OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic comes our way this Saturday, October 1 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. A purse of $500,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/2 miles on Belmont Park's turf track.
A short field of just four have been confirmed for the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic - race 6 on Belmont Park's packed Saturday card. Post time is 3:26 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all four entries for this intriguing Grade 1 stakes - a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race to the Breeders' Cup Turf.
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2016 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Race Preview at Belmont Park
Flintshire 1-1 - impressive British bred entry won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in 2013 and has been impressive since - three straight wins ahead of this weekend - the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes last time out August 27, in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes July 30 and the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 11. The wins followed a second in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase in December (a race he won in 2014), a second in the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in France, a win in the 2015 Sword Dancer Stakes in August and a second in his only other North American start - behind the terrific Main Sequence in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Turf. Flintshire now has eight wins, 10 seconds and a third place finish in 22 career starts - as competitive as they come at a huge variety of tracks around the world. He will be out to keep an impressive string of results going from gate 4 Saturday with Javier Castellano aboard the obvious favorite.
Money Multiplier 4-1 - has three wins, six seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts for trainer Chad Brown. He broke maiden at Belmont Park last May in his fourth career starts and went on to a couple of good runner-up finishes - the Grade 3 Kent Stakes last July and the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes in September. He struggled after that however - a seventh in the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes here in October and an eighth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November. He has been good in his last five starts however - a second last time out behind Flintshire with a terrific 112 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 27 followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score August 5 and consecutive runner-up finishes - the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park July 3 and in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 14. Money Multiplier has been decent but will still be chasing his first stakes score Saturday. John Velazquez will be in the saddle of the second betting choice from post 3.
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Ectot 8-1 - British bred Todd Pletcher trainee has placed in nine of 13 career starts - six wins, two seconds and a third place finish. He won the Group 2 Qatar Prix Niel in September, 2014 but has failed to post victory since. Last time out was a close second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga September 4 which followed a fourth in the minor Lure Stakes in his North American debut - at Saratoga August 6. He failed to place in three of his last four starts overseas. Ectot hasn't been all that impressive lately but will try for his first win in two years Saturday from the rail. Jose Ortiz rides.
Twilight Eclipse 10-1 - defending third place finisher in this race is still the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the Grade 2 William McKnight Handicap December 28, 2013 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths. He's placed in 14 of 18 races ahead of this weekend - a third last time out behind Flintshire and Money Multiplier in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 27 followed another third behind Flintshire in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Stakes July 30, an Allowance score at Belmont Park July 8, a third in the minor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational and three poor results - a sixth in the Grade 3 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland in April, a seventh in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream March 5 and an eighth in November in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Before the Breeders' Cup were third place finishes in three straight races - the 2015 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 29 and the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes July 5. His last graded stakes score came in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 9, 2015. Twilight Eclipse has been OK lately and will be after his first graded stakes score in 17 months (second overall) from gate 2. Joel Rosario has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal.
2016 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Entries & Odds
Race 6 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 3:26 PM.