The Belmont Park Fall Meet is called the “Championship Meet” for a good reason. It is because Belmont Park runs the largest amount of important fall stakes races that lead up to the Breeders’ Cup, and also includes so many different classes of stakes races throughout every division in Thoroughbred racing. As summer turns to fall the focus at the top rungs in Thoroughbred racing shifts away from the big summer meets and turns toward the Breeders’ Cup. It is in that arena where the Belmont Fall Meet shines, featuring 45 stakes races including 19 Graded stakes worth $11.525 million in purses with six Grade 1 races and eight Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races. The fall racing season is also great for high-quality turf racing, and pedigree handicappers can really shine because it’s the best time of year for two-year-old racing as future stars continue to be unveiled and the babies begin to stretch out and take to the turf. All of the top jockeys and trainers from the Saratoga meet will be battling it out again at Belmont. The 37-day 2019 Belmont Fall Championship meet begins on Friday, September 6, and continues through October 27. Racing will be run five days a week, Wednesday-Sunday, with a late post time of 3 p.m. (ET) on weekdays. The late post time is necessitated by construction of a new NHL arena adjacent to Belmont Park. The hockey arena construction will also result in the shortening of the season on the Belmont oval. The final 14 days of the Belmont meet will be run at Aqueduct starting on October 11. That means four of Belmont’s graded stakes will actually be run at Aqueduct, as well as the nine NY-bred stakes to be run on Empire Showcase Day on October 19. The Belmont Park Fall Breeders’ Cup “Win And You’re In” Schedule includes the $1 million Jockey Club Derby (Breeders’ Cup Turf prep) on September 7, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup (BC Classic) on September 28, $300,000 Vosburgh Invitational (BC Sprint) on September 28, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (BC Turf) on October 5, $500,000 Champagne (BC Juvenile) on October 5, $500,000 Flower Bowl (BC F&M Turf) on October 6, $400,000 Frizette (Juvenile Fillies) on Oct. 6, and the $150,000 Futurity (Juvenile Turf Sprint) on October 6. Belmont Park Fall Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Schedule Date:       Race:                                Prep for:              2019 Purse: Sept. 7     Jockey Club Derby         Turf                        $1,000,000 Sept. 28   Jockey Club Gold Cup   Classic                    $750,000 Sept. 28   Vosburgh Invitational   Sprint                    $300,000 Oct. 5       Joe Hirsch Turf Classic  Turf                       $500,000 Oct. 5       Champagne                     Juvenile                $500,000 Oct. 6       Flower Bowl                    F&M Turf             $500,000 Oct. 6       Frizette                             Juv Fillies             $400,000 Oct. 6       Futurity                            JuvTurf Sprint    $150,000 Other important races being run include the $250,000 Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) (Filly & Mare Sprint), $200,000 Pilgrim (G3) (Juvenile Turf), $300,000 Kelso Handicap (G2) at a mile (Dirt Mile), $200,000 Miss Grillo (G2) (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and $400,000 Hill Prince (G2) for three-year-old turfers. Opening weekend not only will inaugurate the $1 million Jockey Club Derby, but also the $750,000 Jockey Club Oaks and $300,000 Grand Prix American Jockey Club Invitational for older horses, all on September 7. The best horses, the best horsemen, and the best races of the fall racing season are all coming to Belmont. Don’t miss it! Best of luck. PHOTO: Belmont Park (c) Adam Coglianese Photography