Updated on 06/08/2013 10:46AM

Belmont Stakes: Muddy track may improve to fast by post time


ELMONT, N.Y. - After 3 1/2 inches of rain pelted Belmont Park over a 24-hour period, the main track was to begin as muddy and sealed, but track officials are hopeful the surface could be fast by post time for the 145th Belmont Stakes.

“I’m pretty confident that we’ll be wet fast by then,” said Glen Kozak, the New York Racing Association’s vice president of facilities and racing surfaces. “If we get real lucky, we’ll be fast.”

First post for Saturday’s 13-race card is 11:35 a.m. Eastern. Post time for the Belmont is 6:36 p.m.

[BELMONT STAKES: Live updates and video from Belmont Park]

Both the inner and Widener turf courses will be labeled yielding and race 3, a maiden race scheduled for the Widener, was transferred to the dirt. The other four races, including the Just a Game and Manhattan - both Grade 1 races worth $500,000 - were to be run on the turf. The Just a Game will be the first race run on the turf with a post time of 3:58 p.m.

The other two races scheduled for the turf weren’t scheduled until after the Belmont with post times of 7:20 and 7:50 p.m., respectively.

The rails on both courses were taken down, and runners who get to the inside will be running over ground that has virtually been untouched this meet.

Kozak said that 3.49 inches of rain fell at Belmont, not stopping until just before 4 a.m. Saturday.

Kozak’s maintenance crew plated, or floated the track early Saturday morning and opened training to only Belmont Stakes runners from 6-7 a.m. Kozak said five horses went to the track, including Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Peter Pan winner Freedom Child.

Kozak said the main track would begin the card as muddy and sealed for the first few races and that he would harrow, or open, the track at his discretion.

“Right now we’re plating it off and then let the wind do its thing,” Kozak said.” Once the sun kicks in and with the wind this thing will come around pretty quickly.”

The forecast for Saturday was for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid to upper 70s. Winds were scheduled to be from 10 to 15 miles per hour.




Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Once again the track crew managed to screw up a perfectly fair track....today its a paved highway with an inside speed bias that's visible even to the blind (exept to the jockeys)...think santa anita during breeders cup or the peter pan day when they did the same bad job at belmont........at this rate the belmont closers are up against it....and freedo child might even get the distance .
Olmar Deiya More than 1 year ago
Dont count on it
Racial Profiling More than 1 year ago
Joseph Malatesta More than 1 year ago
And down the stretch they come!
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
No more rain and track does come up fast or good at worst and uh, Grening ain't a 'they', he's one of us.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
They WANT to rate the track as fast, because many bettors stay away if it's not. No matter the track rating, the slop will greatly impact the race, because the horses that aren't comfortable with the surface won't extend fully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent point. And the track officials do want to mislead bettors. Hey its what they do.
Mr. Ed More than 1 year ago
That would be a good point except the track will not be sloppy by Belmont post time. Maybe labeled good which isn't good at all.
HoldthatTiger Tiger More than 1 year ago
All The Best To Rosie with UNLIMITED BUDGET But in my Openion if Rosie with her Best Mate Mylute in the belmont 100%100 she can win this race Good Luck to her ..
HoldthatTiger Tiger More than 1 year ago
GOLDEN SOUL .. Will winning the Belmont Stakes the fact is that Orb and Golden Soul both are loving to run in muddy track ..But We Miss the Fantastic Colt Mylute .
Frank Kulcsar More than 1 year ago
Hope they get Mike & Dan to be TV guys for big races--get rid of Randy-don,t bring back Hank
JOHN More than 1 year ago
Randy and Hank come off like clueless idiots. Everything they say is wrong and its embarrassing for the sport.
Matthew More than 1 year ago
They should cancel the card and try to rerun next Saturday. The pools will suffer greatly from the track conditions and if they pull the turf or trainers refuse to run it'll get uglier.
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Absolutely zero chance of that happening.
Frank Petro More than 1 year ago
What a foolish comment.
You Feel Lucky More than 1 year ago
New to horseracing?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
obviously you guys are amateurs. Just pospone the race because its wet really?...forget the training schedules the fact that horses flew in at huge expense ($6000 -$10 000) and the connections came in with their families too...just fly back and come back next week and if it rains again genius ?.i know cancel again and push the races that were scheduled for that week to next month...seriously wake up.