Review of Jockey Gold Cup , Grade I, at Belmont on Saturday

Race 10. Jockey Gold Cup , Grade I. For three-year-old and up at 1 1/4 miles on dirt. Purse $750,000.

Entries:

PP Horse Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Carlino Jose Lezcano Mark  Hennig 30/1
2 Gronkowski Jose Ortiz Chad  Brown 4/1
3 Mendelssohn Ryan Moore Aidan O’Brien 7/2
4 Patch Luis Saez Todd Pletcher 20/1
5 Uno Mas Modelo Javier Castellano Anthony Quartarolo 30/1
6 Diversify Irad Ortiz, Jr. Richard  Violette, Jr. 4/5
7 Discreet Lover Manuel Franco Uriah St. Lewis 15/1
8 Thunder Snow Christophe Soumillon Saeed bin Suroor 6/1

Carlino enters off of a win in a 1 1/8 mile Allowance Optional Claiming race at Saratoga on August  26. He has competed in four 2018 stakes races. His best finish was a third in a listed stakes at Aqueduct. He lifetime record at Belmont is 2-for-5 at Belmont. He will be closing on the leaders, but this field is better than other foes he has faced.

Gronkowski finished second in the Belmont Stakes June 9.  He finished eighth in the Runhappy Travers Stakes on August 25.  He needs a fast pace to have a chance to catch the leaders down the lane. He should be in the top four in this race.

Mendelssohn  finished second in the Travers Stakes. He set the early pace and helped recreate some hope for him in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He ran last in the  Kentucky Derby. He ran third in the June 7 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont on June 7. He needs to prove his ability by finishing in top three on Saturday.

Patch has not won a graded stakes win. He tried the 2017 the Triple Crown trail with modest success. In four starts this year, he’s finished first in an Allowance race at Belmont in May, finished seventh in the Stephen Foster Stakes, Grade I, at Churchill Downs, a third in the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga, and ran fifth in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes , Grade I, at Saratoga. He is a solid performer, but this field is above his ability to be on the board.

Uno Mas Modelo has recorded wins in shorter-distance races than the distance. He won a Starter Allowance at Churchill Downs back in June and won a seven furlongs Allowance race and a 6 1/2 furlongs Allowance Optional Claiming race at  Saratoga. He finished third in a 1 1/16 mile Starter Allowance at Churchill Downs. He should be part of the early lead pack foe first six furlongs. This field is a major jump in class compared to the horses he was competing against in claiming races. This field is above his ability to be on the board.

Diversify is looking for back-to-back wins in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He ran a disappointing fourth in the Clark Handicap. In 2018,  he has three consecutive wins, the most recent two : the Suburban Stakes, Grade II, at Belmont and the  Whitney Stakes , Grade I, at Saratoga. His record at Belmont for eight starts is 6-2-0. He like to set the pace and if nobody challenges him the race is over. The 4/5 morning line favorite should finish in top three.

Discreet Lover in his second start of the year, won the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes , Grade III, at Aqueduct. Since then he finished fourth twice and third twice in even tougher events. He finished 12th in the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga. He likes to run racing well off the pace. He should make his move down the lane. Depending on the pace he could find a spot on the board.

Thunder Snow has won one out of three prep races for the 2018 Dubai World Cup Presented by Emirates Airline and finished second in the other two before winning an international showcase event on March 31. He then made another turf start in England’s Juddmonte International Stakes on August 22 and finished last after setting the pace. He’s proven at this distance and has a versatile running style, capable of setting the pace or coming from off of it. Based on his past performances, he has the ability to compete with this field. He needs to be sitting in the second pack to have a chance to be in the top two finishers. Not sure what to expect from this horse on Saturday.

Our Top Three Picks:

Diversify
Discreet Lover
Thunder Snow

 

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