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3 Graded Stakes Runners for WPT at Belmont This Weekend

Twilight Eclipse setting a world record in the Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream Park

June 05, 2013 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

It’s shaping up to be an exciting weekend for West Point Thoroughbreds, with three horses entered in graded stakes at Belmont Park.


The handsome chestnut Freedom Child takes on 13 sophomores in Saturday’s $1,000,000 Belmont Stakes (G1) on Saturday.


Click here to read about him.


Just one race prior to the Belmont Stakes, world record holder Twilight Eclipse seeks a grade one win in the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap run at 1 1/4 miles on the lawn.


In his last start, the Pan American (G2) on March 23 at Gulfstream, Twilight Eclipse ‘eclipsed’ the world record set for 1 1/2 miles on ANY surface, covering the distance in 2:22.63 under Javier Castellano, who has the return engagement on Saturday.


“He’s been training like a monster the past few weeks,” said trainer Tom Albertrani (who also saddles Freedom Child). “We decided to wait for the Manhattan after he ran lights out at Gulfstream. Most of the long distance grass races are later in the summer and we want to keep him fresh. He didn’t seem to love the soft turf this winter at Gulfstream, and there’s rain in the forecast this weekend, but this is a very different course and I have a lot of confidence in him.”


The weekend kicks off with Flashy Sunrise in Friday’s $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap (G2) run at a 1 1/2 miles over “Big Sandy.” Trained by Dallas Stewart (who saddles Golden Soul in the Belmont Stakes), “big grey” has won three out of his last four starts, with his most recent victory coming in a second level allowance at Churchill Downs. Click here to watch the race.


It took Flashy Sunrise 19 tries to break his maiden, but he’s come out firing this year, and his numbers stack up against this group of long distance runners.


“We always suspected once we Flashy to the winner’s circle, he just continue getting better and better,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “He really came into his own this winter at the Fair Grounds and his running style could make him dangerous going a mile and a half. He acts like he wants to run all day. Dallas has done a great job with this horse. He took a while to develop but is now in a position to be competitive in the older handicap division this year.

Post Times & Television Coverage


Race Name


Race Number

Post Time

Television Coverage

Flashy Sunrise

Brooklyn Handicap (G2)

Friday, 6/7


5:45 ET

NBS Sports Network (coverage begins at 4:00 pm

Twilight Eclipse

Manhattan Handicap (G1)

Saturday, 6/8


5:40 ET

NBC (coverage begins at 5:00 pm)

Freedom Child

Belmont Stakes (G1)

Saturday, 6/8


6:36 ET

NBC (coverage begins at 5:00 pm)