PLEASE NOTE AS OF FRIDAY, JUNE 5TH ALL PERSONEL ON THE BACKSTRETCH AT HASTINGS RACECOURSE WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE MASKED. THERE IS NO ACDCEPTIONS ANYONE NOT WEARING A MASK AS OF FRIDAY WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE GROUNDS.
Live Racing Announcement
The 2020 schedule at Hastings for 2020 has 25 racing days starting on Monday, July 6th and closing on Monday, September 28th.
Racing is every Monday and Tuesday. Post time for first race is 1:45pm. Entry day is on Fridays.
Exceptions to Monday and Tuesday racing:
There is no racing Monday, August 3rd but there is racing Wednesday August 5th
Racing is added on Saturday, September 5th (Kentucky Derby Day)
No racing Monday, September 7th or Tuesday, September 8th but there is racing Wednesday, September 9th.
Announcement for Training in June
Hours of training will be: 6:00am – 11:00am Dark day will be: Monday
Gate Crew on Site: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
The protocol for horses going to the gate is that all members of the gate crew and riders going to gate will all have to be wearing masks. If you need masks the racing associations have purchased a number of masks and will be available from Steve Henson and Mike Heads.
Clockers on Site: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Owners are welcome to view morning training from 6:00am – 11:00am on clocker days. All owners may enter through the VIP parking gate and social distancing should be adhered to. Owners must remember to stay frontside and are not permitted backside.
With the approval of live racing, the above training times will change for the month of July and onwards. More to follow.
The son of Unbridled’s Song, who is North America’s richest racehorse, was euthanized June 2 after battling with an apparent neurological illness that began last week. The exact cause of the illness is still be be determined.
Belmont Park Notes 5.31.20
- Fauci set for highly-anticipated debut in Opening Day maiden sprint
- Mystic Guide returns in loaded Thursday allowance tilt at Belmont
- Come Dancing on course for Grade 3 Vagrancy
- Belmont spring/summer Week 1 Stakes probables
Trainer Wesley Ward will saddle promising 2-year-old Fauci in a five-furlong maiden sprint on Big Sandy set as Wednesday’s third race on the Opening Day of the 25-day spring/summer meet, to be contested without spectators, at Belmont Park.
The Malibu Moon colt, a $175,000 purchase at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, is named for Dr. Anthony Fauci, an immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health since 1984
Dr. Fauci, one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases, has played a prominent role on the White House Coronavirus Task Force throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The 79-year-old Fauci is a native of Brooklyn, New York.
Owned by Lindy Farms and Ice Wine Stable [Dave Reid and Frank Antonacci], it was Phillip Antonacci, Frank’s son, who selected both the horse and the name for the promising colt.
“Phillip Antonacci purchased the horse at Keeneland,” said Ward. “Being of Italian-American descent, and for all the great work that Dr. Fauci’s done, they wanted to find a horse, especially in this time, that they could give a high-profile name to and this is the one.”
Fauci’s second dam, Sun Shower, produced multiple Group 1-winning turfer and $2.6-million earner Excelebration and the millionaire Group 1-winner Lancaster Bomber.
Ward said Fauci has shown speed and ability on both the turf at Palm Meadows and the Keeneland dirt, where he is currently training lights out over the main track.
“He’s training unbelievable,” said Ward. “He’s a bigger colt. He doesn’t have a typical speed horse look to him. It looks like he’ll go a little further. He has a long stride and is just an athlete. He goes just as fast as you want him to.
“He worked phenomenal on the grass early on down at Palm Meadows,” added Ward. “He’s equally good, if not a shade better, on the grass. That said, all of his works on the dirt at Keeneland have been eye-openers.”
Fauci will emerge from Post 3 under Tyler Gaffalione in a field of six.
Bound for Nowhere, owned and trained by Ward, could be bound for the Grade 1, $250,000 Jaipur presented by America’s Best Racing. The six-furlong turf sprint, which offers a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland, is set for Belmont Stakes Day June 20.
The 6-year-old son of The Factor has won six-of-13 starts, including scores in the 2018 Grade 2 Shakertown at Keeneland that garnered a career-best 107 Beyer Speed Figure and a sizzling 4 ¼-length score in an optional-claiming sprint in October 2019 on the Belmont turf that earned a 106 Beyer.
“I’m training him for the Jaipur. He’s training outstanding right now,” said Ward. “We were going to go to Ascot, but with the Breeders’ Cup being in Keeneland this fall I don’t want to keep moving him around too much.”
The Belmont romp, in which Bound for Nowhere overcame a stumbled start, was on the back of a four-month layoff after an off-the-board effort in the 2019 Group 1 Diamond Jubilee at Ascot.
“He pulled a muscle in England. It took me all summer to get him back right until the fall when he ran a big race at Belmont, but it was just too quick back to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Ward.
Instead, Ward pointed Bound for Nowhere to the Grade 3 San Simeone on March 21 at Santa Anita where he was a game second, beaten a head, to possible Jaipur rival Cistron.
“He got beat on the line with some trip excuses in the race. He’s working really good right now,” said Ward.
Ten Broeck Farm’s Kimari breezed five eighths in 1:00.60 Saturday on the Keeneland turf.
“She worked well yesterday on the grass at Keeneland and I have her scheduled for the Commonwealth at Ascot,” said Ward.
Breeze Easy’s Four Wheel Drive, winner of the Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Santa Anita in November, was undefeated in three starts heading into his seasonal debut in a Churchill Downs allowance on May 17. Off a step slowly in the 5 ½-furlong turf sprint, Four Wheel Drive failed to fire when seventh.
“He has me scratching my head. He came out of the race with no issues. Other than his stutter step at the start, it’s hard to find an excuse,” said Ward. “You’d think an undefeated Breeders’ Cup winner would be able to sit back and make a run, but he didn’t. We’ll breeze him Saturday on the grass and see if maybe that race tightened him down to where it was a lack of fitness that he didn’t have that punch in the last part.”
Mystic Guide returns in loaded Thursday allowance tilt at Belmont
Trainer Mike Stidham will saddle the royally-bred Mystic Guide in a Thursday allowance event at Belmont Park that also includes promising sophomores Country Grammer, Basquiat and Famished.
The 1 1/6-mile event is slated as Race 8 on Thursday’s card with Brian Hernandez, Jr. retaining the mount on Godolphin’s Mystic Guide, a Ghostzapper chestnut out of multiple Group 1-winner Music Note.
Mystic Guide has made two starts at Fair Grounds including a first-out third in a six-furlong sprint in February ahead of a five-length maiden score when travelling 1 1/16-miles on March 21 that earned an 84 Beyer Speed Figure.
Stidham said the lightly-raced colt has always shown potential.
“He was a little late coming into us, but he was really touting himself in his works early on. We’ve liked him from the beginning,” said Stidham. “We wanted to run him long first out, but the first race in the book was a mile and an eighth. We decided to give him some education in the six-furlong race and he got shuffled back to last and came running on the outside. He went right to the route in his second start and won well.”
The colt was expected to make his seasonal debut in the Grade 3 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs on May 23, but altered course to avoid a showdown with fellow Godolphin runner Maxfield, who won the event in fine fashion for trainer Brendan Walsh.
Stidham said Thursday’s Belmont allowance is a good starting point as Mystic Guide, who is training well at Fair Hill in Maryland, looks to resume his sophomore season.
“We wanted to run him at least a mile and a sixteenth, and we would have preferred two turns, but since he’s at Fair Hill this race made sense, rather than shipping him to Churchill,” said Stidham.
Stidham said a good result on Thursday could propel Mystic Guide to the Grade 2 Blue Grass on July 11 at Keeneland or the Grade 1 Haskell on July 18 at Monmouth Park.
“If he were to run real big in this race and come out of it good, we would consider the Blue Grass or the Haskell,” said Stidham.
Godolphin homebred Alms, a sophomore daughter of City Zip, was undefeated in her first four starts including scores in the Grade 3 Matron in October at Belmont and the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante in November at Del Mar. Last out, making her fifth career start in the one-mile Tepin on May 23 at Churchill Downs, Alms endured a difficult trip when fifth off a three-month layoff from a score in the Shantel Lanerie Memorial in February at Fair Grounds.
“I was a little disappointed. She broke from the way outside and was tucked in and that’s not really her best positioning,” said Stidham. “I think she’s more of a free-running filly and it’s better when she can sit in a cleaner spot. She doesn’t have to be on the lead, but just in a stalking spot right there. She was checked a bit on the turn, but it was a bit of a trip issue and she’d been off quite a while, so we’ll assume she needed the race back and we’ll move forward off of that.”
Stidham said the Grade 3, $150,000 Wonder Again, a one-mile turf event for sophomores fillies set for Belmont Stakes Day June 20 is the next likely target for Alms.
Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony, a 7-year-old Tapit horse with multiple graded-stakes winning credentials, is likely to make his next start in the Grade 2 Fort Marcy on Saturday, June 6 at Belmont Park.
“He’s training really well at Fair Hill,” said Stidham. “It’s coming up a pretty tough race, but we’ll enter and take a look.”
Newtown Anner Stud Farm and Mark Breen’s Saguaro Row, a five-time winning daughter of Union Rags with scores in the Pumpkin Pie in November and the Interborough in January at the Big A, is enjoying some downtime at the farm.
“She had a good campaign and it was good timing for a freshening for her,” said Stidham. “She seems to be a better fall and winter filly, so we wanted to freshen her now and have her ready for next fall. She’s a pretty cool filly.”
Come Dancing on course for Grade 3 Vagrancy
Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Grade 1-winning millionaire Come Dancing is back at Belmont with trainer Carlos Martin following her off-the-board effort in the Grade 1 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
The 6-year-old Malibu Moon mare won four-of-six starts in 2019 for Martin, including scores in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga, the Grade 2 Ruffian and Grade 2 Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park, and the Grade 3 Distaff at the Big A.
Come Dancing was prepared for her Apple Blossom effort by D. Wayne Lukas and Martin said the talented dark bay was given some time to recuperate before returning to Belmont Park last week.
“We gave her a little respite with Bruce Jackson at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and she was able to hang out there and ride the trails and graze,” said Martin. “Fair Hill is like heaven for horses and she was able to enjoy a pit stop there for almost three weeks.”
Martin said the freshening has suited Come Dancing, who will be pointed to the Grade 3, $100,000 Vagrancy Handicap, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares slated for June 27 at Belmont.
“She came back five days ago and looks healthy and sound. Bruce did a great job with her,” said Martin. “We’ll look to give her two or three works before the Vagrancy. We’ll have to see how the schedule plays out. She’s galloping well right now and is getting back into her routine. She seems like a happy filly.”
Florent Geroux was aboard for the last-out route attempt in the Apple Blossom and Martin said he will look to reunite Come Dancing with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, who was aboard for the Ballerina and Gallant Bloom scores.
“We’ll get her back to sprinting with Javier and a little home cooking. The Vagrancy is my goal,” said Martin. “It was an ambitious spot and she had a lot thrown at her for that race [in the Apple Blossom]. Coming back now, I think having her fresh and happy we’ll hopefully see the same old Come Dancing.
“She loves Belmont,” continued Martin. “She’s had great success there with the Gallant Bloom and the Ruffian last year. I definitely believe in horses for courses.”
Belmont spring/summer Week 1 Stakes Probables
Saturday, June 6, 2020
Grade 1, $250,000 Runhappy Carter Handicap (BC)
Probable: Bon Raison (David Cannizzo), Firenze Fire (Kelly Breen), Killybegs Captain (John Terranova), Mind Control (Gregg Sacco), Network Effect (Chad Brown), Nitrous (Steve Asmussen), Performer (Shug McGaughey), Vekoma (George Weaver),
Possible: American Anthem (Danny Gargan), Nicodemus (Linda Rice), Wicked Trick (Linda Rice)
Grade 2, $150,000 Fort Marcy
Probable: Factor This (Brad Cox), Flop Shot (Brown), Gucci Factor (Christophe Clement), Instilled Regard (Chad Brown), Social Paranoia (Todd Pletcher), Synchrony (Mike Stidham),
Possible: Devamani (Chad Brown) Digital Age (Brown), Temple (Mike Maker)
Grade 3, $100,000 Westchester
Probable: Backsideofthemoon (Robert Klesaris), Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey), Forewarned (Uriah St. Lewis), Joevia (Gregg Sacco), Mihos (Jimmy Jerkens), Monongahela (Chad Brown), Payne (Chad Brown), Prendimi (Chad Summers)
Possible: Nicodemus (Linda Rice), Majestic Dunhill (George Weaver)
Grade 3, $100,000 Intercontinental
Probable: Eyeinthesky (Mark Casse), Getmotherarose (Tom Bush), JC’s Shooting Star (David Donk), Munchkin Money (Christophe Clement), Newspaperofrecord (Chad Brown), Regal Glory (Brown), Rose Flower (Clement), Saratoga Treasure (Donk), Significant Form (Brown), Souper Escape (Mike Trombetta), Viadera (Brown)
Sunday, June 7, 2020
$80,000 First Defence
Probable: Backtohisroots (John Terranova), Blind Ambition (Mark Casse), Delaware (Chad Brown), Hawkish (James Toner), Holiday Stone (Eddie Kenneally), Honor Up (Michelle Nevin), Skyler’s Scramjet (Nevin), Somelikeithotbrown (Mike Maker), Therapist (Christophe Clement), Win Win Win (Mike Trombetta)
Possible: Nicodemus (Linda Rice)
America’s Day at the Races will provide 127 hours of live racing from the Belmont Park spring/summer meet
The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that the acclaimed national telecast, America’s Day at the Races, will present live racing throughout the Belmont Park spring/summer meet on FOX Sports and MSG Networks.
In total, 127 hours of live thoroughbred racing will be presented from Belmont Park during its 25-day spring/summer meet, which begins Wednesday, June 3 and runs through Sunday, July 12.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with FOX Sports to give viewers an unprecedented amount of national television coverage of world class horse racing from Belmont Park,” said Tony Allevato, NYRA Chief Revenue Officer and President of NYRA Bets. “Additionally, we are proud to be extending our long-term relationship with MSG to include wall-to-wall coverage onsite from Belmont.”
Featured this Wednesday, Opening Day at Belmont Park, will be the first stakes race of the meet, the 43rd running of The Beaugay for 4-year-olds & up (fillies & mares) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
America’s Day at the Races opening weekend schedule:
(All times Eastern)
Wednesday, June 3*:
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 – 6:30 pm (FS2)
1:00 to 6:00 p.m. (MSG+)
Thursday, June 4*:
1:00 – 6:30 p.m. (FS2 & MSG+)
Friday, June 5*:
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (FS2)
1:00 – 6:30 p.m. (FS2)
Saturday, June 6*:
2:30 – 3:00 p.m. (FS2)
3:00 – 8:00 p.m. (FS1)
1:00 – 7:00 p.m. (MSG+)
Sunday, June 7*:
1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (FS2)
2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (FS1)
1:00 – 6:00 p.m. (MSG+)
* Check local listings for additional telecasts to air on FOX Sports regional networks
America’s Day at the Races is also broadcast on NYRA’s YouTube channel, which boasts more than 34,000 subscribers. Fans can subscribe to NYRA’s channel and set a reminder to watch the show on YouTube Live. NYRA’s YouTube channel also hosts a plethora of race replays, special features, America’s Day at the Races replays and more.
America’s Day at the Races is presented by America’s Best Racing, Runhappy, and Claiborne Farm. This weekend’s broadcast team includes Andy Serling, Maggie Wolfendale, Richard Migliore, Acacia Courtney and Jonathon Kinchen.
To help welcome back live racing, NYRA Bets, the official online wagering platform of the Belmont spring/summer meet, will offer a five-percent rebate on wagers placed on races at Belmont Park via NYRA Bets from Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday, June 7.
The five-percent rebate is available exclusively to NYRA Bets members. With the exception of show bets, the five-percent rebate is available on all wagers placed on races conducted Opening Week at Belmont Park.
Free Equibase-provided past performances are available for races that are part of the America’s Day at the Races broadcast and can be accessed at https://www.nyra.com/belmont/racing/tv-schedule.
There won’t be any fans in the stands, on the rail or in the many top-notch restaurants at Canada’s biggest racetrack but Thoroughbred racing will return Saturday June 6 when Woodbine opens.
The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has had tragic results in the world and continues to be a threat but as the number of cases begins to steady in Ontario, government has begun to open businesses. Horse racing, which provides thousands of jobs, was on the short list three weeks ago to begin the process of opening (in the case of Woodbine Mohawk standardbred racing, re-opening).
That came as precious news to hundreds of horse owners and breeders, trainers and caretakers who have been caring for horses at Woodbine since they shipped in on the first weekend of March. It has been a trying time since then as the provincial ‘state of emergency’ meant that the number of people on the backstretch was restricted, workouts and gate schooling halted and owners and trainers were left paying bills while the originally scheduled opening day of Woodbine of April 18 passed by.
During that time, hard-working efforts by the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Woodbine and Ontario Racing worked out with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming and Alcohol and Gaming Commission to distribute unused purse money from cancelled racing days to owners.
Protocols at Woodbine including horsepeople screening, social distancing and the addition of masks were implemented and while that was no easy task to control for hundreds of people, staff at Woodbine and the horsepeople came together to essentially lock down the barn areas.
Meanwhile the stakes schedule, including the famed Queen’s Plate, had to be re-worked, condition books re-written and plenty of rules put in place for when racing gets underway.
Entries for the first day of a new-look Woodbine racing season will be taken on Wednesday June 3 but only by phone as no people will be allowed in the racing office. There will be restrictions to the number of people allowed to take a horse to the Woodbine paddock for races and no owners are allowed to attend at this time.
But everyone can agree that getting a chance to finally race their prized runners after 25 lost racing dates is great news and the track offers some impressive purses. Opening day offers a maiden allowance race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and upward, for a whopping $123,200.
Racing will be held June 6 and June 7 and Thursdays will be added the following week with a post time of 3:45 p.m. Fridays will be added in week 3 and post time for all days other than Thursday is 1 p.m.
Wednesday night racing has been put on hold for now as it was mainly a date to cater to groups and those dining and without spectators allowed, there will not be any bars or restaurants open.
Throughout the past almost three months, Woodbine CEO Jim Lawson has been in constant communication with horsepeople with email updates and a regular video meeting called Stronger Together. The next one is Wednesday June 3 at 2 p.m.
The first 2 stakes races of the season are the Star Shoot Stakes at 6 furlongs on June 13, a good starting point for 3-year-old fillies preparing for the August 15 Woodbine Oaks. Nominees for the race include Sovereign Award winning 2-year-old filly CURLIN’S VOYAGE and her rival MERVEILLEUX.
On June 14, the Woodstock Stakes for 3-year-olds at 6 furlongs will be run and the impressive debut winner CLAYTON is a contender for that race as he embarks on his journey to the Queen’s Plate.
American trainer Wesley Ward, often a fixture at Woodbine in the spring, has a number of horses nominated to races, although shippers would have to come up and join the care of trainers already at Woodbine.
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