ELMONT, N.Y. - With TVG Super Saturday on September 27 serving as the centerpiece of an enhanced stakes schedule worth $11 million, Belmont Park's fall championship meet will open Friday, September 5 and run for 38 days through October 26.
In addition to six graded stakes, TVG Super Saturday will feature a Tom Durkin bobblehead giveaway and autograph signing by the legendary and now-retired track announcer, a food truck festival and a Family Fun Day filled with activities for fans young and old. On track, TVG Super Saturday will feature six graded stakes, including five Grade 1 races, headed by the 96th edition of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 Â¼ miles. Also on the day are the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, the $600,000 Flower Bowl for turf fillies and mares, the $400,000 Beldame for fillies and mares, the $400,000 Vosburgh for sprinters and the Grade 2, $400,000 Kelso Handicap.
The following Saturday, October 4, juveniles will take center stage at Belmont, with the Grade 1 Champagne and the Grade 1 Frizette serving as "Win and You're In" springboards to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies.
Belmont Park will also play host to Oktoberfest on October 4, featuring a beer and chili festival.
The always-popular New York Showcase Day returns on October 18, with a celebration of all things New York, including a pumpkin patch, food, arts and crafts vendors in the grandstand and eight stakes races restricted to New York-breds, with purses totaling $1.75 million.
Opening weekend features four stakes, beginning with the first edition of the $100,000 Left Bank at a mile on Friday and continuing with the $100,000 Yankee Affair at 1 Â½ miles on the Widener Turf on Saturday. Sunday will feature a pair of stakes in the $100,000 Sky Beauty for fillies and mares and the $100,000 Real Courage at seven furlongs on the Widener turf.
Graded stakes action begins on Saturday, September 13 with a pair of turf races for fillies and mares - the Grade 2, $500,000 Sands Point at 1 1/8 miles and the Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel at a mile.
With live racing generally conducted Wednesdays through Sundays, first post is at 1:05 p.m. in September, and 12:50 p.m. beginning Wednesday, October 1.