Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational is an American Grade I stakes race on turf established in 1977 for Thoroughbred racehorses three years old and up. Currently held at Belmont Park, New York in October, it is named in honor of Joe Hirsch, the award-winning racing columnist and founding president of the National Turf Writers Association. Joe Hirsch, aged 80, died on January 9, 2009.

The race was first run as the "Aqueduct Turf Classic Invitational Stakes" at Aqueduct Racetrack from 1977 to 1979 and again from 1981 to 1983. Shortened to being called just the "Turf Classic" in 1983, it is raced at a distance of 1-1/2 miles and at one time drew the top Thoroughbreds from the U.S. and Europe when it was part of a million dollar bonus for any horse who won it plus the Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and the Washington, D.C., International at Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland. The inaugural 1977 race was won by Johnny D., ridden by 17-year-old Steve Cauthen. The race has also been won by champions such as April Run (1981 and 1982), All Along (1983), and John Henry (1984). The race record stands at 2:24 2/5, set in 1992 by the Sam-Son Farm colt, Sky Classic.

Belmont Park Graded Stakes Races

Stakes Race Grade Purse
Westchester Handicap III $150,000
Beaugay Stakes III $150,000
Fort Marcy Stakes III $100,000
Peter Pan Stakes II $200,000
Sheepshead Bay Stakes II $250,000
Metropolitan Handicap I $750,000
Sands Point Stakes II $200,000
Acorn Stakes I $300,000
Ogden Phipps Handicap I $400,000
Vagrancy Handicap II $200,000
Brooklyn Handicap II $200,000
Jaipur Stakes III $150,000
Belmont Stakes I $1000,000
Just A Game Stakes I $500,000
Manhattan Handicap I $500,000
True North Handicap II $400,000
Woody Stephens Stakes II $400,000
Hill Prince Stakes III $150,000
Mother Goose Stakes I $300,000
New York Stakes II $200,000
Dwyer Stakes II $200,000
Bed O'Roses Handicap III $150,000
Poker Stakes III $150,000
Suburban Handicap II $350,000
Victory Ride Stakes III $150,000
Man O'War Stakes I $600,000
Bowling Green Handicap II $150,000
Garden City Stakes I $250,000
Noble Damsel Stakes III $100,000
Gallant Bloom Handicap II $150,000
Kelso Handicap II $200,000
Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes I $500,000
Beldame Invitational Stakes I $350,000
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes I $500,000
Jockey Club Gold Cup I $750,000
Vosburgh Invitational Stakes I $350,000
Miss Grillo Stakes III $100,000
Pilgrim Stakes III $100,000
Tempted Stakes III $100,000
Nashua Stakes II $150,000
Frizette Stakes I $300,000
Jamaica Handicap I $250,000
Champagne Stakes I $300,000
Athenia Stakes III $100,000
Knickerbocker Stakes III $100,000
Turnback The Alarm Handicap III $100,000
Bold Ruler Handicap III $100,000
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