Elmont, N.Y. - With 21 graded stakes worth $5 million, Belmont Park's fall meet will showcase a stellar lineup of champions-in-the-making when it opens for its 37-day meet on Saturday, September 10, with free grandstand admission all weekend.
Opening Saturday at Belmont Park also marks the first $300,000 Guaranteed Late Pick 4, which will be offered on Saturdays throughout the 2011 fall meet. Although NYRA offers daily Pick 4's on races 2-5 and the final four races of the day, the $300,000 guarantee applies only to the Late Pick 4 on Saturdays. The Late Pick 4 is a 50 cent minimum wager in which the bettor must correctly pick the winners of the last four races on the card, usually beginning with race 7 on Belmont Saturdays.
By guaranteeing the wager for $300,000, NYRA will supplement the difference if the total wagering pool for the Saturday Late Pick 4 is less than $300,000.
The meet's superb Grade 1 schedule is highlighted by Super Saturday, October 1, and the 93rd running of the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Last year, older male champion Blame ran in the 1 1/4-mile fixture before going on to upset Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The day also features four other Grades 1's - the $350,000 Beldame Invitational for fillies and mares, the $350,000 Vosburgh Invitational for sprinters, the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational, and the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for fillies and mares on the turf, as well as the Grade 2 Kelso at a mile on the main track.
All the Super Saturday graded stakes races are Breeders' Cup Challenge races, which means the winners earn automatic entry into the corresponding Breeders' Cup races.
On Super Saturday, October 1, NYRA will offer a $500,000 Guaranteed Pick 4 presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino.
The stellar weekend continues on Sunday, October 2, with a quartet of prestigious races for 2-year-olds: the Grade 2 Nashua at six furlongs on the main track and the Grade 3 Pilgrim at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, along with the Grade 3 Tempted at six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade 3 Miss Grillo for 2-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Belmont Park horse betting from New York's Belmont Park race track returns to Off Track Betting.
Juveniles take center stage again on October 8 with the Grade 1, $300,000 Champagne and the Grade 1, $300,000 Frizette for fillies, which are joined by the Grade 1, $250,000 Jamaica for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
New York-breds get their chance to shine on New York Showcase Day, Saturday, October 22, with seven stakes for the top horses bred in the Empire State, capped by the $200,000 Empire Classic.
Belmont Park is easily accessible by public transportation, including the Long Island Rail Road's Belmont Special, which offers riders $1 off grandstand admission to the track. On Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (and Columbus Day, Monday, October 10), the Belmont Special will depart Penn Station at 10:58 a.m. and 11:46 a.m., and on weekends at 10:58 a.m. and 11:51 a.m. Return service on weekdays and Columbus Day leaves Belmont Park at 3:42 p.m. and again 30 minutes after the last race; on weekends at 4:27 p.m. and 30 minutes after the last race.
With live racing generally conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, with a first race post time of 1 p.m., grandstand admission is $3 after opening weekend. 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.
OPENING WEEKEND, SATURDAY-SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10-11 Grandstand admission is free all weekend as Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet begins with the featured Grade 2, $150,000 Bowling Green Handicap on opening day and the $100,000 Ashley T. Cole for New York-breds on Sunday. First-race post time is 1 p.m. Eastern.
PICK THE PROS AND PONIES KICKS OFF SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 The best of two great sporting worlds meet every Sunday during Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet with the return of the popular Pick the Pros and Ponies Contest. It's a free contest, in which contestants must correctly pick the winners of four designated National Football League games as well as the winners of races 3 and 5 on the day's card for the chance to win a $1,000 prize.
LATIN AMERICAN FIESTA PRESENTED BY CORONA LIGHT SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 Celebrate Latin American culture at Belmont Park from noon - 4 p.m. when the backyard comes alive with music from Brazilian pop to salsa and the taste of Latin America at select restaurant locations. Between musical performances, there will be a dance contest in the Festival Tent.
SUPER SATURDAY FIVE GRADE 1 STAKES, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1 Post time is 12:30 p.m. as five Grade 1 stakes are highlighted by the 93rd running of the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational at 1 1/4 miles, the centerpiece of Belmont Park's Fall Championship Meet. Two outstanding 1 1/4 mile turf races, the Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational and the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for fillies and mares will determine the leaders of the pack on the road to the Breeders' Cup Turf and Filly & Mare Turf races. The Grade 1, $350,000 Vosburgh at six furlongs for Breeders' Cup-bound sprinters, the Grade 1, $350,000 Beldame for fillies and mares aiming at the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic and the Grade 2 Kelso complete this sensational day of racing.
FUTURE IS NOW FOR JUVENILES SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 Catch a glimpse of the future in the Grade 1, $300,000 Champagne for 2-year-olds and the Grade 1, $300,000 Frizette for 2-year-old fillies, both at a mile. Also on the card is the Grade 1, $250,000 Jamaica Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Both juvenile races are part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, in which the winners earn an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile or Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
COLUMBUS DAY, MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 Explore the grounds of beautiful Belmont Park and discover a world of excitement on your holiday. It's the only Monday of the season when Belmont Park is open. Post time at 1 p.m. The $100,000 Pebbles is the main event for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf. Reminder: Belmont Park will be closed on Tuesday, October 11 and Wednesday, October 12. Belmont Park will re-open on Thursday, October 13. Post time is 1 p.m.
NEW YORK SHOWCASE DAY SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 It has become one of the most popular days at Belmont Park, devoted exclusively to the New York Thoroughbred breeding and racing program. Featured are seven New York-bred stakes races worth nearly $1 million, highlighted by the $200,000 Empire Classic. Taste the best of New York wineries in the clubhouse, and purchase artwork and products crafted by New York artisans.
BREAKFAST AT BELMONT WEEKENDS 7 A.M. - 9:30 A.M. SEPTEMBER 10-25 The Breakfast at Belmont program provides fans with a behind-the-scenes look at the world of racing by gaining access to otherwise restricted areas of Belmont Park, including a tram tour of Belmont's remarkable stable area. A kids' favorite, the starting gate demonstration, gives children an up-close-and-personal look at the amazing contraption. The Paddock Show is a must-see for racing fans and novices alike as a horse's daily routine and equipment are explained. The Breakfast at Belmont program is held every weekend from 7 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. through September. Breakfast at the Belmont Caf� is optional and available for a nominal cost.