Dr Ardito Seeks Fourth Stakes Win at Aqueduct on Saturday

Michael Caruso and Michael Dubb’s Grade 2-placed multiple stakes-winner Dr Ardito will once again team up with jockey Manny Franco in search of their fourth collaborative stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Haynesfield, a one-turn mile for older New York-breds, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Trained by four-time Eclipse Award-winner Chad Brown, Dr Ardito returns to the scene of his determined half-length score in the one-mile Alex M. Robb with Franco at the helm on December 29 over muddy and sealed footing. The now 6-year-old Liam’s Map gray displayed his usual come-from-behind tactics to rally from last-of-5 and collar stablemate Aggregation just in time, stopping the clock in a final time of 1:36.18.

“He’s a nice horse,” Franco said. “He’s sharp and he knows where the wire is. He always gives me everything out there, that’s a nice type of horse to be around. Every time I ride him, I try to do my best and make it happen. The horse is always there for me. I hope Saturday will be the same.”

Franco has piloted Dr Ardito in all but one of his 14 lifetime outings, which includes a six-race win streak from April 2021 through last February that began with a second-out graduation and concluded with a gritty head score over the multiple graded stakes-placed Bankit in last year’s Haynesfield.

In addition to the Haynesfield and Alex M. Robb, Dr Ardito’s 5-year-old campaign included another stakes triumph in the Evan Shipman Handicap at Saratoga Race Course and his first graded placing when narrowly defeated by Everso Mischievous in the Grade 2 Forty Niner in October here.

Bred by Fred W. Hertrich, III and John D. Fielding, Dr Ardito has posted a record of 14-8-2-0 with total purse earnings just shy of $500,000. He was purchased by Dubb for $95,000 at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York-bred Yearling Sale and is out of the twice-winning Indian Charlie mare Delightfully So, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Delightful Kiss.

Aqueduct starting gateDr Ardito, assigned a field-high 124 pounds, will emerge from post 3.

Paradise Farms Corp., David Staudacher, Maxis Stable and John Huber’s Maker’s Candy [post 7, Jose Lezcano, 122 pounds] streaks in off three straight wins at the Haynesfield distance at the Big A dating to a 6 3/4-length romp in a November state-bred optional claimer for trainer Mike Maker. The talented colt has crossed the wire first in all five starts going a one-turn mile here, however he was disqualified and placed second for interference in last year’s Gander.

The 4-year-old Twirling Candy bay’s two latest victories have come against open company when setting the pace and bravely holding on to win with Franco at the helm. On December 17, he earned a career-best 100 Beyer Speed Figure for a first-level allowance score by a neck over stakes-winner Drake’s Passage ahead of his last-out head triumph over stakes-placed Bold Endeavor on January 27.

“He’s doing great and he’s got a win streak going on that’s pretty impressive,” said Peter Proscia of Paradise Farms Corp. “He’s a gutsy horse and he doesn’t give up. He seems to like that distance at that track, so we’re looking forward to the race. He’s a game horse and doesn’t like horses passing him.”

Maker’s Candy returns to stakes company for the first time since a distant fourth-place effort in the state-bred Albany in August at Saratoga. He looks to notch his second stakes conquest capturing the seven-furlong Mike Lee in May at Belmont Park.

A $200,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Maker’s Candy was bred by Newtownanner Stud. He is out of the twice-winning Bluegrass Cat mare Purple Cat, a half-sister to Grade 1-winner Sky Diva, multiple graded stakes-placed Quick Little Miss, and Re Entry, the dam of graded stakes-winner Shotgun Hottie.

“I think he was a good-looking horse and Mike liked the way he looked and the way he was traveling,” Proscia said of his impressions of Maker’s Candy at the sale. “We’ve been very successful with Mike and I’m hoping we keep the ball rolling. I named the horse after him and it’s been fun. The staff that works with Mike do an awesome job and we’re very grateful to have them.”

Gallagher’s Stud’s stakes-placed homebred Olympic Dreams [post 1, Trevor McCarthy, 120 pounds] is cross-entered in a one-mile optional claimer on Friday at the Big A for trainer Pat Quick. Regardless of which race the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro gelding contests, he will see a cutback to one turn for the first time since finishing third in a May optional claiming tilt against state-breds at Belmont.

Quick said a return to one mile is a question for the consistent gray.

“I am not certain where we’ll run – I’m on the fence,” said Quick. “I think a mile and an eighth is better, but in the wintertime, I would just as soon run him than train him.”

Olympic Dreams earned back-to-back wins at the Big A when capturing a 1 3/16-mile open-company allowance by a neck in November and following with a 2 3/4-length score in a second-level nine-furlong optional claimer on January 7. He was last seen finishing third behind graded stakes-winner Law Professor in a January 26 optional claiming tilt that saw him bumped at the start and angled five-wide to come up 3 1/2 lengths shy of victory.

“He ran a great race against two horses who ran better,” said Quick. “We really didn’t have any issue with it and he ran his usual race and just got beat. He’s been a great horse and he’s doing terrific. We couldn’t ask for any more.”

Olympic Dreams boasts a lifetime record of 13-5-1-3 with total purse earnings of $313,755. His best stakes finish was a narrow defeat to Bankit in the Commentator in May when traveling a one-turn 1 1/16 miles at Belmont.

Ten Strike Racing’s Whittington Park [post 2, Kendrick Carmouche, 118 pounds] looks to earn his first stakes triumph on the heels of a decisive 2 1/4-length victory on January 13 in a one-mile open-company allowance, which was his first start off a five-month layoff.

Trained by Jeremiah Englehart, the 5-year-old Midnight Lute bay rallied from 7 1/2 lengths off the pace under regular pilot Kendrick Carmouche to be within 2 1/2 lengths of the lead at the top of the lane. He continued to find more with each stride down the stretch to take charge in the final sixteenth and kick clear to victory in a final time of 1:37.52 over muddy and sealed footing.

Bred by Marshall Gramm and Clay Sanders, Whittington Park is out of the six-time winning Forestry mare See the Forest and is a half-brother to stakes-winner Looms Boldly. His second dam is the multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire Critical Eye.

Completing the field are the stakes-placed Overstep [post 4, Eric Cancel, 118 pounds] for Hall of Fame conditioner Todd Pletcher; four-time winner Mama’s Gold [post 6, Romero Ramsay Maragh, 118 pounds] for trainer Chad Summers; and five-time winner Anejo [post 5, Dylan Davis, 120 pounds], who is also cross-entered in the same Friday optional claimer as Olympic Dreams for trainer Doug O’Neill.

The Haynesfield is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race card. First post is 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the winter meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/racing/tv-schedule.

Source: NYRA.com

NYRA to raise purses for 2024 NY-bred foal crop

by Pat McKenna

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced a significant investment in the future of the New York-bred program, paving the way for the 2024 New York-bred foal crop to compete for some of the richest purses of any state-bred program in the nation.

Beginning on January 1, 2026, NY-bred overnight races for 2-year-olds on the NYRA circuit will offer purse amounts matching the race’s open-company counterpart. Accordingly, the 2024 New York-bred foal crop will gain the benefits and financial rewards that will flow from purse parity.

walking horse through Saratoga crowdAt the 2023 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course, maiden races restricted to New York-bred 2-year-olds featured a purse of $88,000 compared to a purse of $105,000 offered for 2-year-olds competing in an open-company maiden event.

While this purse increase will impact only the 2024 New York-bred foal crop, NYRA intends to further expand purse parity for additional categories of New York-bred races in the future.

In 2022, NYRA conducted 556 races exclusively for registered New York-breds with purses totaling $42,366,000. Among those races were 56 stakes with $8,725,000 of purse money on offer. NYRA holds three high profile NY-bred showcase days annually, highlighted by New York Showcase Day at Saratoga Race Course. In 2023, Saratoga Showcase Day was run on the Sunday of Travers Weekend and featured a whopping 113 NY-breds competing in 11 races, including six stakes worth a combined $1.25 million.

As a result of the partnership between NYRA and FOX Sports, nearly every NY-bred contest is broadcast live to a national audience on the FOX Sports family of networks. Both Saratoga Live and America’s Day at the Races, which are produced by NYRA, have generated sustained ratings growth since they were launched nationally in 2016.

“The New York-bred program is critically important to the future of thoroughbred racing in New York State,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “This new purse structure increases the value of the upcoming foal crop of New York-breds, and reflects NYRA’s commitment to the owners, breeders and trainers who choose to breed and race in New York.”

Beyond the rich purses offered by NYRA, a variety of owner, breeder and stallion awards are available to those who breed and race in New York. These lucrative incentives serve as a significant benefit to thoroughbred breeding farms across the state, which create and sustain thousands of jobs in every corner of New York.

“This initiative is a strong signal to the bloodstock market on why you should breed and foal in New York, and own a New York-bred to race,” said Najja Thompson, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB). “New York-breds compete and win at the highest levels, and NYRA’s consistent support guarantees more opportunities than ever for New York State’s breeders and owners.”

New York State has adopted rules that expand the reach of the New York-bred awards and benefits by clarifying a pathway for non-resident mares to gain residency status. According to the rule changes, a non-resident mare purchased in foal through public auction is deemed a resident mare provided the mare is purchased for at least $50,000 in the public auction; is present in the state of New York within 15 days after a sale in North America and 60 days at any public auction sale abroad; the foal is foaled in New York; and the mare thereafter is continuously in residence in New York from within 120 days after her last cover in the year of conception of another foal and remains in residency until foaling.

“It pays to participate in the New York-bred program,” added Thompson. “And bringing a mare back to New York is a valuable proposition, especially for the 2024 foaling season.”

For additional information on resident and non-resident mares and their foals, visit https://www.nybreds.com/rules/resident-non-resident-mares.

To support the residency rule, NYRA and The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (NYTBDF) provide up to $650,000 per year in purse bonuses to owners. The bonus offers $5,000 every time a New York-sired New York-bred wins at the maiden special weight or allowance level at NYRA’s tracks.

Source: NYRA

Big Data Derby Winner of Horse Racing Analytics Contest Announced

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) today announced that a team led by Brendan Kumagai has been selected as the winner of the inaugural Big Data Derby competition. Kumagai, together with Gurashish Bagga, Kimberly Kroetch, Tyrel Stokes, and Liam Welsh, took the $20,000 first prize with the submission, “Bayesian Velocity Models for Horse Race Simulation.”

Kumagai’s team created a dynamic model that focused on horses’ forward versus lateral speed, and examined the results of sustained momentum and velocity within races. The team also studied jockey performance and how that would impact a horse’s running style. Another conclusion in the study posited that with additional biometric data, it would be possible to calculate a horse’s welfare and injury probability.

“We’re honored to be named the winners of the inaugural Big Data Derby competition,” said Kumagai. “Our team primarily works in financial analytics and hockey statistics, so working with horse racing data has been a unique challenge which allowed us to apply our skills to a relatively new and unexplored domain.”

The Big Data Derby was launched with the goal of analyzing the vast amounts of data available to racing organizations, and to understand how the results of those studies could impact traditional methods of racing and training. The competition was sponsored by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) in partnership with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Equibase, The Jockey Club, Breeders’ Cup and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA).

Related Article about the Horse Racing Analytics Contest winner

A total of 106 submissions were received for the inaugural Big Data Derby. 9,349 potential competitors accessed the competition’s four data files over the course of the competition. A wide and varied range of submissions offered models that shed light on injury prevention, jockey decision making metrics, race tactics, track bias and more.

An open notebook of user-created content and data can be viewed at: https://www.kaggle.com/competitions/big-data-derby….

“Our main objective with this competition was to usher in an age of technological innovation analyzing horse racing data to suggest improvements in vital topics such as equine performance and welfare,” said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum. “The enthusiastic response from this community suggests that our tradition-bound sport could benefit by applying knowledge gained from machine learning.”

Kumagai, a Data Science intern at Zelus Analytics, was previously part of a team that won the 2022 Big Data Bowl offered by the National Football League.

The Big Data Derby offered a total of $50,000 in prize money with $20,000 awarded to the winner and $10,000 each to the next three placings. The competition was held on Kaggle, a global data science platform with over 500,000 active users where participants compete by using machine learning to solve problems ranging from the trivial to the extremely complex.

The runners-up included Kyle King’s submission “Track Bias,” which explained the calculation of a track bias metric. Timothy Leung and Philip Leung offered “Advanced Horse Race Tactics Using Coordinate Data,” which examined the impact of drafting percentage, path efficiency, race strategy and speed fluctuation. Artem Volgin and Ekaterina Melianova submitted “Winning Strategies: What Works Better,” a study of jockey tactics and race flow.

“Data science can have a profound impact on a number of different aspects of horse racing,” said Joe Longo, GM of NYRA Content Management Services. “It can be applied to enhance our understanding of equine health and safety or day-to-day training methods by providing a new toolkit to even the most knowledgeable racing participants. NYRA is committed to embracing this pursuit moving forward.”

The competition was judged by data analyst Rob Bingel, Rhodes College Economics Professor, avid horseplayer and thoroughbred owner Marshall Gramm, and Craig Milkowski of TimeformUS.

“What came across loud and clear in reviewing all of the presentations was a passion for quantitative analysis and a learning curiosity that was piqued by the intricacies that the data-rich world of horse racing has to offer,” said Bingel, a financial planner and racing data analyst. “This competition served as a valuable introduction of the data scientist community to NYRA/NYTHA and holds the promise for future collaboration. The solutions proposed by the entrants, especially the winners, naturally leads to thoughts about what future important questions they could so capably answer.”

The 2022 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack continues through Saturday, December 31. For additional information, and the complete stakes schedule, visit www.NYRA.com.

Source: NYRA

NYRA Joins Forces with Silks Metaverse Game

NYRA Bets Holding, LLC, a subsidiary of NYRA Bets, LLC (NYRA Bets), the official online wagering platform of the New York Racing Association, Inc., (NYRA), and Game of Silks (Silks), the online game connected to the real world of thoroughbred horse racing, today announced a new partnership resulting in NYRA Bets Holding, LLC acquiring a minority equity ownership position in Silks. In addition to this strategic investment, the partnership establishes Silks as the Official Blockchain Game and Metaverse Partner of NYRA.

Game of Silks launched in April 2022 with a mission to democratize thoroughbred racehorse ownership by delivering a groundbreaking experience to a new generation of tech-driven sports and gaming enthusiasts via the blockchain. The landmark agreement between NYRA and Silks will enable the global horse racing industry to capitalize on the rapid growth of Web3 gaming through the Game of Silks, a top 10 sports-themed NFT platform on the Ethereum blockchain which boasts a community of more than 25,000 members.

The Game of Silks metaverse is powered by a play-to-earn gaming economy that parallels the IRL U.S. thoroughbred racing economy. To enter the game, players are required to purchase a non-fungible token (NFT) in the form of a unique racing silk, which represents their identity throughout the metaverse and appears virtually on their horses, stables and other digital in-game assets they own. Each year, Game of Silks tokenizes the annual breeding crop of Gallop into profitability with an NFT horse-racing game platform like Zed Runaround 20,000 thoroughbreds and transforms these horses into digital in-game assets which are then sold to Silks players. Silks horse owners receive valuable rewards pegged to real-world prize purses when their corresponding horse wins a race. They also receive valuable rewards when the real-world counterparts of their horses breed.

“This is a monumental deal matching NYRA with the fastest-growing metaverse sports game in the space,” said Dan Nissanoff, Founder & CEO of Game of Silks. “We clearly see the vast potential that Web3 gaming and the metaverse have to offer horse racing, and this partnership will allow the sport to build an unprecedented interactive virtual experience that can attract millions of new fans.”

Game of Silks allows participants to acquire, collect, trade and interact with digital assets which represent actual thoroughbreds that can have productive racing and breeding careers spanning their 20 year lives. This creates unprecedented long-term utility for these in-game NFT-based assets. Beyond the racetrack, the Game of Silks ecosystem provides an opportunity for players to purchase a variety of NFTs including parcels of land for the development of racing and breeding farms, stables and other racing-related digital assets to support the Silks ecosystem.

“Game of Silks presents its players with a fascinating and entertaining challenge by gamifying racehorse ownership in a completely new way,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA President & CEO. “Silks captures the evolution of fan engagement and appeals to both the seasoned horseplayer and complete newcomer, which is exactly why NYRA seized the opportunity to enter this partnership. NYRA is committed to educating our fans about the Silks platform to grow the game and ultimately increase horse racing’s fan base.”

NYRA will utilize America’s Day at the Races and Saratoga Live, the acclaimed national television shows produced by NYRA and broadcast on the networks of FOX Sports, to provide Silks owners with the latest news, data and information on the Silks metaverse.

Moving forward, Silks aims to build interactive digital replicas of the sport’s most historic and important racetracks. In addition, NYRA’s position as the operator of Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack will now accelerate the creation of digital versions of New York’s premium racing venues in the Silks metaverse.

For more information on Silks.

About Game of Silks

Game of Silks is the first derivative gamified metaverse to mirror the real world of thoroughbred horse racing. The Silks metaverse is powered by a play-to-earn economy where participants can own, trade and interact with a variety of in-game NFTs, earn rewards through skilled gameplay, and experience the thrill of thoroughbred horse ownership. Game of Silks was launched in June 2021 by Dan Nissanoff, a 5X technology startup entrepreneur and Troy Levy, CEO of Tropical Racing, Inc., a business primarily focused on thoroughbred breeding, racing and pinhooking. For more information on Game of Silks visit Silks.io.

About NYRA

NYRA holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State’s horse racing economy, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact. For additional information, visit NYRA.com.

 

Overflow Field for the Big Data Derby

Horse Racing NFT-game OHRAC: Own, Manage And WinA total of 106 submissions were received for the inaugural Big Data Derby, a competition requiring entrants to provide a machine-learning model to analyze all manner of data regarding horseracing tactics, strategies and path efficiencies.

Sponsored by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) in partnership with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Equibase, The Jockey Club, Breeders’ Cup and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA), the Big Data Derby launched with a goal of better understanding the vast data set at hand to racing organizations, and to potentially develop new ways of racing and training in a highly traditional industry.

“Our main objective with this competition was to see if qualified data scientists could utilize horse-tracking data to improve the sport’s collective knowledge in key areas such as equine welfare and performance,” said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum.

The Big Data Derby offers a total of $50,000 in prize money with $20,000 awarded to the winner and $10,000 each to the next three placings. The competition is held on Kaggle, a global data science platform with over 500,000 active users where participants compete by using machine learning to solve problems ranging from the trivial to the extremely complex.

A total of 9,349 potential competitors accessed the competition’s four data files providing NYRA racing data from 2019 along with in-race horse tracking information. A wide and varied range of submissions offered models that shed light on injury prevention, jockey decision making metrics, race tactics, track bias and more. An open notebook of user-created content and data can be viewed at: https://www.kaggle.com/competitions/big-data-derby-2022/code.

“The response in both participants and submissions highlights the interest in alternative data sets and bodes well for potential future applications. We are very much looking forward to the results of the competition,” said Joe Longo, NYRA’s General Manager of Content Services.

A judging committee will score the submissions based on four categories – Innovation [25 points], Relevance [30 points], Competence [25 points] and Presentation [20 points]. Winners will be announced in early December.

Source: NYRA

Saratoga Race Course scheduled for July 15 Opening Day

The New York Racing Association announced dates for the meets at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct on Friday, with the Belmont Stakes, Travers and Whitney scheduled for their respective traditional spots.

Opening Day for Saratoga will be Thursday, July 15, to start 40 days of racing, including Whitney Day on Saturday, Aug. 7, and Travers Day on Saturday, Aug. 28.

The bulk of the 153rd Saratoga will run five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday, and will conclude on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

The rest of the Saratoga stakes schedule is to be determined.

With the Kentucky Derby scheduled for May 1, the Belmont will move back to its spot five weeks later, June 5, after the Triple Crown series was substantially disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020…

NYRA: Daily Mandatory Payout of Empire Six Wager Daily in January

the Big A race horseThe New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced the Empire 6 wager [Jackpot Pick-6] will offer a daily mandatory payout in the month of January commencing with Friday’s New Year’s Day card at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Featuring a $0.20 bet minimum and 20 percent takeout, the Empire 6 wager requires bettors to select the first-place finisher of the final six races of the card. The full pool, minus takeout, will be distributed to bettors who select the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races on the card.

“Our loyal community of horseplayers has continually expressed interest and support for wagers that reward the daily player with the opportunity for impressive payouts,” said Joe Longo, NYRA Director of Simulcasting. “This pilot program is designed to be responsive to those sentiments while helping NYRA to determine the future of the Empire 6.”

Aqueduct will offer 19 racing dates in January with live racing generally conducted Thursday through Sunday, with the addition of a special Monday card on January 18 for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The first mandatory payout Empire 6 will feature on Friday’s New Year’s Day card at the Big A which is highlighted by the 151st renewal of the $150,000 Jerome, a one-turn mile for sophomores offering 10-4-2-1 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top-four finishers. First post on the nine-race card is 12:20 p.m. Eastern, with the Empire 6 set to kick off in Race 4 at 1:50 p.m.

The Empire 6 was launched in August 2019 with a jackpot provision in which the full pool would be paid out only to a single ticket selecting the first-place finisher in all six races, otherwise 75 percent of the day’s net pool would be distributed to those who selected the first-place finisher in the greatest number of races with the remainder added into a jackpot and carried to the next day’s Empire 6.

Thursday’s year-end Big A card will feature mandatory payouts of the Empire 6, Early Pick 5 and Late Pick 5 wagers, in accordance with New York State Gaming Commission rules. The Empire 6, which boasts a jackpot of $183,471, begins in Race 3 at 1:46 p.m. Eastern. First post on Thursday’s eight-race card is 12:50 p.m.

Source: NYRA Press release

This Year’s Belmont Stakes to Be Run on This Date at This New Distance

152nd Belmont Stakes to be broadcast live on NBC as first leg of the Triple Crown

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced the 152nd renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont Stakes, to be contested at nine furlongs [from the normal 12 furlongs], will take place on Saturday, June 20 at Belmont Park as the opening leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in history.

To align with required health and safety measures implemented in New York to mitigate risk and combat the spread of COVID-19, the Belmont Stakes will be held without spectators in attendance.

“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times,” said NYRA President & CEO Dave O’Rourke. “While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020. Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy.”

Minnesota horse racing is back on.

152nd Belmont Stakes to be run on June 20

As the exclusive broadcast partner of the Belmont Stakes and Triple Crown, NBC Sports will present three hours of live coverage from Belmont Park on Saturday, June 20 beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.

“June Saturdays at Belmont Park always offer terrific racing,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC Sports & NBCSN. “We’re excited to return on June 20 with a three-hour broadcast featuring the 152nd Belmont Stakes.”

Justify winning the Belmont – AP source

Traditionally contested at 1 1/2-miles and held as the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes will be run at a distance of 1 1/8-miles to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training.

The revised date and distance for the Belmont Stakes follows the previously announced rescheduling of the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, from Saturday, May 2 to Saturday, September 5 as well as the rescheduling of the Preakness Stakes from May 16 to October 3.

Initially contested at a distance of 1 5/8-miles at Jerome Park, the first Belmont Stakes was won by Hall of Fame filly Ruthless in 1867. For a two-year period in 1893-94, the Belmont Stakes was run at nine furlongs at Morris Park Racecourse with Comanche winning in 1893 and Hall of Famer Henry of Navarre victorious a year later. The 1 1/2-miles distance was established in 1926.

All Belmont Stakes Racing Festival (BSRF) tickets are subject to full refunds. Fans who purchased directly from the NYRA Box Office or a NYRA sales representative are asked to complete this web form to request a refund or account credit. Fans who purchased BSRF tickets through Ticketmaster will receive an email directing them to log in to their Ticketmaster account to request a refund or credit.

NYRA Bets is the official online wagering site for the 152nd running of the Belmont Stakes, and the best way to bet the 2020 Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Available to customers across the United States, NYRA Bets allows horseplayers to watch and wager on racing from tracks around the world at any time. The NYRA Bets app is available for download for iOS and Android at NYRABets.com.

For more information, please visit BelmontStakes.com.

About the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is an American tradition inaugurated in 1867 at Jerome Park Racetrack and moved in 1905 to its familiar home at beautiful Belmont Park. As the traditional third leg of racing’s Triple Crown, the 1 ½-mile “Test of the Champion,” as the Belmont Stakes is known, has showcased many of history’s greatest thoroughbreds.

Two of those Triple Crown triumphs have come in the last five years, with American Pharoah ending a 37-year Triple Crown drought in 2015 and Justify capping a perfect 6-for-6 career with a Triple Crown-clinching effort in 2018.

About the New York Racing Association

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State’s thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.

Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation’s leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety reforms across the sport.

Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.

Today and Tomorrow Horse Racing on Fox Sports 1 (FS1)

Source: NYRA

Grade 1 $600K Apple Blossom and Grade 3 Count Fleet bolster 10.5 hours of coverage

Free Equibase past performances available (see below) for all races that are part of broadcast

America’s Day at the Races, produced by the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) in partnership with FOX Sports, will feature a pair of graded stakes races from Oaklawn Park on Saturday’s live broadcast on FS1.

The acclaimed national telecast presenting coverage and analysis of the best racing from around the country will air on FS1/FS2 on Saturday and Sunday for a combined 10.5 hours of national television coverage from Oaklawn Park and Tampa Bay Downs.

Saturday, April 18

1:30 – 7 p.m. (FS1) ET

 Sunday, April 19

1:30-2:30 p.m. (FS2)

2:30 – 6:30 p.m. (FS1)

America’s Day at the Races is also broadcast on NYRA’s YouTube channel which boasts more than 30,000 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, Talking Horses episodes, 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. Hosted by Greg Wolf and Laffit Pincay III, this weekend’s broadcast team includes Gary Stevens, Michelle Yu, Tom Amoss and Jonathon Kinchen.

With racing at Aqueduct Racetrack currently suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Saturday’s broadcast will be highlighted by the Grade 1, $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile route for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up; along with the Grade 3, $350,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and upward.

The Apple Blossom will feature the Amoss-trained Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks-winner Serengeti Empress headlining a field of 14. The 4-year-old Alternation bay rose to prominence with a romping 19 ½-length score in the 2018 Grade 2 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs as a juvenile. She enjoyed a memorable sophomore season winning the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra at Fair Grounds in addition to her Oaks triumph. Last out, Serengeti Empress went gate-to-wire under returning rider Joe Talamo in the Grade 2 Azeri on March 14 at Oaklawn.

Serengeti Empress will face steep competition in the form of Blue Devil Racing Stable’s Come Dancing, who will make her seasonal debut under Florent Geroux following a sixth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. The versatile daughter of Malibu Moon won four-of-six starts last season including a victory in the Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga Race Course.

Leading the charge in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, which drew a field of 11, is the popular 7-year-old Whitmore. Trained by Ron Moquett, the Pleasantly Perfect gelding boasts a perfect in-the-money record at Oaklawn of 13-8-4-1 with purse earnings in excess of $1.4 million. Whitmore, a 13-time winner, captured the 2018 Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga and last out won the Hot Springs on March 7 at Oaklawn, while garnering a 104 Beyer Speed Figure. Top contenders in the six-furlong sprint include Hidden Scroll, Hog Creek Hustle and Wendell Fong

FREE PPs

Free Equibase-provided past performances are available for races that are part of the America’s Day at the Races broadcast right here.

NYRA Shuts Down Aqueduct after Worker Contracts Virus

Aqueduct will be shutting down racing operations immediately and indefinitely after a backstretch worker at Belmont Park tested positive for coronavirus. ~ David Grening, DRF, 3/19/20

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack will occur behind closed doors until further notice.

The decision follows today’s announcement by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban gatherings of 500 or more people to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“We believe that the most prudent decision to protect the health and well-being of all involved in our sport is to conduct upcoming race dates without attendees,” said NYRA CEO & President Dave O’Rourke. “NYRA will continue to actively monitor this evolving situation and make further adjustments as necessary in consultation and collaboration with the New York State Gaming Commission.”

Did the Tampa Bay Derby make sense? Read Art Parker’s analysis

Until further notice, only essential racetrack staff required to officiate and report on live racing per New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) rules, including, but not limited to, stewards, licensed owners, trainers, assistant trainers and grooms, will be permitted on-site.

Carriage horse advocates wants New York racing stopped while COVID-19 crisis continuesA recently formed NYRA Preparedness and Response Plan Committee, comprised of key NYRA staff members as well as representatives from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA), the Backstretch Employee Service Team (BEST), and the New York Race Track Chaplaincy of America (NYRTCA), will monitor and assess developments regarding the coronavirus.

NYRA will continue to follow best practices established by the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Live racing at the Aqueduct winter meet in March is conducted three days per week, Friday through Sunday. Live racing resumes Friday, March 13 at the Big A with a nine-race card. First post is 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

As a courtesy to fans, all NYRA racing can be streamed for free in high-definition at NYRA.com/aqueduct/racing/live. This service is provided by RTN.

Racing at Aqueduct is slated to continue through the conclusion of the spring meet on April 19. Live racing will then move to Belmont Park for the 51-day spring/summer meet which kicks off on April 24.

Source: New York Racing Association

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) holds the exclusive franchise to conduct thoroughbred racing at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.

NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of New York State’s thoroughbred industry, which is responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic impact.

Accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance, NYRA is a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, a group of the nation’s leading racing organizations working collaboratively to advance safety reforms across the sport.

Over the course of 217 days of live racing in 2019, NYRA generated more than $2.1 billion in all-sources wagering handle with paid attendance exceeding 1.5 million.