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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weekend Handicapping: Stay Thirsty finds the Gold Cup at Belmont

When I saw The Jockey Club Gold Cup on the schedule I was really excited about this race.  It’s a G1 at Belmont for 3YO and upwards with a great purse of $750,000 and it’s at 1 ¼ miles .  It’s by invitation only and seven horses are going.  Now that the race is here and saw the entrants, I was a little surprised how this race lined up to be a two horse race.  There is tons of speed in this race, and several will go forward making a fun race to watch, not sure the outcome will be any different but should be exciting.  So the analysis will look different today, for I can clearly see two contenders and three outsiders, so here we go:

Contenders:

#4 Stay Thirsty ML 8/5

He is taking on older horses for the first time but I don’t believe that will have an effect.  Has posted excellent Beyer’s, has won two in a row, including the G1 Travers last out.  Castellano rides him well and this 3YO is finding a nice pattern now.  I can’t find any negatives on him except two “out of the box” reasons not to play him. One he has never won at Belmont (0-2) and secondly, has never won at 122 pounds (0-2).  He should go to the front and wire this group.

#1 Flat Out ML 7/5

This horse has had an interesting career.  You would have to say he is a lightly raced 5YO and hasn’t raced much till this season.  So you have to think he is grown up and is finding his stride.  His Beyer’s are right there to win this event and racing style can give him that edge.  This will be his first go at a 1 ¼ and I believe it will help him. Solis has him figured out and look for him to be there at the end. If we can get better than 7/5 he is the play, especially being coupled with Birdrun.

Dark Horses:

# 3 Rodman ML 8/1

It looked like he was off to a good start in his 5YO campaign then it fell apart in the Whitney.  He certainly has shown the speed figures to stay or beat the top two, but the inconsistency of racing style is troublesome.  He has been working out well and picks up Maragh for the first time.  The downside he hasn’t gone this distance and is carrying a high weight (126).  It will take a big effort to find his way past them but has the ability if he is ready.

#1A Birdrun ML 7/5

This is a total angle play. Mott switches to JohnnyV and he has shown he can handle this distance.  Doesn’t have the speed like the others but then the pace could open a door for him.  He also runs well at Belmont winning 3 of 6 including the G2, Brooklyn back in June.   He is coupled with Flat Out, so it may kill any value here, but still an interesting play.

#5 Drosselmeyer ML  6/1

He is our mystery horse. Finished off his 3YO effort winning the Belmont last year and looked poised to be a dominant horse going into 2011.  He obviously didn’t like Florida, seemed to wake up at Belmont, winning the One Count Stakes ($60K) and then for whatever reason Mott dropped into a G1 turf race last out and he looked miserable.  He likes the distance and now has Lezcano who wins 27% with Mott horses.  The problem is that he doesn’t have the speed to keep up with this crew.  The angle is the pace is brutal, he rates off and then has enough left to get by them.  Probably not going to happen that way but one to have in your exotics.

Selection:

4 – 1 – 3

Will be back blogging my Balmoral Pick 4 Selection this evening at  http://www.blogger.com/home

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