09/09/2008 10:58PM

First of Many Lists


I've started trying to get organized about the next 6 1/2 weeks of racing leading up to the Breeders' Cup, and here's the first of what will likely be many lists: Below are the 29 scheduled U.S. Grade 1 stakes races between the start of Labor Day weekend and the two Cup Days, and the BC race (red for Friday, blue for Saturday)with which they most closely correspond:

28 of the 29 are official "Win and You're In" races (for whatever reason, the Clement L. Hirsch is not listed as one of the 57 WAYI races on the Breeders Cup website), meaning that the winners of those 28 Grade 1's all will get automatic starting berths if their connections want them.

The 11 G1 races being run at Belmont and Oak Tree Sept. 27 are more than twice as many as will be run on either of the Breeders' Cup cards. BC Friday has three -- the G1 Ladies' Classic (it hurts to type that name), the G1 F&M Turf and the G1 Juvenile Fillies, plus the ungraded F&M Sprint and Juvenile Fillies Turf. BC Saturday has five -- the G1 Classic, G1 Turf, G1 Mile, G1 Sprint and G1 Juvenile -- plus the ungraded Juvenile Turf, Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint and Marathon.

Of perhaps more immediate interest is the $63,136 pick-6 carryover when racing resumes tomorrow at Belmont. Four of the six races are scheduled for the grass, and the forecast is sunny. Here's the pre-scratch lineup:

Race 4: 3+ NY-bred $25k Maiden claimers -- 6f -- field of 13
Race 5: 3+ NY-bred AlwN1x -- 1 1/16-WT -- field of 10/2 AE's/1 MTO
Race 6: 3+ MdSpWt -- 6f-IT -- Field of 12/1 AE/3 MTO's
Race 7: 3+ Alw/N3x/OC $75k -- 7f-WT -- field of 12/1 AE
Race 8: 3+ Clm25000N2L -- 6f -- Field of 11
Race 9: 2F MdSpWt -- 1m-WT -- Field of 12/3 MTO's

Don't know yet whether I'll play. It seems like a tough and crowded lineup, and the very poorly-positioned finale includes five first-time starters, all from tough outfits (Albertrani, McLaughlin, Mott, Pletcher, Tagg.) But I suppose it won't hurt to take a look.