As the New York Racing Association (NYRA) spring season wraps up on July 19, the 38-day fall championship meet at Belmont Park is set to deliver two “Super” Saturdays, with 11 graded stakes worth $4.2 million on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.
In all, 40 stakes worth $10.6 million will be offered during the meet, which runs from Sept. 11 through Nov. 1.
On Sept. 26, two “win and you’re in” races will be held: a Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in the Turf division, and the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh in the Sprint division. The winners of those races gain entrance into the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to be held at Keeneland Race Course on Oct. 30-31.
Also on the card for the Sept. 26 races are the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame for fillies and mares, the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap for filly and mare sprinters and the Grade 3, $200,000 Pilgrim for juveniles on the turf.
The lead up to the Breeders’ Cup will continue on Oct. 3, with the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup which offers automatic entry and a fees-paid trip to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races conclude with the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational (Filly & Mare Turf), the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods Champagne (Juvenile), and the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette (Juvenile Fillies). The Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap and the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince for 3-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 NYRA. “We anticipate both to be ‘must-see’ days at Belmont Park this fall.”
Racing fans can watch all the Breeders’ Cup action at Belmont Park and the simulcast center at Aqueduct Racetrack on Oct. 30 and 31, with live racing action at Belmont to include the Grade 3, $200,000 Turnback the Alarm for fillies and mares on the turf on Friday and the Grade 3, $200,000 Bold Ruler at seven furlongs on Saturday.
The meet will then conclude with the $100,000 Pumpkin Pie for filly and mare sprinters on Nov. 1.