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Blog - RACING

Flat Out (outside) looks to win his third Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday at Belmont Park (Photos courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire).

For East Coast horses seeking to punch a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup, the Super Saturday card at Belmont Park this weekend features six Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races. So for many of racing’s top stars, Belmont will be the final stop on the road to this year’s World Championships on Nov. 1-2.

Saturday’s card features five Grade 1 races and is highlighted by the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup, which brings together two-time defending winner Flat Out and some of the best older horses in the country with two of the top 3-year-olds of 2013 who will face older horses for the first time.

Flat Out has a special affinity for Belmont Park, where he has five wins and one third in six career starts. In addition to the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, he also has won the Suburban Handicap twice at Belmont.

Flat Out can join some elite company with a win in the 2013 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The only horse in Jockey Club Gold Cup history to win the race more than twice was Kelso, who won the iconic race a remarkable five years in a row from 1960-1964.

“I think it's great a horse can participate in it three times in a row,” said Flat Out’s Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who trains Flat Out for Preston Racing. “It's a testament to the horse's durability and class.”

Flat Out’s only defeat at Belmont came in the Met Mile earlier this year, a race in which Cross Traffic finished ahead of him in second. Cross Traffic came back and won the Whitney Handicap in August to stamp himself a big-time contender for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

SUPER SATURDAY: GET IN THE GAME

Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice will be tested against older horses for the first time in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, a 1 ¼-mile test that has for years pitted the best 3-year-olds against older competition as a measuring stick of true ability.

Orb enters the Jockey Club Gold Cup off a third-place finish in the Travers Stakes in his first race since competing in all three legs of the 2013 Triple Crown.

“I think the Travers helped him,” said Shug McGaughey, Orb’s Hall of Fame trainer.

“I thought he ran a very good race in the Travers and he came out of it very good. … I think we've got a fresh horse that's going in the right direction with a good, solid race under his belt.” 

Palace Malice finished a troubled fourth in the Travers after winning the Jim Dandy Stakes.

The winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup earns an automatic starting spot in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The Beldame Invitational Stakes provides perhaps the best head-to-head matchup of an action-packed weekend of racing across the country when Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar faces two-time champion Royal Delta.

ROYAL DELTA WILL BE ATTEMPTING TO WIN HER SECOND BELDAME INVITATIONAL

Royal Delta

Princess of Sylmar has reeled off three straight Grade 1 wins and won five of six races third year to establish herself as the clear leader of the 3-year-old division. In Royal Delta, she will face a 5-year-old with 12 wins in 20 starts, including back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (a name that was switched back to the Distaff this year), and earned more than $4.6 million. Royal Delta, like Princess of Sylmar, has been in great form with Grade 1 wins in the Delaware and Personal Ensign Handicaps in her two most recent starts.

The Beldame, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, drew six contenders and offers the winner an automatic spot in this year’s Distaff. For fans, it offers the chance to watch to of the best female racehorses in training meet on the track.

KENTUCKY OAKS WINNER PRINCESS OF SYLMAR WILL BE FACING OLDER HORSES FOR THE FIRST TIME

Princessof Sylmar

The Super Saturday card also features the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes. Run at 1 ¼ miles on the grass, the Turf Classic is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The signature showdown in the Turf Classic is between Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes winner Big Blue Kitten and Arlington Million Stakes winner Real Solution, both homebreds of Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

Grade 1 winner Laughing puts her three-race winning streak on the line in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes, which offers the winner a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

The $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes serves as a steppingstone to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a “Win and You’re In” berth on the line. The $400,000 Kelso Handicap drew Grade 1 winners Graydar, Jackson Bend and Hymn Book with a starting spot in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile up for grabs. 

$1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup 

Race 10, 5:49 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, 1 1/4 miles (Dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

1

Ron the Greek

Jose Lezcano

126

Bill Mott

2

Orb

Javier Castellano

122

Shug McGaughey

3

Last Gunfighter

Rajiv Maragh

126

Chad Brown

4

Vitoria Olimpica

Irad Ortiz Jr.

126

Todd Pletcher

5

Alpha

Joe Bravo

126

Kiaran McLaughlin

6

Flat Out

Junior Alvarado

126

Bill Mott

7

Palace Malice

Mike Smith

122

Todd Pletcher

8

Cross Traffic

John Velazquez

126

Todd Pletcher

$600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes

Race 9, 5:17 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, 1 1/2 miles, Turf

PP

Horse

Jockey

Trainer

1

Nutello

Jose Lezcano

Graham Motion

2

a-Imagining

John Velazquez

Shug McGaughey

3

b-Big Blue Kitten

Joe Bravo

Chad Brown

4

Slumber

Junior Alvarado

Bill Mott

5

b-Real Solution

Alan Garcia

Chad Brown

6

Twilight Eclipse

Javier Castellano

Tom Albertrani

7

a-Boisterous

John Velazquez

Shug McGaughey

8

b-Joes Blazing Aaron

Rajiv Maragh

Mike Maker

9

King Kreesa

Irad Ortiz Jr.

Jeremiah Englehart

10

Little Mike

Mike Smith

Dale Romans

a- Phipps Stable entry. b- Ken & Sarah Ramsey entry.

All assigned 126 pounds.

$600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes

Race 8, 4:45 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, fillies and mares, 1 1/4 miles (Inner Turf)

PP

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

Weight

1

Tannery

Alan Goldberg

Javier Castellano

121

2

Mystical Star

Christophe Clement

Junior Alvarado

119

3

Somali Lemonade

Michael Matz

Luis Saez

119

4

Valiant Star

Graham Motion

Irad Ortiz Jr.

119

5

Kissable

Roger Attfield

Mike Smith

119

6

Qushchi

Graham Motion

Edgar Prado

119

7

Laughing

Alan Goldberg

Jose Lezcano

123

8

White Rose

Bill Mott

John Velazquez

115  

$400,000 Vosburgh Invitational Stakes

Race 7, 4:13 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, 6 Furlongs

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

1

Forty Tales

Javier Castellano

122

Todd Pletcher

2

Justin Phillip

John Velazquez

124

Steve Asmussen

3

Bahamian Squall

Luis Saez

124

David Fawkes

4

Strapping Groom

Junior Alvarado

124

David Jacobson

5

The Lumber Guy

Mike Luzzi

124

Michael Hushion

6

Palace

Cornelio Velasquez

124

Linda Rice

7

Candyman E

Joe Bravo

124

Michael Mareina

8

Private Zone

Martin Pedroza

124

Doug O'Neill 

$400,000 Kelso Handicap

Race 6, 3:41 p.m. ET

3-year-olds and older, 1 mile (Dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

1

a-Easter Gift

Mike Smith

116

Chad Brown

2

Graydar

Edgar Prado

120

Todd Pletcher

3

Praetereo

Junior Alvarado

114

David Jacobson

4

a-Jackson Bend

Javier Castellano

118

Stanley Gold

5

Hymn Book

John Velazquez

116

Shug McGaughey

6

Souper Speedy

Jose Lezcano

115

Tom Albertrani

7

Brujo de Olleros

Alan Garcia

115

Rick Mettee

a – Robert LaPenta entry

$400,000 Beldame Invitational Stakes

Race 5, 3 p.m. EDT

3-year-olds and older, fillies and mares, 1 1/8 miles (dirt)

PP

Horse

Jockey

Weight

Trainer

Odds

1

Roman Invader

Junior Alvarado

123

David Jacobson

20-1

2

Princess of Sylmar

Javier Castellano

120

Todd Pletcher

2-1

3

And Why Not

Luis Saez

123

Michael Matz

20-1

4

Royal Delta

Mike Smith

123

Bill Mott

3-5

5

Centring

Rajiv Maragh

123

Tom Albertrani

8-1

6

Lady Cohiba

Irad Ortiz Jr.

123

Christophe Clement

15-1

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

Image Description

Mike Curry

A native of Philadelphia who grew up in nearby Wilmington, Del., Curry was editor of Thoroughbred Times TODAY before joining the America's Best Racing team in May 2012. He credits his grandfather for the inspiration to repeatedly sneak off to Delaware Park as a 16-year-old and the 1989 rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer for his passion for horse racing. Curry graduated from the University of Delaware in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a concentration in Journalism. He worked for the Wilmington News Journal and was Sports Editor of the Cecil Whig before moving to Lexington in 2005.

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