Jockey Club Gold Cup 2014 at Belmont Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: September 25, 2014 -- 11:38 AM ET

Las Vegas, NV - Belmont Park in Elmont, New York will be the scene of Super Saturday on Saturday, September 22. The main event on a stacked card is the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup - a 1 1/4 miles test for horses three years old and upward. A talented group will take to Belmont Park's main track and chase the winner's share of the lucrative $1 million purse and an automatic bid into North America's richest race - the Breeders' Cup Classic.

A wide open group of 12 will take to the track in the Jockey Club Gold Cup with a host of three year olds looking to steal the show. It is race 10 on Belmont Park's ultra-busy Saturday card with a post time of 5:50 PM. Here is a look into the past performances off all 12 entries for the Main Event on Super Saturday at Belmont Park.

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2014 Jockey Club Gold Cup Race Favorite Entries

Wicked Strong - enters off a second to V.E. Day in the Travers Stakes August 23 and good win over Tonalist in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy July 26. This after consecutive fourth place finishes - in the Belmont Stakes and in the Kentucky Derby and an eye-opening win - in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 5. Wicked Strong has 10 career starts with three wins, two seconds and a third place finish and has been in every one of his last five starts (two wins). Off a second in the Travers and a win before that he has to be in the conversation. Rajiv Maragh will be in the saddle of the 4-1 morning line favorite from post 3.

Moreno - is coming off a good second in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 30 after a terrific win at 10-1 odds in the $1.5 million Grade 1 Whitney Stakes in front running fashion August 2, another a good second on this track in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap July 5 and a distant twelfth in the Grade 1 Met Mile June 7. He started his year with a decent third behind Game On Dude and Imperative in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 19 and ended 2013 with a disappointing tenth in the Breeders' Cup. Also last year the Eric Guillot pupil won the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes in impressive fashion by seven lengths and had a respectable third behind Palace Malice and Will Take Charge in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes July 27. He had a pair of good seconds at the end of the summer before his Breeders' Cup experience as well - in the Grade 1 Travers behind Will Take Charge and in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx September 21. Moreno has been trending upward again after an uncharacteristic stretch and looks good to go Saturday. He, the 7-2 second choice will have Junior Alvarado in the reins from gate 11 Saturday.

Jockey Club Gold Cup 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Tonalist - Christophe Clement trained colt has placed in his last six starts overall - a third behind V. E. Day and Wicked Strong in the Grade 3 Travers Stakes and a second in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes. Before that was a career defining win in the Belmont Stakes June 7 and a great win in the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes May 10. Tonalist has been in the mix in every race this year and should be so again Saturday. He leaves from post 8 Saturday as the 4-1 third choice with Joel Rosario aboard.

V.E. Day - James Jerkins trained colt made his graded stakes debut one to remember - a win in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga August 23. That win followed three straight wins ahead including the minor Curlin Stakes July 25 and two wins on this track - an Allowance and maiden score. His other two career results were a second and a fifth respectively in MSW races at Gulfstream. V.E. Day has been untouchable the last five months. Javier Castellano gets the call from post 10 at an intriguing 5-1 on the morning line.

Zivo - has six starts this year with five wins and a fourth last time out in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes for trainer Chad Brown. The wins include three minor stakes scores - the Commentator Handicap May 31, the Kings Point Stakes in February at Aqueduct and the Whodam Stakes at Aqueduct in January. His graded stakes debut came two back and resulted in another terrific win against a good field - in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park as the longest shot in the field July 5. He now has nine wins, two seconds and four third place finishes in 16 career starts and enters this weekend looking for a bounce back after his worst result of the year. Jose Lezcano rides from post 4 at 6-1 odds.

Prayer for Relief - Dale Romans pupil was very good at this time last year - a win in the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap in June and a pair of seconds - in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap and the Texas Mile but he has struggled a tad since. Last time out was a respectable third in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 30 after an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney, a decent third in the Grade 2 Suburban July 5, an eighth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs June 14 and a good second in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special May 16.. His last win came in December - in the minor Tenacious Handicap at Fair Grounds. Prayer for Relief has been improving every time out lately and hopes to break an eight race losing streak Saturday. John Velazquez will be in the irons from post 5 at 15-1 on the morning line.

Jockey Club Gold Cup betting online at Belmont Park with OffTrackBetting.com

Micromanage - Todd Pletcher trained colt has 19 career starts with five wins, four seconds and four third place finishes. He is coming off an decent third in the Grade 3 Greenwood Cup at Parx September 1 after a good win by 8 1/2 lengths in the minor Birdstone Stakes August 7, an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and an OK second behind Norumbega as favorite in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational May 7. Before that was an OK third as odd-on-favorite in the minor Drosselmeyer Stakes in May. He did have a career best performance in March however - a 4 1/4 length win in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream. Micromanage has placed in five of his last six starts and enters on OK form. Luis Saez rides the 20-1 shot from the rail.

Big Cazanova - Argentinean bred Peter Miller pupil has 17 careers tarts with three wins, six seconds and six third place finishes. He placed in nine group stakes races at home but has yet to start a graded stakes race in North America where Big Cazanova has three wins, a second and two third place finishes in six starts. He enters his step up in competition having won three of his last four starts in California - all Allowance races. He looks for his first stakes score Saturday - Irad Ortiz will be in charge of the 20-1 shot from the outside post.

Last Gunfighter - Chad Brown trained colt had a six race win streak snapped last July with a respectable second in the 2013 Suburban Handicap behind Flat Out at Belmont Park. He returned to the winner's circle in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth Park August 18 but fell back to a fifth in 2013 Jockey Club Gold Cup and another fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. After the Breeders' Cup Last Gunfighter posted two straight wins - the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in November and the minor Mountainview Handicap at Penn National in his first starts of 2014 while earning a Beyer Speed Figure over 100 in both races. Since those wins he has been disappointing to say the least - an ugly ninth in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park July 5 was followed by a fifth in the Grade 3 Whitney Stakes August 2 and a sixth last time out in the Grade 1 Woodward. He has placed in 14 of 19 career but hasn't hit the board in his last three overall. Joe Bravo gets the mount from post 2 ay 20-1 odds.

Stephanoatsee - Nick Zito pupil started 2014 with an eighth in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap and had three straight Allowance starts after that - a second two back July 25 being his best result over that span. Last time out was a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodward August 30. He was at his best at the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 when he posted a win in the minor Barbaro Stakes, finished third in the Grade 3 Discovery Handicap and was second in the Grade 2 Strub. He has placed in just one of his last nine starts and appears to be over his head in this one. Jose Ortiz has been tabbed to ride from post 9 at 20-1 on the morning line.

Long River - Kiaran McLaughlin trained colt entered the Excelsior Stakes in March on a three race win streak - the Evening Attire Stakes January 18 after the Time for a Change Stakes December 1 and then finished a good second behind Romansh in the Grade 3 Excelsior. He hasn't been great since - failing to place in his last four starts overall. Lat time out was a seventh in the Grade 1 Woodward August 30 after a fifth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Cup July 27, a seventh in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in June and a fifth in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic in April. Long River hopes to rebound from an unflattering stretch with Cornelio Velasquez aboard at 30-1 from post 6.

Speak Logistics - Gary Contessa trained colt has yet to place in five starts this year and races in graded stakes company for the first time since a seventh in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby September of last year - which followed a good second in the Grade 3 Smart Jones three weeks earlier. He has 17 career starts with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and steps back into graded stakes company in less than spectacular form. Paco Lopez gets the call aboard the longest shot in the field - 50-1 from post 7.


2014 Jockey Club Gold Cup Entries & Odds

Race 10 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:50 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Micromanage L. Saez T. Pletcher
20-1
2 Last Gunfighter J. Bravo C. Brown
20-1
3 Wicked Strong R. Maragh J. Jerkens
3-1
4 Zivo J. Lezcano C. Brown
6-1
5 Prayer for Relief J. Velazquez D. Romans
15-1
6 Long River C. Velasquez K. McLaughlin
30-1
7 Speak Logistics P. Lopez G. Contessa
50-1
8 Tonalist J. Rosario C. Clement
4-1
9 Stephanoatsee J. Ortiz N. Zito
20-1
10 V. E. Day J. Castellano J. Jerkens
5-1
11 Moreno J. Alvarado E. Guillot
7-2
12 Big Cazanova (ARG) I. Ortiz, Jr. P. Miller
20-1

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OTB Schedule - Thursday, Sep 29

Race Tracks Time (EST)
Australia A 9:50 PM
Australia B 10:36 PM
Australia C 11:28 PM
Belmont Park 1:30 PM
Belterra Park 1:30 PM
Charles Town 7:06 PM
Charlottetown 5:31 PM
Daytona Beach Mat 1:09 PM
Dayton Raceway 6:18 PM
Evangeline Downs 6:37 PM
Finger Lakes 1:11 PM
Flamboro Downs 6:03 PM
Freehold Raceway 12:39 PM
Gulfstream Tropical 1:24 PM
Harrahs Philly (Chester) 12:44 PM
Harrington Raceway 5:05 PM
Jacksonville Eve 7:48 PM
Laurel Park 6:32 PM
Lone Star Park 7:37 PM
Mohawk 7:55 PM
Monmouth at Meadowlands 7:03 PM
Monticello Raceway 12:55 PM
Palm Beach Mat 1:01 PM
Penn National 6:00 PM
Plainridge 1:04 PM
Presque Isle 5:32 PM
Red Mile 7:07 PM
Remington Park 8:09 PM
Rideau Carleton 6:33 PM
Rosecroft Raceway 6:41 PM
Sanford Mat 1:36 PM
Saratoga Harness 4:07 PM
Southland Mat 5:01 PM
Tri-State Eve 7:00 PM
Vernon Downs 6:48 PM
Yonkers Raceway 7:13 PM

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