Top Track Selections
Three Meets Opening This Weekend
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Three new meetings are starting their short fall campaigns this weekend and they are not to be missed. All three meetings are Stakes rich because of their short tenure and will be full of excellent wagering opportunities. Our handicappers will be there to help you take full advantage of this very rich 24 days.
So don't leave home without us. Just click on www.toptrackselections.com and enjoy the ride.
Belmont Park – 24 Day 2013 Fall Championship Meet Opens This Saturday
World class racing continues at Belmont Park this September with the Fall Championship meet. Seven weeks of great racing, events and family fun at one of the nation's most beautiful sporting venues. There will be 19 Stakes races over 24 days of racing with some outstanding wagering opportunities throughout this meeting. Don't miss Super Saturday on September 28 and New York Showcase Day on October 19.
Churchill Downs Opens 12 Day Meeting Friday
Well, here it is. The noble experiment being undertaken by Churchill Downs with a 12-day September meet begins Friday as a welcome replacement for Turfway Park while track officials wonder aloud how it will be received in the local and national marketplaces.
A 10-race card that starts at 1:45 p.m. Eastern looks a lot like a spring or fall Churchill card – except for a noticeable, and intended, dearth of turf racing because of weather concerns.
Per-day purses are expected to average a little more than $400,000, which is below what Churchill typically offers at its two traditional meets but far more than what had become the fall-meet norm at Turfway, the northern Kentucky track where business has slumped for years. Churchill, spurred by requests from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and horsemen’s advocates, essentially stepped up to the plate as a means to help solidify the state’s racing circuit, although not all their motivation is of a benevolent nature.
“We think we can make this go as a profitable venture for the company,” said Asher. “We fully intend to make this an annual thing.”
Fairplex Opens 13 Day Meeting Friday
Friday is opening day of a 13-day meet renamed the Barretts Race Meet at Fairplex, with a revised past-performance track abbreviation – BSR – which stands for Barretts Sales and Racing. By any name – some still refer to Fairplex Park as “Pomona” – the carnival atmosphere stays.
Sandwiched between the end of Del Mar and the start of Santa Anita autumn, Barretts Sales and Racing is sport and gambling mainly for the fun of it. Expectations are high for 2013, based on a successful 2012 when all-sources handle was up 8 percent, to $5.2 million daily.
“We put a good racing program up; quality was better than what we have seen in years past,” fair vice president Mike Seder said, “I think we will see more entries this year. We anticipate handle growth of 5 or 6 percent.”
Early indications are encouraging. Racing secretary Tom Knust expects 700 horses will be stabled on the grounds, up from 500 one year ago.
“I think we will see a significant increase in the number of starters,” Knust said.
Average field size one year ago was 7.46.
The track surface at Fairplex is dirt. After months of racing and training on Cushion Track and Polytrack, horses and horsemen look forward to a return to conventional footing with a reputation for keeping horses sound.
“I love the surface here,” trainer Jeff Mullins said. “It’s probably the best surface we have in California. Horses get better here. If you bring horses here with little issues, by the time you leave here, they are well.”
The trainer roster has expanded to include Cody Autrey, who will race at the fair before returning to the Midwest. Dallas Keen and Robertino Diodoro will be active, along with local trainers Doug O’Neill, Bill Spawr, and Jorge Gutierrez.
For the first time, TVG and HRTV both will broadcast Fairplex races.