by Keith McCalmont
The Empire 6, boasting a jackpot of $477,409 heading into the finale of the 25-day Belmont spring/summer meet, will feature a mandatory payout on Sunday's Closing Day card.
Live coverage of all the races in the sequence are available with America's Day at the Races on FOX Sports and MSG+. Free Equibase-provided past performances will be available for races that are part of the America's Day at the Races broadcast and can be accessed at www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
The Empire 6 sequence will kick off in Race 4 at 2:09 p.m. Eastern with an overflow field of New York-bred maidens travelling one mile on the Widener Turf Course. Klickitat, a 4-year-old First Samurai chestnut trained by Jimmy Jerkens, is listed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite.
Race 5 [2:46 p.m.], a six-furlong inner turf sprint for $35,000 claimers, will feature the Christophe Clement-trained Tenure dropping in as the 3-1 morning-line favorite. He will be tested by the swift Fooch, who is owned and trained by Wesley Ward.
The third leg features another full field as New York-bred fillies and mares sprint seven furlongs on the Widener turf course in Race 6 at 3:19 p.m. Moana's Tale, trained by Danny Gargan, looms large dropping back into restricted company following an off-the-board effort in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream Park. She will have to topple 7-2 morning-line choice Silky Blue, a last-out maiden winner for Jorge Duarte, Jr.; and the consistent Violent Point, trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse.
Race 7 [3:52 p.m.] features a field of ten $16,000 claimers 3-year-olds and upward traveling 1 1/16-miles on the main track. Bobbyfromthepalm graduated by 9 ¾-lengths last out on December 29 at the Big A for trainer George Weaver and is listed as the 3-1 morning-line choice off the lengthy layoff. Violent Delights, trained by Tom Albertrani, and Prince of New York for Jeremiah Englehart will merit consideration after running second and third respectively last out on June 18 at the same class going a one-turn mile on Big Sandy.
The penultimate leg [Race 8, 4:23 p.m.] is the featured $80,000 River Memories, a 1 ½-mile stamina test on the Widener turf for fillies and mares 4-years-old and upward. Clement will saddle the top two morning-line choices in Olympic Games [3-1] and Wegetsdamunnys [7-2] in a wide open field of 11 contestants.
Closing out the sequence in Race 9 [4:53 p.m.] is an overflow field of New York-bred maiden claiming fillies sprinting six furlongs on the inner turf. Clement, currently second in the trainer standings at the Belmont spring/summer meet, will again saddle the morning-line favorite as the 5-2 Dream Chasing will look to graduate following an even fifth last out at this level on June 25 where she endured an awkward start. Painite, the 7-2 second choice for trainer David Donk, will cut back significantly in distance following a fourth in a 1 1/16-mile event and ninth in a nine-furlong test, both at this class on the Belmont turf.
The Empire 6 requires the bettor to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the card. On non-mandatory payout days, if one unique ticket exists, then 100 percent of the net pool, plus the jackpot carryover if applicable, will be paid to the winner. If there is no unique wager selecting the first-place finisher in all six races, then 75 percent of the day's net pool will be distributed to those who selected the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races. The remainder will be added into the jackpot and carried to the next day's Empire 6.
Closing Day of the Belmont spring/summer meet will also feature mandatory payouts for both the Early Pick 5 and Late Pick 5 wagers. First post on Sunday's Closing Day card will be 12:30 p.m. Eastern.
For more information on the Empire 6, please visit www.nyrabets.com.
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For more information, visit www.nyrabets.com.