Belmont Stakes Race

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bid Being Made To Buy Lawyer Ron

Lawyer Ron enters Saturday's Kentucky Derby with a six-race winning streak, making him one of the favorites to claim horse racing's biggest prize. In a rare occurrence this close to the Derby, someone is making a strong bid to purchase the Kentucky-bred colt.
While a deal is being negotiated, Ron Bamberger, executor of the estate of owner/breeder James T. Hines Jr. and the man the horse is named after, said nothing has been finalized. Bamberger said deal or no deal, Lawyer Ron will race Saturday under Hines' name and silks. Hines drowned this year.
"There is no deal that has been made, and there is no way of knowing right now if any of the deals will go through," Bamberger told the Thoroughbred Times on Wednesday. "This is a business decision, and I can't let my emotion play a part. I did business with Jim Hines for 33 years, and I guarantee you he never let emotions enter his business decisions, and neither will I."
Bamberger declined to identify the interested parties.
WHERE IS HE? Trainer Nick Zito was so popular at last year's Derby that a rope was placed around Barn 36 to keep visitors at a distance while Zito worked with his record-tying five horses, including favorite Bellamy Road. Zito is back at Barn 36 on the Churchill Downs' backside this year, but without the rope or a Derby horse.
"Now I have an obstacle to overcome," Zito said. "I have to try and get there again."
In fact, for the first time since Zito entered his first horse in a Derby in 1990, neither he nor D. Wayne Lukas has a horse in the field.
SUNRIVER STRIKES OUT: Trainer Todd Pletcher has Bluegrass Cat and Keyed Entry in the field of 20, but he was hoping Sunriver would make it. However, with the field limited to 20 based on graded-stakes earnings, 21st-ranked Sunriver missed out.
Pletcher still has big plans for the colt, who finished third in the Florida Derby.
"We're probably looking at taking him to New York and running him in the [$200,000] Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont," he said. "That race should give us a line on whether we can think about him in terms of possibly running in the Belmont Stakes."
CALIFORNIA COOL: Favorite Brother Derek (3-1) has eight lifetime starts, but only one outside of California. In the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 29 at Belmont Park, Brother Derek finished fourth in a race won by 2-year-old champion Stevie Wonderboy.
Asked if he is concerned about racing outside California, trainer Dan Hendricks said it's a non-issue: "He handled shipping. He's doing fine. I'm happy with the way things are coming along."
DERBY BUZZ: Jockey Alex Solis has never had much luck on the first Saturday in May. Solis has more mounts (14) in the Derby without a victory than any jockey in history. Solis has finished second three times, the most recent aboard Aptitude in 2000. If recent history holds true, Solis' luck could change Saturday aboard Brother Derek. Solis has six wins in eight lifetime starts on Brother Derek. … This is the first Derby since 1983 to not include at least one member of the famed jockey trio of Pat Day, Gary Stevens and Jerry Bailey. All have retired since the 2005 race. Bailey (ESPN) and Stevens (NBC) are analyzing the race on TV. … Jockey Mike Smith, who was aboard winner Giacomo in the 2005 Derby, picked up a late mount aboard 50-1 long-shot Flashy Bull. Giacomo was also a 50-1 long shot.

Belmont Stakes highlights spring/summer meet at Belmont Park

Belmont Park, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, will begin its 59-day spring/summer live race meeting on May 3, highlighted by the 138th running of the $1-million Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 10.
The 1 1/2-mile third jewel of the Triple Crown will anchor a card that also features the Manhattan Handicap (G1), a 1 1/4-mile turf race for three-year-olds and older, and the Acorn Stakes (G1), a one-mile test for three-year-old fillies.
The Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Stakes (G2), named for the late Racing Hall of Fame trainer, will replace the Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup Stakes. The seven-furlong race for three-year-olds, also slated for June 10, received a $50,000 purse increase to $250,000.
The Elmont, New York, track also will host a pair of Grade 1 events on July 1—the 1 1/4-mile Suburban Handicap for three-year-olds and older and the 1 1/8-mile Mother Goose Stakes for three-year-old fillies.
The meeting will run Wednesday through Sunday through July 22 with a first post time of 1 p.m. EDT, with the exception of a noon post time for Belmont Stakes day and a 3 p.m. first post on "Sunset Fridays."
Belmont also will host live racing on May 29 for Memorial Day as well as Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Belmont Stakes Race

The best place to watch the Belmont is at home on TV, but watching in person is a lot easier there than at the Derby or Preakness. Belmont Park is huge. It was built for a time with crowds were much larger than they are these days so there is lots of room and more reserved seats than either Churchill Downs or Pimlico. The apron is very wide with lots of benches for free seating, so even general admission people can get right up to the rail if they arrive early to stake out a spot. There is also a huge back yard with picnic tables where many families come to spend the day. Unlike the other two Triple Crown events, ticket prices are not raised sky high for the Belmont. General admission to the grandstand and clubhouse is the same price as any other day and reserved seats are only $7-$25 for grandstand and $15-$40 for clubhouse.

If you order by March 31, you will probably get tickets somewhere. The only restriction to movement is the clubhouse which requires an upgrade, but the paddock, building, and apron are accessible to all patrons for just general admission price. If you wait to see if there is a Triple Crown possibility, expect to have a harder time getting tickets. In that case you will probably have to go to a ticket broker and pay at least $200 for even the worst seats.
Parking is not a problem at the Belmont. There is ample on track parking, even for a crowd of over 100,000, and prices are $2-$5 for the regular lots and only $10 more for preferred parking. Traffic can be a nightmare in and out of the track, but there are always lots of cops directing to keep it flowing as well as possible. You can also take the train to the track if you want to avoid driving and parking hassles. There is a LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station right in the track at the far end of the grandstand.
Because you are in New York City, expect high hotel prices. There is only one hotel close to the track and it is always totally reserved for the horsemen, so the closest places are a good 15-20 minute drive away. Because it is a large city, there are always rooms to be had but location and price may not be ideal. Many people decide to stay in downtown Manhattan hotels and take the train in to the track. If you prefer to drive, selecting a hotel on Long Island, perhaps near one of the airports, will be your best bet. Prices per night will likely run from $100 to $150 or more.
If you want to attend one of the Triple Crown races in person, the Belmont is your best choice for both price of admission and opportunities to actually see the horses. While you will still get the best view on your television at home, you won’t be totally shut out from seeing anything like at the Derby. You will have to deal with long line-ups to bet, surly New York tellers, or the crowds that clog the track, but Belmont is a huge facility so it isn’t too horrible, other than the women’s restroom line-ups. Good luck with your wagers and enjoy the race and your chance to possibly see the next Triple Crown winner take his or her place in history.

Belmont Stakes Race

The final jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, is not only the longest of the three races at one and a half miles but also the oldest. The grueling distance can make or break a horse and is one of the truest tests of stamina in racing. Thirty horses have entered the Belmont with a chance to become a Triple Crown winner, but only eleven have succeeded.
The inaugural running of the Belmont Stakes was in 1867 at Jerome Park Racecourse, making it the oldest of all the Triple Crown Races. It was named after prominent banker and Jockey Club president August Belmont. Only four horses went to post in that first Belmont and the winner was a filly named Ruthless, one of only two fillies to have won the marathon race. Since then the Belmont has been responsible for quite a few firsts in racing.
The American tradition of the "post parade" was introduced to American racing in the 1880 Belmont. The first, and so far only, Triple Crown race to be won by a female jockey was the 1993 Belmont won by Colonial Affair with Julie Krone aboard. In 1973, Secretariat set a track and world record of 2:24 for the mile and a half with his 31-length victory, a record that still stands today.
The Belmont Stakes can vary from a huge frenzy to quite laid back, depending on whether there is a Triple Crown possibility or not. If there is a horse going for the hat trick, the time leading up to the race can be total madness with media from all over the world coming to witness the possible coronation of the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. The atmosphere will be much more relaxed if there is only a Derby winner, Preakness winner, or both in the race, and becomes almost a non-event if neither of those shows up. Fan interest seems to follow along these same lines, although there is always strong participation in wagering on the event.

Belmont Stakes Race

Afleet Alex wrote his name into the history books after passing eight horses on the final turn and exploding to the front to win the 137th Running of the Belmont Stakes (Gr. 1) in front of 62,274 fans on Saturday at Belmont Park. "I don’t want to hear any more criticism about my horse," said jockey Jeremy Rose. "He’s one of the best we’ve see in a long time."Afleet Alex, who is owned by Cash is King LLC, won the 1½-mile "Test of the Champion" by seven lengths in 2:28 3/5 over a fast track to become the 18th Thoroughbred to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Andromeda's Hero, under Rafael Bejarano, finished second. Maiden Nolan's Cat, under Norberto Arroyo, Jr., was third. Pinpoint went to the lead and set the early fractions at :24 2/5, :48 3/5 and 1:12 4/5, with A. P. Arrow and Southern Africa coasting off his flank. Afleet Alex was content to settle back in ninth position in the 11-horse field and save ground about six lengths back for the first half of the race.