New York Showcase wraps up Belmont meet
Belmont Park will conclude its Fall Championship Meet with a
bang this weekend when more than 100 New York-bred horses compete
for their share of more than $1 million in purses. Saturday is
the highlight of the New York Showcase Fall Festival, with seven
stakes scheduled to take place.
The top event on Saturday, the $250,000 Empire
Classic H., drew
an overflow field of 15, including MR. DETERMINED (Raja’s Revenge).
The five-year-old gray finished third in this race last year and
will go for his first stakes win in the nine-furlong test.
Among those he’ll face is BOARD ELLIGIBLE (Goldminers Gold),
the lone filly in the field. Winner of the White Carnation S.
earlier this year, the four-year-old black miss finished fourth
in both the Beldame S. (G1) and Personal Ensign H. (G1) in her
past two. That earned the James Ferraro charge her chance against
“She’s run great all year with the exception of a couple
turf races,” Ferraro said. “We’re going to take a shot.
It looks like a pretty light year for older New York breds going
long, with the exception of Funny Cide (Distorted Humor), who’s
not in the race.”
One of the most highly anticipated races on the day, the $100,000
Sleepy Hollow S., will start off the stakes action in the 4TH
race. The mile test will send six juveniles to the gate but
GALLOPING GROCER (A. P Jet) is the likely favorite. Trained by
Dominick Schettino, the undefeated chestnut was a possible
contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) after breaking his
maiden and taking an allowance by a combined 24 1/4 lengths.
Though not as heavily favored as Galloping Grocer, stakes
heroine MEGASCAPE (Cape Canaveral) is the probable choice for the
$100,000 Maid of the Mist
S., which drew nine two-year-old
fillies to go eight furlongs.
Sixteen turf distaffers, four of which are on the also-eligible
list, are set to go in the $150,000 Ticonderoga H. SABELLINA (Langfuhr)
broke her maiden on the course earlier this year before posting a
close victory in the Yaddo H. at Saratoga. Also entered in the
nine-furlong Ticonderoga are the Yaddo two-three finishers, ON
THE BUS (Ghazi) and LADY LIBBY (Sea Salute).
QUIET RULER (Woodman) will try a three-peat in the $150,000
Mohawk H. after taking the 2002 edition by 1 3/4 lengths and
scoring by 4 1/2 lengths last year. The six-year-old gelding will
be making his 51st start in the 1 1/8-mile grass test against 11
The $125,000 Hudson H. will feature eight runners, including
CLEVER ELECTRICIAN (Clever Trick). The five-year-old was
nominated to the Empire Classic, but his trainer, Bruce Levine,
felt his charge was more suited to the six-furlong distance of
In the $125,000 Iroquois
H., a talented group of seven
distaffers will compete over seven furlongs. The field features
multiple stakes winners SO SWEET A CAT (Tomorrows Cat), victress
in five of her seven starts this year, and SUGAR PUNCH (K. O.
Punch), who sports a lifetime mark of 6-5-1-0.