The hot topic at any racing organization’s meetings is “How do we bring new owners into the sport?” For anyone who has experienced the thrill and satisfaction of seeing their horse hit the finish line first in a race at any level – the exhilaration is hard to explain – but it is “your” horse, alone or in a partnership with friends. The highly respected WinStar Farm is opening the door to participation as an owner with some of their well-bred individuals getting ready to race. So how do you get in on such an exclusive ownership opportunity with a top-notch farm? Mary Cage, the WinStar Stablemates Director, will join us to explains the ins and outs of joining the partnership. This weekend is the swan song for Belmont Park before the action moves up the Hudson River to Saratoga. Before the vans hit the toll booths, there will be some great racing there this weekend and we are bringing out “The Beast of Belmont,” known as “The Big A” – Anthony Stabile. Since spending his youth alongside his parents working with horses on the NY circuit, he has developed into a top handicapper and on-air racing analyst making regular appearances on HRRN (Horse Racing Radio Network).
“The Big A” will join John to look at two major Invitational races that has drawn top turf performers with an international flair. In the G1 Belmont Derby at 1 ¼ miles on the turf, trainer Todd Pletcher wanted to move Sainthood to the grass for his last start in the Pennine Ridge (G3), but the race came off the turf and he won easily. Before that, he was 11th in the Kentucky Derby, his only finish outside the exacta in five starts this year. Du Jour is a former Bob Baffert trainee who will make his first start for Bill Mott. He won the American Turf (G1) last out at Churchill Downs. Bolshoi Ballet would make his first North American start after compiling a 6: 3-0-1 record in Europe. The G1 Belmont Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on the grass will feature 3-year-old fillies. The 1-2 finishers in the Wonder Again (G3) meet again here. In that 1 1/8-mile race, Con Lima bested Plum Ali by half a length to pick up her fourth win of the year in six starts. This is only the third start of the year for Plum Ali, who finished third in the Appalachian (G2) in April. Not all of the big races will take place going long on the green. The Grade 3 Victory Ride will be contested at 6 1/2 furlongs for 3-year-old fillies. Australasia is 6-for-6, with all but one of those wins coming this year. This would be her first graded-stakes start. Red Ghost is 2-for-2 this year after winning the Miss Preakness (G3) by a nose. Tim Hamm trainee Dayoutoftheoffice – second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies – has not won in three tries since the Frizette (G1) in October, but has put in solid efforts in each start and may be dangerous going 6 ½ panels.