OTB Race Previews
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Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes comes our way from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on Saturday, October 3. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $1 million purse when they take to Belmont Park's main track and race 1 1/4 miles.
A solid field of six will take to the track in the Jockey Club Gold Cup - race 10 on Belmont Park's staked Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:27 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all six combatants for this lucrative Grade 1 stakes.
Tonalist 6-5 - Christophe Clement trained colt has placed in 11 of 13 career starts. He won this race last year and followed that with a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a win by 3 3/4 lengths with a scintillating 111 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 2 Westchester Stakes here in May, a second in the Grade 1 Met Mile in June, a second behind Effinex in the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes here in July and a third last time out in the Grade 3 Whitney Stakes at Saratoga August 8. Tonalist won the 2014 Belmont Stakes on this track and the Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes here last May. That makes four wins and a second place finish in his last five starts on this track impressive indeed. He has posted two bullet workouts here recently and looks ready for his repeat. John Velazquez gets the call hoping to maintain Tonalist's Belmont Park dominance - from the outside gate 6.
Constitution 3-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt made his stakes debut back in March, 2014 and won the Grade 1 Florida Derby after two career starts resulted in two good wins. He has just four starts since March, 2014 - a third behind Hoppertunity in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 28 followed a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming and 6 1/2 months away. Constitution enters off a fifth in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga September 7 after a good win way back in February - the Grade 1 Donn Handicap. He has won four of seven career starts, has been a tad inconsistent but is terrific when he can race his race. Javier Castellano has been tabbed to ride from gate 3.
Coach Inge 5-1 - Todd Pletcher trained gelding has 12 career starts with four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He failed to place in his first three career starts but has looked very good since. Last time out was a second in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes here September 5 which followed a third behind Effinex in the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap July 4 and a pair of wins - the best of which coming in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure June 6. He has placed in his last nine starts overall with four wins over that span, has Beyer Speed Figures over 100 in his last four starts and looks for his first Grade 1 score Saturday. Irad Ortiz has the mount from gate 2.
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Wicked Strong 6-1 - returned to action after six months away and finished a close fourth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap March 7 and followed that with a third in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct April 25, a fifth in the Grade 1 Met Mile in June, a second in the minor Forbidden Apple Stakes July 11. He finished an OK third last time out in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga August 5 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney Stakes August 8. He recorded a second to in the 2014 Travers Stakes and a good win over Tonalist in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy July 26, 2014. He also had consecutive fourth place finishes in last year's Triple Crown races - in the Belmont Stakes and in the Kentucky Derby and posted an eye-opening win - in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct April 5. Wicked Strong has 17 career starts with three wins, three seconds and three third place finishes and has been a tad up and down lately - eight straight losses ahead of this weekend. He will be after his first win in 14 months Saturday when he lines up from the rail with Joel Rosario in the reins.
Effinex 6-1 - has four starts this year for trainer James Jerkins - three wins - the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park July 4, the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct in April and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March. He has 17 career starts with six wins, two seconds and two third place finishes and has been terrific at times. Junior Alvarado has been tabbed to ride Effinex who looks for a strong bounce back from post 4.
Look to Spare 30-1 - has 19 career starts with six wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 19 career starts - decent so far against lesser company. He finished seventh in his only graded stakes start - the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap in July - but he followed that with a win in the minor West Virginia Governor's Handicap at Mountaineer August 1. He has placed in seven of his last eight starts and looks to make a little noise Saturday.
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