Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park

Entries and J’s Picks for Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park, Saturday, October 05, 2019

Race 9. Joe Hirsch Turf Classic(G1T). For three -year-old and up at 1 ½ miles on the turf. Purse $500,000.

The Grade 1, $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park is at the same distance as the Breeders’ Cup Turf, 1 1/2-mile distance.


PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Zulu Alpha  Channing Hill Michael J. Maker 6/1
2 Channel Cat Luis Saez Todd A. Pletcher 9/2
3 Ya Primo  Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad C. Brown 6/1
4 Cross Border  Manuel Franco Michael J. Maker 20/1
5 Arklow  Junior Alvarado Brad H. Cox 3/1
6 Sadler’s Joy  Jose Lezcano Thomas Albertrani 5/2
7 Channel Maker  John R. Velazquez William I. Mott 7/2

#1 Zulu Alpha won three graded stakes this year and ran second in the United Nations (G1) at Monmouth Park. He won his most recent race the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs. He should be stalking the field down the back stretch and make his run at the leaders turning for home. He should finish in the top five.

#2 Channel Cat won the Bowling Green (G2) at Saratoga in July. He has no Grade 1 wins to his credit. He has tactical speeds and can set the pace or stalk the field from the second pack. He should be near the leaders turning for home and be a major factor at the wire. He should finish in the top three.

#3 Ya Primo won four graded stakes in Chile. He ran second in the Bowling Green. In his next start the Sword Dancer (G1), he went to the lead and faded to ninth. He needs to prove he can compete at this level. He should be able to finish in the top five.

#4 Cross Border has won his last three starts at Saratoga in two state-bred allowance races and starter allowance company. He will be making his stakes debut against a very solid field. This should be a great afternoon workout check. He should not be a factor at the wire.

#5Arklow has three second-place finishes this year and a third. In those races, he ended up behind both Channel Cat and Channel Maker. He needs to break 13 month winless streak but that will not happen against this filed. He will have to find a different Grade 1 for his first Grade 1 win. He should finish in the top six.

#6 Sadler’s Joy has not found a way to win in 16 months. He beaten a neck in the Sword Dancer (G1). He will need to show his best to have a chance of winning. He likes to stalk the leaders and pass tried horses down the lane. He should be on the board. 

#7Channel Maker has won two of his five career races at Belmont Park, including the Man O’ War (G1) back in May and last year’s Turf Classic. Since the Man O’ War, he has finished fourth three times. He like to stalk the pace from the second pack and move to lead around the turn. He runs well over the surface which moves him into winner’s circle. 

J’s Top Three Picks:

  • Channel Maker
  • Channel Cat
  • Zulu Alpha

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