Betfair Online Gambling Offers to Boost Beldame Stakes

Published Monday, August 24, 2009 -

Betfair Ltd. the ultra large online betting firm out of the U.K. and it's subsidiary TVG are offering $400.000 to the purse to see two great horses compete at the Beldame Stakes on October 3, 2009 at Belmont Park, New York, USA. This will boost the Beldame Stakes winning money to $1 million if Preakness Stakes winner Rachel Alexandra and undefeated Zenyatta compete.

The New York Racing Association Inc., which is hosting the 1 1/8-mile Beldame Stakes is very excited about the prospects of seeing this event take place. The purse increase would only take effect if both stars start in the one-turn, 1 1/8-mile Beldame. Race plans for both Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are still up in the air.

Gerard Cunningham, president of Betfair US, said, "Racing fans have been clamouring for Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta to square off all year and the Beldame presents the best opportunity for the two 'Horse of the Year' contenders to meet at one of racing's best venues." It was reported that the trainer of Zenyatta, John Shirreffs, and owner Jerry Moss, would be open to considering Zenyatta for the Beldame.

Jess Jackson, the owner of Rachel Alexandra, said, "I understand the growing excitement around a race that involves these two magnificent athletes competing, but both camps need to do what is in the best interest of the horse" adding, "And for us, that means waiting until she completes and soundly recovers from her next race before any decisions are made about the Beldame Stakes or any other venue." Jackson said he would make a decision on Rachel Alexandra's next race early next week. He has ruled out entering the 3-year- old filly in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, saying he won't run her on artificial surfaces.

President of the New York Racing Association,and Chief Executive Officer Charles Hayward, said, "We are very excited to partner with TVG-Betfair and provide the venue and opportunity for fans to see the race of a lifetime" adding, "Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta are two of the most talented females that thoroughbred racing has ever witnessed, and Belmont Park would be the perfect setting for this dream match-up. We would expect the race to draw a stellar field to be part of racing history."

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