A field of ten will line up on Saturday at Belmont Park in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), one of six Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” on an outstanding betting card.
Ron the Greek is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the Jockey Club Gold Cup wagering odds, coming off a runner up finish as the beaten favorite in the Whitney Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 4. Four runners including the winner Fort Larned are reuniting on Saturday.
The winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup earns an automatic starting spot in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), which will be run this year on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park.
Hall of fame trainer Bill Mott will saddle Ron the Greek with regular jockey Jose Lezcano back in the irons. The five year old son of Full Mandate has a pair of Grade 1 victories in 2012, taking the Santa Anita Handicap in March and the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June.
Ron the Greek is currently 10-1 betting odds in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic Future Odds.
Mott will also saddle the second choice Flat Out (3-1) who was third in the Whitney. Mott took over the training duties from Scooter Dickey after the six year old checked in fifth in the Donn Handicap (G1) at Gulfstream Park in February. He was second in the Monmouth Cup (G2) in his first start in his new barn.
With Dickey calling the shots last year, he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and was sent off as the betting favorite for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic where he checked in fifth, beaten three lengths by the Mott trained Drosselmeyer.
Fort Larned (7-2) pulled off the minor upset in the Whitney, opening up a clear led heading for home and holding on to win by 1 1/4 lengths, returning $16.40. The colt has won four of his last six starts for trainer Ian Wilkes, with jockey Brian Hernandez getting the return call.
Ruler On Ice (20-1) and Stay Thirsty (12-1), the one-two finishers in the 2011 Belmont Stakes (G1) are looking to turn around their 2012 campaigns. Both runners are 0 for 3 this year.
Completing the field are Hymn Book (5-1), Atigun (15-1), Fast Falcon (12-1), San Pablo (12-1), and Game Ball (50-1).
The Jockey Club Gold Cup goes off as the tenth race on the card with a post time of 5:46 ET and is the anchor leg of an all graded stakes Pick 4 with a $500,000 guaranteed pool.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) Post time 5:46 ET
|1 Ron the Greek||5-2|
|2 Stay Thirsty||12-1|
|3 Ruler on Ice||20-1|
|4 Hymn Book||5-1|
|5 Fort Larned||7-2|
|7 Fast Falcon||12-1|
|8 San Pablo||12-1|
|9 Flat Out||3-1|
|10 Game Ball||50-1|
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