Player Quick Pick: 2014 Jockey Club Gold Cup

Molly Jo Rosen

September 26th, 2014

Other than a few stakes next weekend, this is the final weekend of major preps for the Breeders' Cup on 10/31 and 11/1. Belmont and Santa Anita are each hosting 6 graded stakes including the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Beldame and Vosburgh on the east coast and the Awesome Again, Zenyatta and a pair of G1s for 2yo's on the west coast. Don't forget it's also a big day at Laurel Park in Maryland and Michigan Sire Stakes day at Hazel Park.

The action doesn't slow down much on Sunday, as Belmont hosts a pair of G3s for 2yo's on the turf, it's Oklahoma Derby day at Remington Park, Santa Anita is home to the John Henry Turf, and older fillies & mares square off in the Class 'n Smart Stakes at Woodbine.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Bet America

Belmont Park race 10 | 5:50 pm ET G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup for 3&up going 1-1/4 mi.

1-Micromanage: Always runs his race, but has never won at Belmont & seems best suited to the marathon distances
[20/1] 2-Last Gunfighter: Has more speed than he's shown in the last few starts & may need softer company to secure the win [20-1] 3-Wicked Strong: Had a very consistent Saratoga & always runs well at Belmont, but tries elders for the first time [3-1] 4-Zivo: Versatile closer is a Horse4Course who has earned more than half of his $812k at Belmont [6-1] 5-Prayer for Relief: Hard to knock a horse who's earned just shy of $2million: a try'r, his best has been against softer company [15-1] 6-Long River: Best efforts have come on the inner dirt at Aqueduct & against lesser, though he's bred to be a monster [30-1] 7-Speak Logistics: Solid miler has never stretched this far [50-1] 8-Tonalist: Interesting equipment change (losing the blinkers) for colt who's 2-for-2 at Belmont [4-1] 9-Stephanoatsee: Shackleford's little half-brother is a bit of lumbering giant, which explains why he runs well but doesn't win much [20-1] 10-V. E. Day: Confirmed closer hasn't lost since breaking his maiden here in May & Castellano stays aboard [5-1] 11-Moreno: Speedy 4yo is always right there at the wire & finally got back to the winner's circle in the Whitney [7-2] 12-Big Cazanova: Argentinian-bred SoCal shipper steps up & stretches out looking for his third straight victory [20-1]

Molly Jo's Picks: 4 - 8 - 3 - 11 - 5

It should be noted that I love this card: take nothing away from the fantasticness that is the Santa Anita card - they've also got a great 6 graded races on tap - but there's just something about the biggest names on the east coast all gathering in a starting gate on the same day at Big Sandy.

The horse that intrigues me most of all on the card is Itsmyluckyday: he's incredibly talented (and I've been a fan since his breeze show at the 2yo-in-training sale a few years back) and I think trying him at a flat mile is an interesting tactic. To think that it could be him v. Goldencents v. even maybe Bayern in the gate at Breeders' Cup is super super super interesting! And one of my favorite races every year since the beautiful Riskaverse won it back-to-back in 2004-2005 is the Flower Bowl ~ curious to see how this group stacks up to the awesomeness we've come to expect from this event.