Belmont Park's fall meet opens Thursday, with the New York track adding the Woodward (G1) and the Waya (G3) to its graded-stakes calendar.
Those races came to Big Sandy in swap that saw the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and the Flower Bowl (G1) move to Saratoga.
Belmont's 28-day meet runs through Halloween and will include 20 graded stakes among 47 total stakes worth $11.15 million in purses. The graded stakes include five qualifiers for the Breeders' Cup in November.
The meet will be over before the New York Islanders play their first home game – 14 games into their schedule – at the $1 billion UBS Arena, which was built on the western portion of Belmont's back yard.
The Woodward will be held on Oct. 3. The fall meet will offer three other Grade 1 stakes: the Oct. 2 Champagne, a win-and-you're in for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile; the Oct. 3 Frizette, a qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies; and the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Oct. 9.
The leading jockey for last year's 27-day fall meet, Jose Ortiz, has six starts on Thursday. Chad Brown, the leading trainer for the fall meet, has six entries in three races. And the leading owner for the fall meet, Klaravich Stables, has three entries in two races.
The wagering menu for the Belmont meet is mostly in line with that of the Saratoga meet:
|Minimum bet||Wager type|
|$1||Rolling Pick 3s|
|50 cents||Pick 5|
|50 cents||Pick 4|
To win a grand slam wager, a bettor must pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, plus the winner of the fourth race in the sequence. If there is no show wagering in one of the first three legs, the horse must finish first or second.
Here are the takeout rates:
|Wager type||Takeout rate|
|Win, place, show||16%|
|Daily double, quinella, exacta||18.5%|
| Trifecta, superfecta, Pick 3,|
Pick 4, Grand Slam
|Pick 6||15% (24% on carryover days)|