The historic Grade I, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup will be renewed this Saturday at Belmont Park. The 1 1/4-mile dirt test drew a field of seven looking to boost their Breeders’ Cup Classic credentials. Post time for the Jockey Club Gold Cup is approximately 5:23 p.m. EST; it’s the 10th of 11 races. In addition to watching and wagering, be sure to try out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#7 KEEN ICE (9-5, morning-line favorite) dominated the Grade II Suburban when last seen at this course and distance. He enters the Gold Cup off a respectable runner-up performance behind Gun Runner in the Grade I Whitney at Saratoga. KEEN ICE should be able to replicate his Suburban performance, especially with the pace he’s projected to get. Jose Ortiz maintains the mount for Todd Pletcher, who has three of the Jockey Club Gold Cup’s seven entrants.
#5 RALLY CRY (6-1), one of the two remaining Pletcher trainees (the other being #6 DESTIN), also exits a loss to Gun Runner at Saratoga. That occurred in the Grade I Woodward Stakes. RALLY CRY demonstrated ability two-back in the Alydar Stakes, winning by over eight lengths, and has shown an affinity for Belmont Park (4-2-0-1 record). The 1 1/4-mile distance is uncharted territory for RALLY CRY, but he could offer value. John Velazquez will be in the saddle.
#4 PAVEL (5-2) spots seasoning having only raced three times to date, but he belongs in this race. After fading in the Jim Dandy two-back, PAVEL atoned in the Smarty Jones at Parx, winning by six lengths. He should sit an ideal trip under Mario Gutierrez, stalking the speedy #1 DIVERSIFY.
The play: $5 trifecta 7/4,5/4,5 ($10)
DFJ analysis: Jose Ortiz rides in 10 races and has several live mounts, chief among them KEEN ICE. Additional stakes mounts include favored Good Magic in the Grade I Champagne and Ticonderoga in the Grade III Hill Prince. Ortiz rides five of the 11 program favorites at Belmont on Saturday.
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking