The 38-day fall championship meet at Belmont Park will feature six Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers held over two weekends. In all, 42 stakes worth more than $10.1 million will be offered during the meet, which runs from Friday, September 8 through Sunday, October 29.
A pair of “Win and You’re In” races for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be held at Del Mar on November 3-4 will anchor the card on Saturday, September 30: the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in the Turf division and the Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh in the TwinSpires Sprint division.
Also on the card are the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles and the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim for 2-year-olds on the turf. The stakes action will continue on Sunday with the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo for 2-year-old fillies on the grass, won last year by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine New Money Honey, and the $200,000 Temperence Hill Invitational, won last year by Scuba, who went on to victory in the Grade 2 Marathon on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard.
The lead up to the Breeders’ Cup will continue on the following weekend with the centerpiece of the fall meet on Saturday, October 7, featuring the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The 1 ¼-mile Gold Cup, which offers automatic entry and a fees-paid trip to the $5 million Classic, will be joined by the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne, a qualifier for the Sentient Jets Juvenile. The “Super Saturday” program will also include the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince for 3-year-olds on the turf and the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational for 3-year-olds and up.
A pair of Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup qualifiers will round out the weekend on Sunday, October 8, featuring the $500,000 Flower Bowl and the $400,000 Frizette, awarding the winners an all-fees-paid berth into the Filly & Mare Turf and Juvenile Fillies divisions, respectively.
The Empire State will take the spotlight on Saturday, October 21, 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 Aqueduct Racetrack and the simulcast center at the Belmont Café on on November 3 and 4, with live racing action at Aqueduct set to kick off on Friday with the Grade 3, $150,000 Tempted, and will continue through Breeders’ Cup weekend with the Grade 3, $200,000 Long Island on tap for Saturday and the Grade 2, $200,000 Nashua for 2-year-olds at a mile on Sunday, November 5.
The Grade 3, $200,000 Fall Highweight Handicap for sprinters 3-and-up will return as the traditional Thanksgiving Day centerpiece on November 23, along with the $150,000 Winter Memories. Three-year-old fillies will take center stage on Black Friday in the Grade 3, $250,000 Comely, joined by the $150,000 Gio Ponti for sophomores on the turf and the $100,000 Key Cents for 2-year-old New York-breds.
The fall meet at the Big A will be anchored by the Grade 1, $750,000 Cigar Mile Handicap for 3-year-olds and up. The day will also feature a pair of prestigious Grade 2 events for juveniles, the $250,000 Remsen and the $250,000 Demoiselle for fillies, both at 1 1/8 miles, as well as the Grade 3, $200,000 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares at a mile.
Following the Christmas holiday, racing will resume on Thursday, December 28 with the East View for New York-bred juvenile fillies. The final stakes of the year will be the $100,000 Alex M. Robb for state-breds on Sunday, December 31.
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