Racing resumes at Belmont Park September 7
By Jon Forbes | 09/05/2013 02:29 PM ET
A stakes schedule worth $9.5 million, a new Pick 5 wager with a low takeout, and a bevy of promotions will highlight Belmont Park's fall meet, which begins Saturday, September 7 and runs for 37 days through October 27.
The stakes schedule comprises 31 stakes, including 21 graded events. On September 28 alone, Belmont will host six stakes worth $3.4 million: the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, the Grade 1, $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, the Grade 1, $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, the Grade 1, $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational, the Grade 1, $400,000 Beldame Invitational, and the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap.
All six "Super Saturday" races are Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" events. Last year, four horses who competed on "Super Saturday" went on to win Breeders' Cup races (Fort Larned, Classic; Little Mike, Turf; Royal Delta, Ladies' Classic; Zagora, Filly & Mare Turf).
With the start of the Belmont fall meet, The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will offer a Pick 5 wager every race day. The 50-cent minimum, 15-percent takeout wager will span races 1-5.
The opening day festivities will include the Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green Handicap and magnet giveaway, while supplies last. The magnet will feature the Belmont fall meet stakes schedule. On Sunday, fans will receive free grandstand admission into Belmont Park.
On October 5, Belmont will host the Grade 1, $500,000 Foxwoods Champagne for 2-year-olds and Grade 1, $500,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies, both Breeders' Cup Challenge races. In addition, October 5 has been designated Fabulous Fillies Day and will highlight breast cancer research and awareness organizations, showcase local art and fashion, and include a survivors' walk.
The best New York-breds will converge on October 19 at Belmont for Empire New York Showcase Day presented by The New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. Belmont will present seven stakes, topped by the $250,000 Empire Classic for 3-year-olds and up.
On Saturdays, Belmont will offer a $300,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4. By guaranteeing the pool, NYRA will supplement the difference if the total wagering pool for the Saturday Late Pick 4 is less than $300,000.
On the first Sunday of the meet September 8, Grandstand Admission is free.
On weekends during September, fans can get a behind-the-scenes look at the world of thoroughbred racing with the popular "Breakfast at Belmont Park" program from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Admission and activities, including guided tram tours of Belmont's remarkable stable area, trackside commentary of live morning workouts, starting gate demonstrations and paddock show, are free, and breakfast is available for purchase.
A variety of bands will perform in the Belmont Backyard throughout the meet. Scheduled to appear are Randy Jackson of Zebra (9/7); Fivestone (9/14); Drive, with a guest appearance from A Flock of Seagulls' lead singer Mike Score (9/21); The Electrix (9/28); Shannon Breeze (10/5); Interplay (10/12); a Columbus Day Country Music Fest featuring Wil Van Awken, Mark Newman, Sean Cuoco, Tony Montalbo, and other guests (10/14); Rockjunky (10/19); and Wonderous Stories (10/20).
With live racing generally conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, first post is at 1:05 p.m. in September and 12:50 in October. Grandstand admission is $3, clubhouse admission is $5, while children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. General parking is free, with preferred parking $2 and valet parking $5. For information on the Belmont Park fall meet, please visit nyra.com or call (516) 488-6000.