Thoroughbred Horse Racing

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes Profile

Originally published on


All data was manually compiled and is subject to human error.


The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic is a 12 furlong race over the turf for 3-year-olds and up at Belmont Park. First run in 1977, it’s currently a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race.

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Below is a look at data from a variety of angles to see what has produced winners in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic from 1991-2018.

Charts are interactive, hover over or touch bars and lines for more information.

All data is via Equibase.

Heads Up!

Some charts will be more legible viewed in landscape.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Odds & Payouts 1991-2018


Odds are shown as listed in the results charts. Hover-over or touch each bar for $2 payout.

Purge (2006) and Jersey Town (2010) are excluded from the chart below as outliers at $1 odds of 25.5-1 and 34.7-1. Outliers are included in the averages and medians.


Average $1 Odds:
Median $1 Odds:


Average $1 Odds:
Median $1 Odds:


Average $2 Win:
Median $2 Win:


Average $2 Win:
Median $2 Win:

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Bettors’ Choice and Field Size 1991-2018


Bettors’ Choice is the ranked order of the field by final odds: The favorite is the first choice, the second favorite is the second choice and so on. For example, 1991 winner Solar Splendor was 2nd choice in a 9 horse field.


Average Choice of Winner:
Average Field Size:
Average Favorite Finish Position:


Average Choice of Winner:
Average Field Size:
Average Favorite Finish Position:

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winning Running Styles 1991-2018


To read the charts below, 0 on the vertical axis is the lead, any distance behind the leader is below 0 and any distance above 0 is the amount the leader is ahead of the next horse. At the bottom are the points of call as they correspond to the charts. Each line is a horse, and you can hover over the point of call for each line to see more information about the horse.

For example, if you hover over the bottom-most line in the first chart, at the 1/2 mile mark you’ll see that 2015 winner Big Blue Kitten was 19 lengths behind the leader at this point in the race.

Position at the 1/2 mile mark

In the lead
Between .1 and 3 lengths off leader
Off the pace:
Between 3 and 6 lengths off the leader
Deep closer:
More than 6 lengths off the leader

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has been predominately won by stalkers/pressers, or those who are on-the-pace runners. However in the last 10 years off-the-pace runners and closers have won 60% of the time.

A closer look at winning running styles by decade.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winning Running Styles 1991-1999


Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winning Running Styles 2000-2009


Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winning Running Styles 2010-2018


Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Last Track & Days Since 1991-2018


The majority of Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winners have come from Arlington and Belmont in the time period. A change in the Belmont racing calendar has produced more winners from Arlington and Saratoga in the past decade. Winners have generally raced within the last 30 days.

Days Since Last Race 1991-2018

Average Days Since Last Race:
Median Days Since Last Race:

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners Placing in Prior Race 1991-2018


Just under half of Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winners won their prior race and more than three quarters of the winners finished in the money, or no worse than third, last out.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Winners By Age 1991-2018


The majority of winners and starters since 1991 have been The majority of winners have been 4 and 5-year-olds. The only 9-year-old to race in the time frame, John’s Call (2000), won. There have been no 8-year-old winners since 1991.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Odds by Age 1991-2018


Odds are listed as $1 odds (e.g., $9.30 is equal to 9-1 odds on the tote board).

AgeAverage Starter OddsAverage Winner Odds
3 year-olds$16.10$5.90
4 year-olds$13.80$2.60
5 year-olds$11.10$4.40
6 year-olds$11.50$7.40
7 year-olds$8.40$16.40
8 year-olds$14.300
9 year-olds$10.40$10.40

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic All Starters by Age 1991-2018


Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Win % by Age 1991-2018


A/E Ratio by Age 1991-2018 Permalink

AgeAverage vs Expected Value Ratio (A/E)
3 year-olds.69
4 year-olds.72
5 year-olds.99
6 year-olds.34
7 year-olds4.79
8 year-olds0
9 year-olds11.40

Numbers over 1 outperform expected value and numbers less than 1 underperform expected value. Learn more about how A/E ratio is calculated and how it should be interpreted.

Looking at the performance of each age group, 7-year-olds had the highest win rate to relative starters at 23.1% while 6-year-olds have the lowest win rate of the group. 3-year-olds have also not performed well with only a 8.3% win rate while representing 11.8% of the starters.

Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Multiple Winners & Run Backs 1991-2018


There have been two two-time winners since 1991: Val’s Prince (1997, 1999) and English Channel (2006-2007). A total of 28 individual starters have made more than one start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic since 1991 for a total of 40 run back starts.

A run back is defined as a starter who made a prior start in the race. For example two-time winner English Channel first ran in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in 2005 and finished 2nd. He ran back in to win in 2006 and 2007.

Starters who have made a previous start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic have won only 20% of the time, but have fared much better if you look at in the money finishes, hitting the board 60% of the time since 1991.

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has been a formful race since 1991 but in the last 10 years it’s been a good place to find a price.

The average winning odds since 1991 are 5.4-1 with a median of 2.8 and an average $12.80 payout for a $2 win ticket. Since 2010 the averages have crept down to odds of 4-1 with a payout of $10.00 while medians have crept up to to odds of 3.7-1 and $9.40.

Favorites have have performed to the generally accepted average favorite win rate of 35% to win 35.7% of the time since 1991 but only 10% in the last 10 years. The winner on average has been 2nd, trending towards 3rd choice (2.7) since 1991. Favorites on average have finished almost 3rd (2.85).

Stalkers have won 35.7% of the time since 1991 with off-the-pace runners runners winning 60% in the last ten years.

The majority of winners are 4 or 5-years-old. While 3-year-olds have not entered often or performed particularly well with only a 8.7% win rate, the betting public correctly plays them by making them 5th choice on average while they finish 4th on average. 7-year-olds have the highest win rate relative to starts.

Starters who have made a prior start in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, known as a run back have won 20% of the time, but ran in the money a notable 60% of the time.

Belmont and Arlington have produced the most winners since 1991, but in the last years winners have come Arlington and Saratoga. Since 1991 the average field size on par with the 2017 average of 7.7 starters with an average of 7.21 starters, since 2010 that number ticked up slightly to 7.22 average starters.

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