Las Vegas, NV - The Empire Classic Handicap comes our way this Saturday, October 19 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York as part of New York Showcase Day. A Handicap for Three Year Olds And Upward Foaled In New York State And Approved By The New York State-Bred Registry, the Empire Classic will be run over 1 1/8 miles for a purse of $250,000.
A field of eight will line up in the Empire Classic Handicap - race 11 on Belmont Park's Saturday Card. Post time is 5:45 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all eight combatants for this intriguing stakes race.
Readtheprospectus - Chad Brown trained gelding has been on fire - five starts this year and five impressive wins including the Spite The Devil Stakes on this track last time out over a few of his Empire Classic foes. Before that was a win in the state-bred Commentator Handicap here in June and a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming scores. He is going to be tough to stop, is the favorite in the Empire Classic and he drew the outside post. He will carry top weight of 124 pounds and will have regular rider Junior Alvarado aboard.
Saratoga Snacks - Readtheprospectus's biggest threat has placed in all nine career starts - six wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Last time out was a third in the minor John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga August 1 after a couple of minor stakes scores - the Shy Groom on this track June 30 and the Alex Robb Stakes in December at Aqueduct. He finished second in this race last year and will be looking to better that result in just his third start of the year. Saratoga Snacks will have Joel Rosario in the saddle.
Zetterholm - had a three race win streak going into last year's Preakness - all at Aqueduct including the Patsyprospect Stakes last April 6. He finished an impressive fourth in the Preakness and followed that with a decent fourth in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes here in June 2012. He was forced out of action for 14 months before retuning August 16 to a fifth in the minor Saratoga Sunrise Stakes behind Awesome Vision. Zetterholm is one of the more intriguing names to watch and if he can rediscover his 2012 form could emerge victorious Saturday.
Awesome Vision - Thomas Albertini trained colt won the Saratoga Sunrise Stakes August 16 but was eighth last time out in the Ashley T. Cole Stakes on this track September 15. He has four wins (two minor stakes races and two Allowance optional Claiming) this year with a second and a third in eight starts this year but has been a tad inconsistent of late. He returns to dirt where he has won 6 of 11 career starts.
Warrioroftheroses - speedster is coming off a good second by a head in the DTHA Governor's Day Stakes at Delaware Park September 14 after a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming August 10 and an Allowance score at Delaware Park in July. Warrioroftheroses has raced in graded stakes company before - an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Maryland Handicap at Pimlico in May. He has nine starts this year with two wins, a second and a third place finish.
Moneyinyour Pocket - Charleton Baker trained gelding has 16 career starts but makes his stakes debut Saturday. He enters having won three of four starts - all Allowance races at Finger Lakes this summer with a second sandwiched in there. He has looked good lately but he steps up in company Saturday.
Bigger Is Bettor - has two wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in eight starts this year - the lone off the board finish was a fifth last time out in the minor Spite The Devil Stakes on this track September 19. Before that was a second in the minor Saratoga Sunrise Stakes and two wins - the Evan Shipman Stakes in July and an Allowance Optional Claiming in June.
Spa City Fever - David Jacobson trained gelding has placed in just one of his last four starts - a decent second in the Spite the Devil Stakes on this track September 19. Last time out was a fifth in the minor Duck Dance Stakes here October 6. He has just one win in nine starts this year and six wins in 38 career starts.
Race 11 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:45 PM.
||Bigger Is Bettor
||Spa City Fever
||I. Ortiz, Jr.