Garden City Draws A Fine Cast

A fine field of sophomore fillies will travel nine panels on the Belmont Turf Course in the weekend feature here, the $500,000 Garden City S. (G1). Two-time Grade 1 queen Emollient, who was last seen taking the American Oaks (G1) at Hollywood Park in her turf debut, looms large in this one. The Bill Mott-conditioned daughter of Empire Maker has clearly shown she is better on turf and synthetic ovals, and her gate speed to give her the jump on the late runners in this field.

Standing in Emollient's way Saturday are 10 rivals, several of whom with legitimate credentials.

Discreet Marq shipped west and proved tops in the Del Mar Oaks (G1) most recently, and the streaking Christophe Clement pupil has been on a very nice roll entering this one. A winner of three straight, the speedy daughter of Discreet Cat proved capable of rating last time and rates a huge chance with her best showing. Lake Placid (G2) heroine Caroline Thomas, Grade 3 vixen Watsdachances, Lake Placid (G2) fourth Concise, Auntie Mame S. winner Summer of Fun, two-time stakes queen Effie Trinket and sharp allowance winner With Sugar on Top, round out the top stateside players in the field.

Owner Martin Schwartz and trainer Chad Brown, who captured last year's Garden City with Irish classic winner Samitar, are represented here by Alterite. A multiple listed winner in France, the daughter of Literato was beaten a nose in the May 26 Prix Saint-Alary, a leading prep for the Prix de Diane (French Oaks).

The field is rounded out by Summer of Fun, Effie Trinket and Praia, respectively first, second, and fifth in the $100,000 Auntie Mame at Saratoga last month; With Sugar On Top, an August 22 allowance winner upstate; and longshot maiden winner Precarious.

Bet the Garden City Stakes and Belmont Park horse racing online with and watch it live on TwinSpiresTV.

Grade 3 $200,000 Noble Damsel

Get Lucky, last year's Matriarch and Sands Point winner, returns to action in the Grade 3, $200,000 Noble Damsel earlier in the card. The Godolphin homebred has raced just twice this year, most recently finishing a close second to Stephanie's Kitten in the June 8 Just a Game over the same Widener turf mile as the Noble Damsel.

"She's kind of limited in her distance. She's really effective going a mile," trainer Tom Albertrani said. "After a mile and a sixteenth, she kind of gets there, and then after that it's hard to place her in races.

"We just waited for the right opportunity to come along, the right distance, and this looks like a good spot to come back with her," he said. "We'll see what happens. Everything's been really good with her. She's been training great coming up to this weekend."

Naples Bay, seeking her first win since the 2012 Noble Damsel, enters off a runner-up finish in the Matchmaker at Monmouth Park. Multiple Grade 2 heroine Hungry Island, meanwhile, exits a fourth-place effort in the August 24 Ballston Spa.

Group 2 winner Laugh Out Loud, 2012 Pebbles winner Peace Preserver, and $100,000 De La Rose vixen Assateague complete the lineup.

Belmont Park Fall Championship Meet Wagering

Belmont - Penn National Thursday Pick 4 - The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and Penn National Gaming, Inc. are launching a special reduced takeout Thursday Pick 4 that will link the final two races at Belmont Park with the first two races at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The Belmont - Penn National Thursday Pick 4 will commence Thursday, September 12 and will run every subsequent Thursday through October 24, the final week of the Belmont fall meet. The 50-cent minimum wager will be offered at a reduced 15 percent takeout. "We are very excited to partner with NYRA and offer racing customers this new and unique bet," said Dan Silver, director of racing operations at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. "Combining races from Belmont Park and Penn National in this reduced takeout wager should create a fun and appealing midweek wagering opportunity." The wager will begin with Belmont's next-to-last race (usually race 8 or 9), and conclude with Penn National's 2nd race at approximately 6:27pm ET.

Handicapping  Belmont Park

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Belmont Park 2013 Fall Championship Meet

Dates:  September 7 through October 27
Belmont Park horse racing schedule:  Dark Mondays and Tuesdays
Post Times: 1pm ET daily 

Belmont Park Racetrack Information

Main track (dirt): 1 1/2 mile oval
Length of stretch from last turn to finish line: 1,097 feet

Widener turf: 1 5/16 mile, 27 feet inside main track

Inner turf course: 1 3/16 miles
Bets available may include: Win, Place, Show, Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, Superfecta, Daily Double, Pick 3, and Pick 4.

Garden City Past Winners

Year: Horse: Owner Trainer Jockey
2012 Samitar (GB) Martin S. Schwartz Chad C. Brown Ramon A. Dominguez
2011 Winter Memories Phillips Racing Partnership James J. Toner Javier Castellano
2010 Check the Label Lael Stables H. Graham Motion Ramon A. Dominguez
2009 Miss World Waratah Thoroughbreds Christophe Clement Cornelio H. Velasquez
2008 Backseat Rhythm Paul P. Pompa, Jr. Patrick L. Reynolds Javier Castellano
2007 Alexander Tango (IRE) Noel O' Callaghan Tommy Stack Shaun Bridgmohan
2006 Magnificent Song Parrish,Malcolm,Edward Todd Pletcher Garrett Gomez
2005 Luas Line (IRE) Mrs. Evelyn Stockwell David Wachman John Velazquez
2004 Lucifer's Stone Team Solaris Stable Linda Rice Jose Santos
2003 Indy Five Hundred Georgica Stable Robert Barbara Pat Day
2002 Wonder Again Phillips & Phillips James Toner Edgar Prado
2001 Voodoo Dancer Green Hills Farms Christophe Clement Corey Nakatani
2000 Gaviola Twilite Farms William H. Turner Jr. Jerry Bailey
1999 Perfect Sting Stronach Stable Joseph Orseno Pat Day
1998 Pharatta (IRE) Hinojosa Dario Carlos Laffon-Parias Corey Nakatani
1997 Auntie Mame Lazy F Ranch Angel Penna Jr. Jerry Bailey
1996 True Flare Juddmonte Farms Robert Frankel Gary Stevens
1995 Perfect Arc Brazil Stables Angel Penna Jr. John Velazquez
1994 Jade Flush Condren, et al Nicholas P. Zito Robbie Davis
1993 Sky Beauty Georgia E. Hofmann H. Allen Jerkens Mike Smith
1992 November Snow Earle I. Mack H. Allen Jerkens Chris Antley
1991 Dazzle Me Jolie Jolie Stanzione Willard J. Thompson Jose Santos
1990 Aishah Helen K. Groves Flint S. Schulhofer Jose Santos
1989 Highest Glory Joseph Allen D. Wayne Lukas Jose Santos
1988 Topicount Centennial Farms H. Allen Jerkens Angel Cordero Jr.
1987 Personal Ensign Ogden Phipps Claude R. McGaughey III Randy Romero
1986 Life At The Top Lloyd R. French D. Wayne Lukas Chris McCarron
1985 Kamikaze Rick Theodore M. Sabarese John Parisella Angel Cordero Jr.
1984 Given Ronald S. Green Alfino Pepino Matthew Vigliotti
1983 Pretty Sensible John Zervas George Travers Alfredo Smith Jr.
1982 Nafees Albert Fried Jr. Richard T. DeStasio Jorge Velasquez
1981 Banner Gala Ogden Phipps Angel Penna Angel Cordero Jr.
1980 Mitey Lively Tayhill Stable Doug Peterson Jorge Velasquez
1979 Danielle B. Our Precious Stable John O. Hertler Ruben Hernandez


About Belmont Park Racetrack

There was a time when horses truly equaled power. We’re reminded of that every time the Triple Crown is run – the three most important races in America for 3-year-old thoroughbreds. The Belmont Stakes, the third jewel in the Triple Crown, is run at the magnificent Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

August Belmont Jr. was a central figure in New York’s upper class, and the man credited with saving the sport of thoroughbred racing in the East. He spent considerable time, effort and money on his labor of love – a love he inherited from his father. The first Belmont Stakes were run in 1867 at lavish Jerome Park Racetrack, which August Belmont Sr. helped finance.

By the turn of the century, the race had been moved to Morris Park Racecourse, which was once called the finest in the world before builder John Morris died in 1895. New York’s upper crust stopped attending after that, leaving both Morris Park and the sport itself in disarray.

Enter our hero. August Belmont Jr. organized the Westchester Racing Association in 1895, opened Belmont Park 10 years later and took over the Belmont Stakes from Morris Park. The State of New York owns Belmont Park now, but the tradition remains. When it came time to tear down the old facility in 1963, Arthur Froehlich was hired to design the new grandstand, which opened in 1968 at a cost of $30.7 million – that’s nearly $200 million in 2011 dollars.

Belmont Park holds events from May to July and again from late September to late October. The $1-million Belmont Stakes (1.5 mile, dirt) are run the first Saturday after June 5. Belmont hosts 16 other Grade 1 stakes, including the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup (10 furlongs, dirt) for 3-year- olds and up. The most notable turf race is the $600,000 Man o' War Stakes (11 furlongs, 3 years and older), named after the greatest racehorse of them all, born in 1917 at August Belmont Jr.’s farm in Lexington. Papa would have been proud.