Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic comes our way from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Super Saturday - September 27. Horses three years old and upward will be featured when they go 1 1/2 miles on Belmont Park's main track searching for the winner's share of the very nice $600,000 purse and an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf.
A field of seven older entries will line up in the Joe Hirsch - race 9 on Belmont Park's ridiculous Saturday card. Post time is 5:16 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all seven entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
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2014 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Race Favorite Entries
Main Sequence - H Graham Motion trained gelding made his North American debut July 6 and posted the upset win in the 1 3/8 mile Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park at 8-1 odds and followed that with another great win - last time out in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17. He recorded four wins, three seconds and three third place finishes at home before his tremendous debut here including a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Epsom Derby in England. Main Sequence now has six wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 16 career starts and enters this weekend on a terrific two race win streak. Rajiv Maragh will be in the saddle from post 6 as Main Sequence looks to hold off the second and third place finishers from the recent Sword Dancer.
Imagining - won two straight races in the summer of 2012 - both at Belmont Park after a very good second in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November 2011. He was out of racing for nine months before returning to an Allowance score at Keeneland April 13, 2013. He then looked good at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 - a win over Real Solution in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 11 followed a second behind Lochte in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and a two race win streak - the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct November 16 and the overnight Bowl Game Stakes at Belmont Park in October. Last time out was a good second behind Main Sequence in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 18 after an uncharacteristic sixth in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 7. Imagining has won four of his last eight starts with two second place finishes in there and looks decent for trainer Shug McGaughey this weekend. He leaves from gate 2 with Joel Rosario in the saddle.
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Twilight Eclipse - is defending fifth place finisher in this race is the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf - at last year's Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream. He won the Grade 2 William McKnight Handicap at 12 furlongs December 28 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths and then went on to a win in February in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream as well. He took his show to Dubai where he finished a disappointing twelfth in a Group 1 stakes and returned to North America June 6 and finished an unflattering fourth in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational. Last time out was an OK third in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17 after a decent second as favorite behind Main Sequence in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes July 6. He has 19 career starts with six wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and has four wins and three seconds in 12 career graded stakes tries. Twilight Eclipse looks to build off a couple of good efforts with Jose Lezcano aboard from the rail.
Real Solution - two time Grade 1 winning Chad Brown trained Italian import had five starts at home with three wins to start his career, a sixth and a second in his last race overseas. He made his North American debut with an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes last May 4 after being out of action since September and followed that with a respectable third in the 2013 Manhattan Handicap June 8, 2013. He went on to an OK third behind Little Mike and Big Blue Kitten in the 2013 Joe Hirsch September 28 after his best career result - a win in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes August 17. Real Solution raced to a ninth in the Breeders' Cup Turf and had a fourth in his first 2014 start - in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Handicap March 29. He followed that with a good second behind Imagining in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes on this track May 11 and he won the Grade 3 Manhattan Stakes on this track but stumbled to a seventh last time out in the 2014 Arlington Million Stakes. He looks for a bounce back on a track he's had a fair amount of success on. He starts from gate 5 with Javier Castellano aboard.
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Medal Count - Dale Romans trained colt was last seen running an OK second in the minor Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs September 6 after a disappointing ninth in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational in July, a good third in the Belmont Stakes and an eighth in the Kentucky Derby. Before the Derby was a good second in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 12, a win in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes April 4, and an eleventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Medal Count has been a tad up and down in his career - three wins, two seconds and a third place finish in 11 career starts but hopes to right the ship Saturday. He will have Jose Ortiz aboard from the outside post.
Big Blue Kitten - had a nice second in the 2013 Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes behind Boisterous June 9 before his best career result - a win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park last July 6. He finished a disappointing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf after a good second behind Little Mike in the 2014 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and a win in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17. Big Blue Kitten returned to the track after nine months away August 2 and won the minor Lure Stakes at Saratoga and was most recently second in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth Park August 24. He has 11 wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 21 career starts and has placed in nine of his last 10 races. Joe Bravo gets the call from post 4.
Hangover Kid - raced in graded stakes company for the first time and finished a decent third in the Grade 1 United Nations last July 6, 2013 after 16 career starts produced five wins, four seconds and two third place finishes. Hangover Kid has recorded consecutive seconds at the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 - in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 1 at Gulfstream and in the Grade 3 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct in November. This year he has three other starts - a terrific win last time out in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap here July 12 followed a good second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes June 8 and an ugly thirteenth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes in April. Hangover Kid has 24 career starts with seven wins, seven seconds and three third place finishes and enters off his best career performance. He leaves from gate 3 with Irad Ortiz in the saddle.
2014 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Entries & Odds
Race 9 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:16 PM.
|1||Big Blue Kitten||J. Bravo||C. Brown|
|1A||Real Solution||J. Castellano||C. Brown|
|2||Twilight Eclipse||J. Lezcano||T. Albertrani|
|3||Imagining||J. Rosario||C. McGaughey III|
|4||Hangover Kid||I. Ortiz, Jr.||J. Servis|
|5||Main Sequence||R. Maragh||H. Motion|
|6||Medal Count||J. Ortiz||D. Romans|