Belmont Super Saturday


The Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup, to be run for the 93rd time on Saturday at Belmont Park, has long been a stepping stone to Horse of the Year. And while there is a major Horse of the Year contender running at Belmont this "Super Saturday" -- an 11-race card featuring five Grade 1 stakes and a Grade 2 that are final "win and you're in" preps for the Nov. 4-5 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs -- she won't be in the Gold Cup.

Instead, the 4-year-old filly Havre de Grace, who beat the boys in the Sept. 3 Woodward, will go in the Grade 1, $350,000 Beldame as the 3-5 favorite facing four other fillies and mares.

The other marquee name of the Super Saturday show (ESPN Classic, 4:30-6 p.m.) is Uncle Mo, who'll be going a mile in the Grade 2, $200,000 Kelso.

The star of the Gold Cup is Uncle Mo's less-heralded stablemate Stay Thirsty, coming off his first Grade 1 victory in the Travers. He will vie for favoritism in a field of seven with the 5-year-old Flat Out, last seen at Belmont winning the July 2 Suburban by 6½ lengths before finishing second in the Whitney and Woodward at Saratoga. Flat Out will be coupled in the wagering with Birdrun, winner of the Brooklyn here in June.

by Ed Fountaine

On the New York worktab

On the good inner turf at Belmont Park on Wednesday, dual grass champion GIO PONTI (Tale of the Cat) toured five furlongs in 1:03 1/5. In search of his first win of the season after recent seconds in the Arlington Million (G1) and Man o' War S. (G1), he will next try the October 8 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).

Last-out Sussex S. winner MR. RYDER (Giant's Causeway) finished in the same time.

On the fast main track, freakish debut winner FIRE ON ICE (Unbridled's Song) sped in a bullet :59 4/5. Victorious by 10 3/4 lengths at Saratoga on August 27, his next goal is the October 8 Champagne S. (G1).

SENADA (Pulpit), check-getter in the Glens Falls S. (G3) and Waya S. (G3) in her last two, completed a half-mile in a bullet :49 2/5 in advance of Saturday's Flower Bowl Invitational (G1).

On the fast training track, P.G. Johnson S. third-placer BOURBONSTREETGIRL (Langfuhr) zipped in a bullet :47 2/5 in advance of Sunday's Miss Grillo S. (G3).

P.G. Johnson winner ALAURA MICHELE (Arch), also prepping for the Miss Grillo, breezed five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 over the firm turf at Saratoga's Oklahoma training track.

Grade 1-placed stakes winner ALL DUE RESPECT (Value Plus) logged a bullet three furlongs in :37 2/5 over the fast main track at Aqueduct. She was last seen running third in the La Troienne S. (G2) in May.


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