While the race isn’t as strong as it has been in recent memory, the Jockey Club Gold Cup will be fun to watch. It is a race with serious Breeders Cup Classic implications.
The favorite is Foster Handicap, and Whitney Handicap winner Blame. The Al Stall trainee is riding a five race win streak. His most recent win came in the Whitney Handicap where he blasted past the heavily favored Quality Road who had set a dawdling pace. Regular visitors of this website know that I was on his bandwagon a very long time ago. I said in June that he would likely be my Breeders Cup Classic horse.
Despite his great form, Blame could have some trouble here. It will be his first time going 10 furlongs, and this race appears to be severely lacking in the pace department. Can he gun down lone speed going a little further? It certainly wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m not willing to just concede the race to him for those two reason.
West coast shipper and Jay Em Ess owned Rail Trip will get plenty of support at the windows. He took the Hollywood Gold Cup in 2009. That race is contested at today’s distance of 10 furlongs. This race will be the first start for the son of Jump Start in the barn of Richard Dutrow. His works are impressive, and he is handling the track well.
One of the biggest things going against him, for me, is Cornelio Velasquez. He’s off to a fast start at the Belmont meet, but he’s been pretty dreadful over the past year or two. Hopefully he can return to his winning ways of the past. Dutrow really moves horses up. He’s got Rail Trip training beautifully. This gelding has the perfect running style to win this thing. If something happens to Haynesfield, he could probably wing it on the front end and take them all the way. Rail Trip wouldn’t shock.
I’m a big fan of Pick 4′s. They provide good value and, the payoffs are excellent. The key to cashing a nice Pick 4 is finding value. I think the value horse in this race is definitely Fly Down. The three-year-old proved he can go the distance. The son of Mineshaft finished 2nd by a dirty nose in the Travers last out. He would’ve certainly won with a cleaner trip. Pace could be a problem for this one as well, but he’s closed into slow paces in the past. I’m not wild about jockey Jose Lezcano lately, but I would be afraid not to have this guy on my ticket.
The only speed horse in the race is Haynesfield. He failed to make the lead after breaking through the gate last out in the Whitney, but you can expect to see him on the front end this time. 10 furlongs is probably out of this colt’s range. Look for him to back up big time in the stretch. He’s still a nice colt going 8 or 9 furlongs and I expect the connections to turn him back in his next race
Hold Me Back, Mythical Power, Dry Martini, and Tranquil Manner round out the field. This is a three horse race in my mind. Fly Down, Blame, and Rail Trip are those horses. Blame is clearly the best horse, but the best horse doesn’t always win. I’m going to make Rail Trip my top selections. He hasn’t raced in several months, but that doesn’t bother me. He’s going to get first run at Haynesfield, and hopefully he can kick clear. I’ll use all three on my Pick 4 ticket, and play a secondary ticket with him singled. Who do you like? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.