Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup takes place this Saturday, September 29 from Belmont Park. An enormous purse of $1 million is on the line for three year olds willing to go 1 1/4 miles on Belmont's main track. The Gold Cup is the highlight of Belmont's Summer Meet and a good showing will undoubtedly look good ahead of the Breeders' Cup in November.
The main event of Belmont Park's Saturday card has attracted a field of 10 to go in race 10 on the schedule. Included in the field are six, count 'em six Grade 1 winners. Post time is 5:46 PM. Let's take a look at all 10 entries and what brought them to the highlight of Belmont's autumn meet.
2012 Jockey Club Gold Cup Race Favorites
Ron the Greek - has looked very good this year with two wins and three second place finishes in five starts in 2012. The wins include the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and the Grade 1 Steven Foster Handicap and the seconds came in the Florida Sunshine Millions, the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational last time out. After alternating wins and seconds in the last five races, he is due for a win on Saturday.
Flat Out - Flat Out has had a lot of hype for legendary trainer Bill Mott but has had disappointing results minus the win in last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup - the last time he tasted victory. Last year's Breeders' Cup Classic favourite finished fifth in that race and was an unflattering twelfth at the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream on January 14. Lately Flat Out has come around - a very good second in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup was followed by an OK third last time out in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap. He is the second choice on the morning line.
Jockey Club Gold Cup 2012 | Remaining Field Entries
Fort Larned - looked very good at the start of 2012 with wins in the Challenger Stakes and the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream. Fort Larned has a decent second in the Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes and a disappointing eighth at the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. Since that disappointment Fort Larned has been terrific in winning the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap and the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational last time out at Saratoga on August 4. He comes in to the Gold Cup in great form - nobody would be surprised to see him victorious Saturday.
Hymn Book - won the Grade 1 Donn Handicap in impressive fashion in February over Mission Impazible but followed that up with an uninspiring fourth in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 14. He followed that with a pedestrian fifth in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special Stakes on May 18 and then bounced back with a decent second in the Grade 2 Suburban on July 7. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational. He has shown some good form this year but is not on his A-Game at this point of the season
San Pablo - Todd Pletcher trained colt has placed in 11 of 12 career starts. He had three straight wins between December and February and followed that with a second in the As Indicated Stakes at Aqueduct on February 18 and a second in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct on March 17. He rebounded from a less than impressive fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 7 with two wins in his last two starts however - the Birdstone Stakes and the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth on August 18. San Pablo is in every race he enters and has won seven of the 12 - impressive indeed.
Jockey Club Gold Cup betting at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com
Fast Falcon - made his stakes debut with second in the Easy Goer Stakes to Teeth of the Dog on June 9 and followed that with another good second in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont on June 30. He was a pedestrian seventh in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on July 28 but rebounded last time out with a third in the highly competitive Grade 1 Travers.
Stay Thirsty - Looked terrific last summer winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 1 Travers but has struggled since. He finished a respectable third in last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes but followed it up with a disappointing 11th in the Breeders' Cup Classic to end 2011. Stay Thirsty was a decent second in the minor Vanlandingham Stakes on May 17 and followed it up with a fifth in the Grade 2 Suburban. Last time out was another fifth in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga - he enters this competitive race a tad out of sorts.
Atigun - has won a couple of Allowance Optional Claiming races in 2012 but also had an eleventh in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes and a fifth in the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby. Atigun surprised everyone with a third in the Belmont Stakes but followed that with a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes and an OK fourth last time out in the Grade 1 Travers. Atigun is highly respected but his results this year have been average at best.
Ruler on Ice - Ruler on Ice had a very good 2011 with a win at the Belmont Stakes and the third place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs to go along with numerous seconds and thirds at multiple graded stakes events. This year Ruler on Ice has started three races with disappointing results - a fifth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a second last time out in a similar race at Delaware Park on August 25.
Game Ball - had some success in Allowance and Claiming races earlier this year but has struggled against better competition. He was seventh in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes, fourth in the John's Call Stakes and eighth last time out in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational.
2012 Jockey Club Gold Cup Entries & Odds
Race 10 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:46 PM.
|1||Ron the Greek||J. Lezcano||W. Mott|
|2||Stay Thirsty||R. Dominguez||T. Pletcher|
|3||Ruler On Ice||A. Garcia||K. Breen|
|4||Hymn Book||J. Velazquez||C. McGaughey III|
|5||Fort Larned||B. Hernandez, Jr.||I. Wilkes|
|6||Atigun||M. Smith||K. McPeek|
|7||Fast Falcon||C. Nakatani||N. Zito|
|8||San Pablo||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher|
|9||Flat Out||J. Rosario||W. Mott|
|10||Game Ball||R. Maragh||N. Chatterpaul|