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The Empire Showcase Day features six stakes races for New York-breds on Saturday

New York Hot List | Thursday, October 28, 2021

On Saturday at Belmont Park, Empire Showcase Day will have 10 races for New York-breds including six stakes races with $1.35 million in purse money. The feature is the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

The Empire Classic matches up the 3-year-old Americanrevolution, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, with the 7-year-old Mr. Buff, the winner of 17 races in his career and more than $1.4 million.

Americanrevolution is unbeaten against state-breds and recently ran third in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1).

“He’s coming off a big third against some more seasoned horses in the Pennsylvania Derby,” Pletcher said. “He’s come a long way in a short period of time so the Empire Classic makes sense for him.”

Mr. Buff has had a short rest after failing to finish in the top three against NY-breds for the first time since 2018. The John Kimmel runner won a pair of stakes at Aqueduct this year against open company.

“He’s been training well into the Empire Classic,” Kimmel said. “It’ll be a tough race, but he’s been working really well.”

Here are the Hot List picks for the Empire Classic Handicap:

The $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap, Belmont Park, Saturday, Race 9.

(5) Americanrevolution ran third in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) against a field of eight and was beaten by only top 3-year-olds Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourdon who were prominent in the Triple Crown races and beyond. Before that show effort against open company, Americanrevolution won three times against state-breds including two stakes victories by open lengths. (8) Tiergan won the Ashley T. Cole stake at Belmont on a muddy track last month. There appears to be plenty of speed in this field of eight which is ideal for this winner of his last three starts for Rudy Rodriguez. (3) Mr. Buff is certainly a threat to win this race for the third time in a row. The big horse gets his best results when he gets in stride out on the lead. (7) Sea Foam was claimed after a winning effort at Saratoga for $45,000 and came right back to win the Evan Shipman with a front-running effort for impressive young trainer Michelle Giangiulio. In the long-distance Greenwood Cup (G3), he set the pace for a mile and will certainly appreciate the return to nine-furlongs.

The rest of the NY Hot List picks and the Special Saturday Pick 3 are available free of charge at this website.