The Jockey Club Gold Cup is one of the most historic races on the American racing calendar. Saturday will be the 101st running of the Gold Cup, a race which has been won by American Hall of Famers like: Man O’War, Easy Goer, Cigar, Skip Away, Curlin, Slew O’ Gold, John Henry, Affirmed, Damascus, Buckpasser, Kelso, Sword Dancer, Citation, War Admiral and Whirlaway.
In the past, the race marked the end of the racing season so the lineup was always stacked with top contenders. With the Breeders Cup Classic now run in the first week in November, the quality of the Jockey Club Gold Cup has suffered in recent years. What 2020’s JCGC field lacks in notoriety it should make up for in competitiveness as all five runners look evenly matched.
Tacitus is the likely favorite and rightly so. He’s had more races against better runners and is the only entrant to have won at the 1 ¼ mile distance to date. Third in this race last year, Tacitus finished a non-threatening fifth in the Saudi Cup and a non-threatening 4th in the Oaklawn Handicap before BLASTING overmatched rivals in the Suburban. In his most recent start, he pushed Global Campaign through moderately fast fractions in the Woodward as the odds-on favorite and couldn’t run that one down. Global Campaign is a good horse, not a great one.
After viewing replays of their most recent starts, I can say that Prioritize and Name Changer appear a bit overmatched in here. Their numbers say that they fit but to me, they only win if the favorites run one another into the ground. That scenario isn’t impossible.
Mystic Guide comes off a win in the Jim Dandy where he defeated Liveyourbeastlife. That one subsequently ran last in the Preakness last weekend so that didn’t exactly glorify Mystic Guide’s chances but he does pack a nice closing punch and if the pace ends up fast on the front end, he will be a handful.
Our selection here is Happy Saver. This undefeated son of Super Saver is trained by Todd Pletcher who has won this race before. Top jockey Irad Ortiz compliments his front running style well. He prefers to be near the lead and has the rail so there’s a good chance they’ll send him to the front and try to take them wire to wire. In his most recent start, he faced a non-descript field in the Federico Tesio Stakes but won nicely and this one has a stride that looks like he’ll appreciate the additional distance.
01/11/2020 | NFL
1pt Win @ 2.80 William Hill, Betfred
01/11/2020 | NFL
Las Vegas Raiders
1pt Win @ 2.25 SkyBet, William Hill
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