Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Holy cow ... the new Belmont Stakes card is crazy huge!


Big news from the Big Apple … The New York Racing Association announced today that this year’s Belmont Stakes card has been goosed to gaudy proportions. Who needs a Breeders’ Cup in New York when Belmont Park can host its own mid-season version? 


To be contested on Saturday, June 7 this year, the final leg of the Triple Crown will now be joined by just about all of New York’s top spring races. New additions to the big day include the Met Mile, Acorn, and Ogden Phipps. The three grade 1 races will be part of a single race card that totals $8 million in purses, and features 10 stakes races. These numbers will make it the second richest day in racing behind only Breeders' Cup Saturday. Of course, it remains to be seen if the Breeders’ Cup will fire a retaliatory shot to try to outdo the new Super Saturday of NYRA with a boost to the BC Friday program.


Clearly NYRA wanted to make a splash on its premier day of racing. The ten stakes total is a significant increase from the six carded in 2013. Of real note, however, is the massive difference in purses of those stakes from last year’s $2.95 million, compared to the $7.7 million of this year. I can feel the splash here some 800 miles away.


"We've put together the finest day of racing in Belmont Stakes history," said New York Racing Association CEO and President Chris Kay. "We want every serious and casual fan in the area to come out on June 7 and experience the excitement and fun of one of New York's truly signature sporting events."   


June 7 it will be then … and also June 6 and June 8. The 13-race Belmont Stakes card will now act as the centerpiece of what NYRA calls the "Belmont Stakes Festival", with graded stakes scheduled for both Friday and Sunday. One of the more interesting highlights of Friday will be the new Belmont Gold Cup Invitational. Paying homage to the seemingly forgotten quality of stamina, the turf race will be for older horses at the distance of two miles.


Furthering the stamina theme will be the "Brooklyn Bonus".  This year's renewal of the twelve furlong Brooklyn, now also to be run on Saturday, will include a bonus of $175,000, awarded to any horse who has previously won a graded stakes at 1 3/16 miles or longer that can win the Brooklyn. 


Besides the grandeur of the new Belmont Stakes Day, the largest single change is clearly the shifting of the $1.25 million Metropolitan Handicap. The historic and prestigious Met Mile has always been on a short list of my favorite races. While those clinging to history will find it hard to believe that it is no longer on the Memorial Day holiday, I selfishly see it as an opportunity to see the great race for the first time for several years in person.


Overall, I’m a fan of the Big Day surrounding the Belmont Stakes. It should be a great way to shine a national spotlight on the grandest day of racing in New York. I believe racing needs more large thinking like this. Having said that, it will be interesting to see how NYRA fills some of the voids created by the moved races. 


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Older Comments about Holy cow ... the new Belmont Stakes card is crazy huge! ...

Sounds GOOD . jlp
I think it would have been a better idea to do this on a day different from Belmont Stakes Day. If NYRA wanted to get attention to racing for more than just one day they would have put the races on a seperate day. Millions of people will watch the Belmont no matter what other races are on the card. People turn on the tv for the Belmont Stakes, not the Acorn. They already have the boosted handle being that the Belmont Stakes is on a card. If they wanted another day in which a lot of attention was focused on racing then it should be on a different day. Instead of just the Triple Crown and Breeders Cup as being days many people other than real fans watch, this Super Day could have been another day to get the boost this sport needs. I do not see anymore extra attention coming to this day because of the undercard.
I really like the Gold Cup and the bonus for t6he Brooklyn. Hope for us stamina fans. :-)
Nice. Now I will actually get to watch the damn Mile.
Like I said, I'm willing to wait until after jenna... Who knows, the Met Mile could easily be the best race on the card.
good to hear that tom. i for one can't wait to see his 2014 debut.
He is at Fair Hills and doing amazing.Will be making his debut around April. Very excited to get him back. He is lucky,his issues were not Physical issues like leg or foot problems. All have been treated. I know this is a biased statement. This will be one serious racehorse this year.
what ever happened to Vyjack anyhow?
All it is about Vic,the Capital. Everything else is secondary. Snoop,this will make it harder to get in my room. More people to contend with. If all is right.My boy Vyjack may be on the Belmont undercard.
capital event suggestion
Wow, this will be one amazing card. Isn't there a new NYRA commissioner or president, who also added the Belmont Oaks and (I think) Belmont Derby? Interesting.
Smart move by the pin heads who run NY Racing. As great as tThe Met Mile is,nobody shows up to bet it. Now with the lure of the big crowd,the handle on the race should go through the roof. Whichever sharp tool in the shed thought this one up.He or she deserve a pat on the back. Great buisiness decision. If more of their decisions were based on the buisiness plan and not the irrelevant non sense,this game might take a turn North direction
Move over Black Eyed Susans, there’s a casino-fueled Mother Goose moving to Memorial Day???
Doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. If they were really smart, they're add more stakes Memorial Day weekend.
What they will do with the Mother Goose? You can't have that a week after the Acorn.
I wonder if they will take another shot at the BC by putting a "World Championship" label on it.
racing is a game of competition looks like somebody has realized it's a competition for fans
One thing I will note though is that the Handicap Triple Crown has been unofficially abolished by running the Brooklyn and the Met Mile on the same day.
This type of change is exactly what is required in today's age of racing. Something huge was, and still is needed, and this is a great idea. The "Brooklyn Bonus" is FANTASTIC. Pair that with the 2 mile Gold Cup race, and you have one satisfied customer in me. Brian, your comment about the Breeders' Cup retaliating is concerning (and valid), and I hope that the respective governing bodies do not sink to the level of a high school popularity contest.
I like this, and I really like the new Belmont Gold Cup, but you have to wonder what the effect will be on the rest of the meet if so many of the big stakes are concentrated into one weekend. This is probably the future of the sport, short Royal Ascot like meets built around historic races for the top horses. I could see this spreading around the country, and it might turn out to be a great thing for the sport. It would be a series of mini Breeders Cups throughout the country.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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