07/19/2008 11:12PM

Opening Day Lineup


--If you're keeping score, that's 10 races, including:
*Seven sprints at 5, 5 1/2 or 6 furlongs;
*Five grass races, two of them turf sprints;
*Four races restricted to New York-breds, including an $80k turf-sprint stakes;
*A field of 11 in the G3 Schuylerville.

--Standing ovations are in order for -- age before beauty -- 10-year-old Evening Attire and 3-year-old Music Note, two stirring winners at classic distances on Saturday.

Evening Attire made a rare out-of-town visit for the $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park and came away an 8 1/4-length winner at $6.40 in his first stakes victory outside of New York. The 2002 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner was scoring his 15th victory in 69 career starts and has earned nearly $3 million. The Greenwood Cup, a discontinued grass race, has been revived as a prep for the new Breeders' Cup Marathon, for which Evening Attire won an automatic starting berth.

Extra Credit: Name the two 9-year-olds who are the oldest horses to start in a Breeders' Cup race and the three 7-year-olds who are the oldest to win one. Answer below.)

As for Music Note, her 11-length victory over stablemate Little Belle in the Coaching Club American Oaks was an excellent performance. Last of five after half a mile, she took over at will around the turn and looked like she was rocketing away from the field through the stretch, running her two final quarters in an outstanding 24.22 and 24.17 for a fine final time of 2:01.66. Next up: A rematch with Proud Spell as Music Note goes for a sweep of the Mother Goose, CCA Oaks and Alabama Aug. 16.

Spotty as this year's 3-year-old males have been to date, this is starting to look like a bumper crop of 3-year-old dirt fillies: Eight Belles, Indian Blessing, Music Note, Proud Spell and Zaftig make quite a quintet.

The CCA Oaks earned a preliminary Beyer Speed Figure of 100 on a day at Belmont where only the figs were straightforward. It was downright weird being out there for the late races today, and not just because of the 95-degree haze. Due to the basement generator fire Saturday morning, the entire grandstand was closed, air-conditioning was out in dining areas, and numerous monitors were blank. Free clubhouse admission and parking are being offered for closing day Sunday, where there isn't a carryover but there is a mandatory payout in the pick-6.

[Update 1:03 pm: Sunday's card has been cancelled due to ongoing electrical problems at Belmont, specifically the lack of power and air-conditioning to the jockeys' room.]

[Update 4:00 pm: Belmont announced it would "remain open for simulcasting" after the cancellation of live racing, but its online and telephone wagering to do so have been shut down. The phone-betting recording says that betting "is now closed" and lists the hours it is open, including Sundays from noon to 11 pm.

Extra Credit Answers: The oldest horses to win a Breeders' Cup race were the 7-year-olds Cardmania (1993 Sprint), Elmhurst (1997 Sprint), and Miesque's Approval (2006 Mile.) The oldest to run were the 9-year-olds Bet on Sunshine (2001 Sprint) and John's Call (2000 Turf). Honorable mention to 8-year-old starters Better Talk Now, Chorwon, Friendly Lover and Kona Gold.