Ron the Greek, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and the Stephen Foster Handicap, drew the rail and leads a deep field of 10 in Saturday's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, part of Belmont's Fall Championship day card. The Jockey Club Gold Cup is a "Win and You're In" race for the 2012 Breeders' Cup Challenge.
After struggling with inconsistency and injuries since his three-year-olds year, Ron the Greek has developed into one of the top older horses in the country in 2012. In addition to his dual Grade 1 wins this season, he finished second in both the Grade 1 Whitney and Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. Should he win the Gold Cup on Saturday, Ron the Greek would go to the Breeders' Cup as one of the favorites for this year's Classic.
Joining Ron the Greek in the JC Gold Cup are:
- Stay Thirsty: winner of the 2011 G2-Jim Dandy and G1-Travers.
- Ruler On Ice: Winner of the 2011 Belmont Stakes but absent from the Winner's Circle for over a year.
- Hymn Book: Won the Grade 1 Donn at Gulfstream back in February. Recently 4th in the Whitney.
- Fort Larned: Winner of back-to-back races in the G3-Cornhusker and G1-Whitney.
- Atigun: Looking for his first graded stakes win.
- Fast Falcon: Third by a neck in the Travers last time out.
- San Pablo: A nice winner of the G3-Iselin at Monmouth in mid-August.
- Flat Out: Winner of last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup but hasn't won a race since.
- Game Ball: Finished well back in the G1-Sword Dancer on the lawn in his last start; this will be his first start on dirt since November of 2011 when he went 2 miles and 70 yards at Fort Erie. Two miles and 70 yards. What the... ?
Below are the entries, post positions and morning line odds for Saturday's Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. I'll update the morning line odds when they are available.
I'll have more on the Jockey Club Gold Cup, as well as the fields for the rest of Saturday's Belmont care, a bit later.
|G1-Jockey Club Gold Cup; Post time: 5:46pm Eastern, TV: HRTV & TVG|
|1||Ron the Greek||J. Lezcano||B. Mott||5/2|
|2||Stay Thirsty||R. Dominguez||T. Pletcher||12/1|
|3||Ruler On ice||A. Garcia||K. Breen||20/1|
|4||Hymn Book||J. Velazquez||S. McGaughey||5/1|
|5||Fort Larned||B. Hernandez, Jr.||I. Wilkes||7/2|
|6||Atigun||M. Smith||K. McPeek||15/1|
|7||Fast Falcon||C. Nakatani||N. Zito||12/1|
|8||San Pablo||J. Castellano||T. Pletcher||12/1|
|9||Flat Out||J. Rosario||B. Mott||3/1|
|10||Game Ball||J. Espinoza||N. Chatterpaul||50/1|