The Belmont Park Fall Championship meeting gets underway on Saturday afternoon with a 10-race card, with the Shug McGaughey trained Boisterous the morning line betting favorite for the feature, the $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap (G2).
The six-year-old has been tough to beat over the Belmont Park turf where he has won six of his nine trips. He is looking to bounce back off a subpar effort in the Sword Dancer (G1) last out at Saratoga where he tired to finish eighth as the beaten favorite.
The 37-day meeting will feature 31 stakes, 21 of them graded along with 10 Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.
The biggest day of the meeting will be “Super Saturday” on Sept. 28 which will feature six graded stakes, all Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. The marquee event with be the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) for the handicap division, with the winner earning an automatic starting berth in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Four of last year’s Breeders’ Cup winners competed on “Super Saturday” including Classic winner Fort Larned and Ladies’ Classic winner Royal Delta.
There will be four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races run Oct.5-6, all races restricted to juveniles.
New York Showcase Day will feature seven stakes for state breds and will be run this year on Oct. 19.
The New York Racing Association is unveiling a new Pick 5 wager on the first five races of the card. The wager has a low 15% takeout. In addition, on Saturday’s the Late Pick 4 will offer a guaranteed pool of $300,000.
Let’s head out to Belmont Park for Saturday’s featured race of the day:
Belmont Park Race 8 The Bowling Green Hcp G2 (4:45 ET)
1 Boisterous 7-5
5 Farhaan 12-1
4 Hyper 5-2
6 Finnegan’s Wake 4-1
Analysis: Boisterous won the Man o’ War (G1) over the turf here back in July, his sixth win over the turf here in nine starts. That sent him to the Spa as the betting favorite in the Sword Dancer (G1) but after stalking the early pace he faded to finish a disappointing eighth. The cut back to 1 1/4 miles will suit as will the surface switch as this is his favorite turf course. The Shug McGaughey trainee runs consistent figures, his previous 14 starts he has earned a Beyer between 95 and 97 11 times. He had a good breeze over the turf here on Sept. 1 and fact Shug brings him back pretty quick looks like a good sign, as a good effort here takes him right to the Joe Hirsch Turf (G1) here at the end of the month.
Farhaan made a good late rally to get up and beat Alw-2 optional claimers in his U.S. debut. The effort was off a year layoff and he should move forward off that effort for the Kiaran McLaughlin barn that is 19% winners with runners making the second start off a +180 day layoff. He was not much of a threat in his two starts against Group 2 company as a juvenile and Group 3 foes last year, but he looks to have more upside potential than most of these. This race is void of any early speed and with this guy stretching out he looks to be the likely pacesetter. If he is able to get away with soft early fractions he may stick around late.
Hyper is coming off a sharp win in the restricted John’s Call last out at the Spa going 1 5/8 miles on the turf. He put in a solid effort two back in a close up second in the Colonial Turf Cup (G2) behind 50-1 bomb London lane who also is in here. The six-year-old has not missed picking up a check in six starts since coming up short in a couple of tries overseas and has run well over the turf here, landing in the exacta in four of five trips.
WIN: #1 to win at 7-5 or better.
EX: 1,5 / 1,4,5
TRI: no play
Michael Dempsey’s full card report every day of the 37-day Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet (Sept. 7 to Oct. 27) includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations.
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