G1) winner Flintshire (Dansili), who was also second in last year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1), Breeders' Cup Turf (G1), and two Group 1s this year, including the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-G1) behind Treve (Motivator). "The King George is the plan for him," Fabre said. "He ran his usual good race at Saint-Cloud and I am sure he will at Ascot, providing he gets fast ground."...

    One Thousand Guineas (Eng-G1) winner Legatissimo (Danehill Dancer), touched off by a short head in her last two outings in the Epsom Oaks (Eng-G1) and Pretty Polly S. (Ire-G1), will attempt to get back to the winner's circle in the Nassau S. (Eng-G1) at Glorious Goodwood August 1. Trainer David Wachman noted the filly would skip the Irish Oaks (Ire-G1) July 18. "She came out of the (Pretty Polly) fine so we will try again," Wachman said. "I'd say the Pretty Polly was a good race, the winner won well and the third was coming home well. The Nassau will be the same and it will be interesting." Another recent Group 1 winner likely for the Goodwood meeting is last month's Gold Cup (Eng-G1) winner Trip To Paris (Champs Elysees), who could bid to extend his reputation over long distances in the Goodwood Cup (Eng-G2) July 30. Trip To Paris was making a hefty class jump when he caused a mild upset in the Royal Ascot feature, having previously finished second in the Henry II S. (Eng-G3) off the back of three handicap victories. "Trip To Paris is very fresh and you would not think he's just won a Gold Cup," said trainer Ed Dunlop of the four-year-old. "I think we will go to Goodwood now for the Goodwood Cup. He does have a penalty to carry, but there is good money there and it's now under consideration."...

    Trainer Chris Waller arrived in Newmarket in time to supervise Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible)'s final work in preparation for Saturday's July Cup (Eng-G1) Monday, and the Australian conditioner said he was "happy" with what he saw from his dual Group 1 winner, who was partnered by James Doyle. "I was happy with that," Waller noted. "It was pretty standard work for him; we just let him quicken up over the last 400 meters. It was really just maintenance work. We don't need to improve him, we have just got to keep him happy and keep the speed in him. James seemed happy with him." Brazen Beau won last year's Coolmore Stud S. (Aus-G1) at Flemington, after which Darley bought an interest in the dark bay. The three-year-old added this year's Newmarket H. (Aus-G1) against elders to his resume, and was an eye-catching second while racing alone on the stands' side in the Diamond Jubilee S. (Eng-G1) at Royal Ascot June 20. "He seems very well and his run at Ascot was very good," Waller observed. "The track here has more undulations than at Ascot so it is good for him to have a go on it." "It's a privilege being in here in England and we have been well looked after," he added. "It was great to get a taste of the action at Ascot but a success would be so much sweeter. We know we've got the horse good enough, he just needs a good draw and luck in running. If he gets that, I'm sure he will be there at the finish."...

    Last year's St Leger (Eng-G1) winner Kingston Hill (Mastercraftsman), who has already missed the first half of 2015 due to injury, could be out the rest of the year after suffering another setback. Trainer Roger Varian has reported that the colt has suffered a soft tissue injury to his left fore. "Unfortunately Kingston Hill has suffered a fresh training setback," Varian said. "He will again require a period of rest before he is able to resume training. Sadly, given the time of year, this fresh setback will cast a doubt over whether he will be able to race again this season." Also the winner of the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-G1) as a juvenile, Kingston Hill finished second to Australia in last year's Epsom Derby (Eng-G1) and was last seen finishing fourth behind Treve (Motivator) in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) in October...

    Jockey Luis Gonzalez celebrated his 3,000th win Saturday while riding Tough as Steel (Good and Tough) in the 2ND race at ThistleDown. Originally from Panama, Gonzalez races at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter and is a frequent rider at ThistleDown in the summer. On Monday, Gonzalez increased that total by capturing the 2ND race aboard Operation Dynamo (Dunkirk). Riding in the United States since 1984, he has guided his mounts to purse earnings in excess of $30.4 million...

    Australian champion trainer Peter Moody could learn this week whether he will be charged for a positive cobalt sample returned by a horse in his care. Fellow Victorian trainers Mark Kavanagh, Danny O'Brien and Lee and Shannon Hope have all been recently charged in cobalt cases, with dates for hearings still to be set, and Racing Victoria's Chief Steward Terry Bailey told RSN Radio Monday that trial results on Moody's case were complete. "I'd be very surprised if we don't have some developments this week," Bailey said. "The trial results that we've been waiting on are through. Mr. Moody, I understand, is back in town this week so you can pretty much bank on some movement this week. Mr. Moody gave us an explanation which may explain the elevated cobalt level, and we've put that explanation to the test and simply been waiting on those trial test results and they came through late on Friday." Moody is best known as the trainer of unbeaten champion Black Caviar, whose samples were re-tested and cleared for cobalt earlier this year...

    Cozmic One (Bernardini), the first foal out of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, is entered at Belmont Park in Wednesday's 7TH race, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight for three-year-olds and up. Set at morning line odds of 4-1, he has drawn post 8 in the field of nine and will be ridden by Rajiv Maragh. The dark bay sophomore had failed to fire in his highly-anticipated debut, finishing last in a Santa Anita maiden special weight event last April. Lately, however, Cozmic One has been sharp on the worktab, posting back-to-back bullets in his last two works. "He's training well," said trainer John Shirreffs. "He's had some very good works lately. I thought his last race was a good experience for him and the timing is good now." Shirreffs added that Cozmic One will join the trainer's Saratoga operation again this summer.

    Trainer Stats


    Trainer   Starts   Wins   Win %
    Mandy Ness   16   9   56
    Bruno Tessore   16   8   50
    Kevin S. Patterson   26   12   46
    Roger F. Engel   35   15   43
    Loren G. Cox   40   17   43
    Julie Atwood   26   11   42
    Kirk Ziadie   31   13   42
    Robert Gilker   17   7   41
    Troy Smith   17   7   41
    Jonathan Wong   20   8   40
    Mark Fournier   15   6   40
    Jason Homer   15   6   40
    Weston Martin   15   6   40
    Karl Broberg   305   120   39
    Kenneth W. Marshall   23   9   39
    Tevis Q. McCauley   18   7   39
    Todd M. Beattie   21   8   38
    Leroy Hellman   32   12   38
    David Walters   24   9   38
    W. R. Whitehouse   24   9   38
    Jeremiah C. Englehart   105   39   37
    Nick Joseph Caruso   19   7   37
    Larry Pilotti   19   7   37
    Eric R. Reed   60   22   37
    Tim G. Williams   22   8   36

    Trainer/Jockey Stats


    Trainer/Jockey Combo   Starts   Wins   Win %
    Jeremiah C. Englehart/John R. Davila, Jr.   18   11   61%
    Shea Stuart/C.J. McMahon   21   12   57%
    Karl Broberg/Roberto Morales   16   9   56%
    Roger F. Engel/Bryan McNeil   21   11   52%
    Michael J. Maker/Julien R. Leparoux   36   18   50%
    John F. Martin/Ricardo Gonzalez   20   10   50%
    Karl Broberg/Colby J. Hernandez   73   35   48%
    Julie Atwood/Fredy Peltroche   21   10   48%
    Miguel A. Feliciano/Ricardo Feliciano   21   10   48%
    Brad H. Cox/Jon Kenton Court   15   7   47%
    Ron Faucheux/Colby J. Hernandez   15   7   47%
    David Jacobson/Andre Shivnarine Worrie   15   7   47%
    Steve Manley/Mitchell Murrill   15   7   47%
    Jamie Ness/Jevian Toledo   15   7   47%
    Kevin S. Patterson/Gerald Almodovar   15   7   47%
    Scott Becker/Victor Santiago   55   25   45%
    Jonas Gibson/Richard E. Eramia   33   15   45%
    Loren G. Cox/Agustin Bracho   16   7   44%
    Greg C. James/Juan J. Hernandez   16   7   44%
    Joel H. Marr/Isaias D. Enriquez   16   7   44%
    Edward Plesa, Jr./Paco Lopez   16   7   44%
    Paul Treasure/J. Luis Torres   16   7   44%
    Richard Baltas/Rafael Bejarano   23   10   43%
    Jeff C. Runco/Arnaldo Bocachica   74   32   43%
    Todd A. Pletcher/Javier Castellano   40   17   43%

    Spot Plays/Highlights/Weather


    For Tuesday

    Delaware Park   (2nd) Hauler, 7-2
        (6th) Winding Road, 10-1
    Finger Lakes   (1st) Super Nicky, 6-1
        (5th) Scorpion's Touch, 8-1
    Fort Erie   (3rd) Trivia Time, 10-1
        (5th) Finally Ritta You, 3-1
    Indiana Grand   (6th) Effortlesslty, 5-1
        (7th) Madison Olivia, 5-1
    Mountaineer   (1st) Emma's Holy Bee, 10-1
        (5th) Ladbrook, 8-1
    Parx Racing   (4th) Star of Magic, 5-1
        (6th) Now We're Talkin, 6-1
    Presque Isle Downs   (1st) Cherry Road, 7-2
        (4th) Madly May, 5-1

    HANDICAPPER'S EDGE is compiled by Bloodstock Research Information Services. This newsletter may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Copyright 2011, Bloodstock Research Information Services. Information as to the races, race results and earnings was obtained from Equibase Company LLC and is utilized herein with the permission of the copyright owner, Equibase Company LLC.


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