10/06/2009 11:00PM

No turf racing Sunday at Belmont


The heavy rains that pummeled Belmont Park on Saturday afternoon forced management to move all five turf races scheduled for Sunday's card to the dirt, including three graded stakes, two that were to have awarded berths into Breeders' Cup races.

The Pilgrim and Miss Grillo - Grade 3 races worth $150,000 for 2-year-olds and 2-year-old fillies, respectively - were part of the Breeders' Cup `Win and You're In program. The Pilgrim winner would have earned an automatic berth into the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at on Nov. 7 at Santa Anita while the Miss Grillo winner would have gained entry into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 6. But due to the change of surface, the races no longer award berths into those races.

The Grade 2, $250,000 Kelso Handicap was also moved to the dirt. While considered a prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 7, the Kelso was not part of the Win and You're In program.

Court Vision, who would have been heavily favored in the Kelso, scratched from the race and will now be pointed to Saturday's Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said.

P.J. Campo, New York Racing Association vice president/director of racing, said that 2 1/2 inches of rain fell during the races Saturday, which turned Belmont's two turf courses into bogs for the running of the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational and Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational.

"Worst-case scenario is run to turf races in the rain, it just rips up the course," Campo said. "There was nothing we could do."

Campo said canceling the turf races once they are carded and running them another day was not considered.

"We've never done that before," he said.