Belmont closes for 2018; Aqueduct opening corresponds with Breeders’ Cup
By Matt Shifman
Racing wraps for the Belmont Park Fall Championship meeting this weekend after 36-days of racing in which Chad Brown will end up the leading trainer; Irad Ortiz Jr. has a big lead in the jockey standings; and Michael Dubb is currently one win ahead of Klaravich Stables for the top owner.
Aqueduct begins its fall/winter meeting on Friday, November 2. Two Grade 3 races will be offered – the Tempted on opening day and the Turnback the Alarm Handicap on Saturday. Turf racing is being offered on both grass courses throughout the entire first condition book, which goes through the first 10 days of racing or November 15.
The Big A’s opening day corresponds with the 2018 Breeders’ Cup which will be held at Churchill Downs on Friday and on Saturday, November 3.
Race order for “Future Stars Friday” will start with the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (3:21 p.m.); the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (4:00 p.m.); the $2 million Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (4:40 p.m.); the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (5:22 p.m.) and the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (6:05 p.m.)
Championship Saturday kicks off with two undercard races followed by the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (12:00 p.m.); the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (12:38 p.m.); the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (1:16 p.m.); the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (2:04 p.m.); the $2 million TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (2:46 p.m.); the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (3:36 p.m.); the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (4:16 p.m.); the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (4:56 p.m.) and the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (5:44 p.m.).
The field for the Classic includes four horses with New York connections: Mind Your Biscuits for trainer Chad Summers; the Travers winner Catholic Boy from the barn of Jonathan Thomas; Uriah St. Lewis’ Discreet Lover, who upset the Jockey Club Gold Cup; and Grade 1 Woodward victor Yoshida, who is campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup were announced Wednesday with 221 individual horses pre-entered across 14 Breeders’ Cup races including 12 for Chad Brown and eight for Todd Pletcher. Here’s a look at the Breeders’ Cup probable runners with New York connections.
Tom Albertrani – Sadler’s Joy (Turf)
Chad Brown – Newspaperofrecord (Juvenile Fillies Turf), Complexity (Juvenile), Standard Deviation (Juvenile), A Raving Beauty (Filly & Mare Turf), Fourstar Crook (Filly & Mare Turf), Santa Monica (Filly & Mare Turf), Sistercharlie (Filly & Mare Turf), Thais (Filly & Mare Turf), Analyze It (Mile), Almanaar (Mile), Wow Cat (Distaff), Robert Bruce (Turf)
Mark Casse – Strike Silver (Juvenile Turf Sprint), War of Will (Juvenile Turf), Shamrock Rose (Filly & Mare Sprint), Awesome Slew (Dirt Mile), Wonder Gadot (Distaff)
Christophe Clement – Disco Partner (Turf Sprint)
Gary Contessa – Sippican Harbor (Juvenile Fillies)
Jeremiah Englehart – Forty Under (Juvenile Turf)
Shug McGaughey – Code of Honor (Juvenile)
Bill Mott – Topper T (Juvenile), Channel Maker (Turf), Yoshida (Classic)
Brian Lynch – Oscar Performance (Mile)
Greg Sacco – Mind Control (Juvenile).
Jason Servis – Uncle Benny (Juvenile Turf), Firenze Fire (Dirt Mile) and Rainbow Heir, Vision Perfect, and World of Trouble (Turf Sprint)
John Servis – Jaywalk (Juvenile Fillies)
Barclay Tagg – Cassies Dreamer (Juvenile Fillies), Verve’s Tale (Distaff)
Rodrigo Ubillo – Highway Star (Filly and Mare Sprint)