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Jockey Club Gold Cup
||Uno Mas Modelo
||I. Ortiz, Jr.
||R. Violette, Jr.
||U. St. Lewis
||S. bin Suroor
Diversify has been excellent in his career, with 10 wins in 15 tries. He has been excellent at Belmont Park, winning six of his eight races, including this race a year ago. He has also won both of his races at this distance of 10 furlongs. Diversify is known as a horse that goes to the lead and doesn’t get caught. Unless Thunder Snow or Mendelssohn press the pace it is hard to see Diversify losing.
Gronkowski ran well at Belmont Park earlier this year when he finished second to Belmont Stakes winner Justify. He didn’t do so well at the Travers when he finished eighth. This will be the first time that Gronkowski is facing older horses. Gronkowski is a horse that comes from off the pace, but he will need another horse to press Diversify early to set up his late move.
Mendelssohn has won four of his 10 starts. He has not won a race since the UAE Derby in March. He has simply not been able to carry his speed in U.S. races. He did race pretty well in the Travers but lost to Catholic Boy. The problem for Mendelssohn in this race is that Diversify has more speed and Gronkowski is a better closer.
Thunder Snow has started 19 times and won seven races. He didn’t show up well in the Kentucky Derby but he does have the talent to win this race. He won the World Cup, but so far he has not been able to duplicate that success in the U.S. The horse is said to be training well at Belmont Park.
There are four longshots in this race. Carlino has won four of his 13 starts, but this will be his first Grade 1 start and he looks overmatched. Patch has won just two of his ten starts, but at least he does like Belmont Park. Uno Mas Modelo has won just six of his 27 starts. He has won three straight races, but this will be his graded stakes debut. Discreet Lover looked good in the Whitney and Suburban but didn’t finish well in the Woodward.
Jockey Club Gold Cup Predictions
This race is all about pace. If Diversify gets an early unchallenged lead this race is over. Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow have speed, but they are unlikely to go wire-to-wire and beat Diversify. Both horses will probably try to stay with Diversify but it probably won’t happen. The fast pace should set up well for Gronkowski who is a closer. Whether Gronkowski is good enough to run down Diversify even with a fast pace is the question. Not many horses have shown they can beat Diversify. I do give Gronkowski a shot, but I just can’t see going against Diversify. If you are looking for a horse that might be able to upset the apple cart and beat the favorite at big odds, it could be Patch. At least the horse has Pletcher has his trainer and is going to go off a big odds. I will take Diversify as my top choice and Patch as my longshot.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup takes place on Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park with a start time of 5:50 p.m. Eastern.
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