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Commentator's Belmont return kicks off Party at the Park

ELMONT, N.Y. – He’s New York-bred, New York tough and he’s the darling of New York racing fans.

Friday afternoon, Tracy Farmer’s 8-year-old Commentator will face four other state-bred rivals at a mile in the $65,000 Kashatreya (race 3, 4 p.m. EDT) -- the feature of Belmont Park’s first Party at the Park racing card of the season. Every Friday from June 12 through July 24 – with the exception of July 3 – Belmont Park will host Party at the Park, featuring a full live race card that begins at 3 p.m. Food and drink specials will be offered from 4 – 8 p.m. in the Festival Tent in the backyard, and this Friday, the popular Long Island band, Pink Noise, will provide live entertainment after the races at approximately 7 pm.

The star on Friday, however, is Commentator.

Trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito, the Distorted Humor gelding will be making the 23rd start of a career that has already produced earnings of more than $1.9 million. Of his 13 victories, two have come in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Whitney. Five-time Horse of the Year Kelso, who won his third Whitney at age 8 in 1965, remains the oldest Whitney winner, and Commentator will try for his third Whitney victory on August 8. With victories in the 2005 and 2008 Whitney, Commentator stands with Kelso and Discovery, who won the Whitney three years in a row from 1934-36, as the only repeat winners of the nine-furlong Saratoga staple.

Commentator is as much at home at Belmont Park as he is in Saratoga. At Belmont Park, he is 4-1-2 from seven lifetime starts. The key has been the spacing of his races; the Kashatreya will be Commentator’s second start since November and first since a fourth-place finish in the Charles Town Classic on April 18.

“Obviously, chasing Kelso is on our minds,” said Zito of Commentator, who breezed a half-mile at Saratoga’s Oklahoma Training Track on June 4 in a bullet 47 2/5, breezing. “We got side-tracked at Charles Town. This race on Friday is perfect for him. A race is a race, but hopefully, it will be a race he can get something out of without it being too taxing. He’s older now, and like the rest of us, he needs to work out to stay in shape. He looks terrific and he has been training great, so we’ll see. Hopefully, this puts us on track for the Whitney.”

On “Party at the Park” Fridays, free grandstand admission and $3 clubhouse admission is available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Regular admission prices apply thereafter.

There will be no show wagering on the Kashatreya.


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