Racing returns to Belmont Park
By Bob Ehalt
And so it’s back to Belmont Park.
After 40 fabulous days at Saratoga, the New York racing scene retuned to Belmont on Friday for its fall meet that will lead into the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2-3.
Between then and now, there will be plenty of graded stakes that showcase the East’s top runners, though that’s not exactly the case on Saturday.
The Saturday featured race is the Allied Forces, a $100,000 stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on the turf.
It attracted a field of seven topped by World of Trouble, the 9-5 morning-line favorite. The son of Kantharos is coming off a front-running win in the Quick Call, a $100,000 grass sprint at Saratoga that marked World of Trouble’s turf debut.
The 5-2 second choice is another speedster, Zayat Stables’ Gidu. A winner of the Paradise Creek, a seven-furlong turf stakes on May 26 at Belmont Park, Gidu then traveled overseas to Royal Ascot where he was a creditable sixth in a Group 1 stakes. Upon his return to the United States, after rushing out to a big early lead, Gidu faded to fourth in the final furlong of the Hall of Fame Stakes at a mile-and-a-sixteenth.
In his last start, Gidu shifted to the main track and lost by nearly 15 lengths in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens and he should welcome a return to Belmont’s grass course.
The main challengers also include Dirty (7-2), who was third, two lengths behind, in the Quick Call.
The rest of the field includes Reed Kan (12-1), Weather Report (8-1), Colonel Tom (8-1) and Totally Boss (8-1).
Sunday’s featured race at Belmont will be the first running of the $100,000 Royal Delta.
The mile-and-a-sixteenth stakes drew a field of seven and features a rematch of the Grade 3 Molly Pitcher at Monmouth Park. Heading the field is Berned, who won the Molly Pitcher, with her main rivals shaping up as Dreamcall, who was second in the Molly Pitcher, and Divine Miss Grey, who wound up third in the Monmouth stakes.