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Weekend Stakes Action: Belmont Kicks Off Fall Meet

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Nathaniel (IRE) headlines the 2012 Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 8th.
Nathaniel (IRE) headlines the 2012 Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 8th.

The first post-Labor Day racing weekend of the year features zero Grade 1 races but instead an assortment of juvenile races and Grade 2/Grade 3 affairs. Over in Europe, the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes is scheduled to run at Leopardstown with Nathaniel (IRE), St. Nicholas Abbey (IRE) and Snow Fairy (IRE). The Group 1 Matron Stakes is also on the Leopardstown card. The international racing picks up at Longchamp on Sunday and Tuesday with four Group races, including three for juveniles (G3-Prix la Rochette, G3-Prix d'Arenberg, G3-Prix d'Aumale).

It's Super Derby day at Louisiana Downs where some of the second tier Triple Crown horses like Hero of Order and Blueskiesandrainbows, will go nine furlongs on the main track. The card also features a couple of juvenile turf races (Sunday Silence and Happy Ticket); keep an eye on Brown Almighty in the Sunday Silence (race 9; post time 4:20pm Eastern).

Belmont Park opens for its 2012 Fall Meet with a single graded stakes race on the card, the G2-Bowling Green at a mile and a quarter on the inner turf course. The field drew a disappointing five entries plus one Main Track Only, Redeemed. Overall, Saturday's Belmont card features some full fields, with the exception of the back-to-back stakes races early in the card which only drew ten total entries between them. I guess the stakes horses are waiting for the bigger events in the coming weeks.

Out at Presque Isle Downs, the ungraded Presque Isle Mile was won by Eternal Rule in gate to wire fashion by a length over Alma d'Oro. Tonight at the track, Groupie Doll leads a full field of 12 in the Presque Isle Downs Masters (post time 7:30pm Eastern).

I'll be in and out of the house all day today, so I'll be checking up on the racing action when I get a chance. I figure this is one of the last "quiet" weekends before things really start to get intense for the fall racing calendar.

Below are the running results for this weekend's stakes action.

Date Track Race Cond. Dist. Surf. Division Winner
7-Sep PID Presque Isle Mile 3up 8.0 AW Dirt Mile 7-Eternal Rule
8-Sep LaD G2-Super Derby 3yo 9.0 Dirt Classic 9-Bourbon Courage
8-Sep PID G2-PID Masters 3up, f&m 6.5 AW F&M Sprint 7-Groupie Doll
8-Sep LEO G1-Irish Champion 3up 10.0 Turf Intl/Ireland Snow Fairy (IRE)
8-Sep LEO G1-Matron 3up, f&m 8.0 Turf Intl/Ireland Chachamaidee (IRE)
8-Sep AP G3-AW Futurity 2yo 8.0 Dirt Juvenile 3-Pataky Kid
8-Sep LaD Sunday Silence 2yo 8.0 Turf Juvenile Turf 7-Java's War
8-Sep AP G3-AW Lassie 2yo, f 8.0 AW Juvenile Fillies 4-Gold Edge
8-Sep LaD Happy Ticket 2yo, f 8.0 Turf Juvenile Fillies Turf 6-Always Kitten
8-Sep BEL G2-Bowling Green 3up 10.0 Turf Turf 1-Air Support
8-Sep HAY G1-Sprint Cup 3up 6.0 Turf Turf Sprint/England Society Rock
9-Sep LCH G3-Prix du Pin 3up 7.0 Turf Intl/France Blue Soave (FR)
9-Sep LCH G3-Prix la Rochette 2yo 7.0 Turf Intl/France What A Name (IRE)
11-Sep LCH G3-Prix d'Arenberg 2yo 5.5 Turf Intl/France
11-Sep LCH G3-Prix d'Aumale 2yo, f 8.0 Turf Intl/France