Tipsheet: The 2021 Jockey Club Gold Cup

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

September 2nd, 2021

A talented field of six will travel 1 1/4 miles on the Saratoga main strip in Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup S. (G1). The winner of the storied event will earn a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar on November 6 in the “Win and You’re In” contest.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Picks

  • #4 Happy Saver
  • #1 Forza Di Oro
  • #2 Max Player
  • #5 Night Ops

Jockey Club Gold Cup Wagers

  • $20 Exacta: 4 with 1,2
  • $4 Superfecta Key: 4 with 1,2,5

Jockey Club Gold Cup Contenders

#1 FORZA DI ORO rides in on a three-race win streak for Bill Mott. The budding star was an impressive allowance winner on the course last time out, and the lightly raced colt could easily improve with the added distance in this spot. The Speightstown colt will always be close with Junior Alvarado back in the silks.

#2 MAX PLAYER showed his class when recording a game win in the Suburban S. (G2) at Belmont Park in his latest endeavor. The Honor Code four-year-old was third in the 2020 Travers S. (G1) in his lone prior try on the surface, and he will be a major player with anything resembling his latest effort for Steve Asmussen.

#3 CHESS CHIEF is a Grade 2 winner who is a bit of an outsider in the cast for Dallas Stewart. The bay son of Into Mischief has been outrun in three straight races in advance of Saturday, and he will need a lifetime best to challenge in the final yards against this group. Luis Saez riding is a positive, however.

#4 HAPPY SAVER is poised to rebound after suffering his first defeat, a nice third in the Suburban (G2) most recently. The Todd Pletcher pupil is 5-for-6 lifetime, and has been training well in preparation of his second run at the Spa. The Super Saver chestnut will track the pace from the start with Irad Ortiz in the controls.

#5 NIGHT OPS brings consistency to the field with seven straight top-three finishes for conditioner Brad Cox. The bay son of Warrior’s Reward takes a big class jump, but he ran well on the oval last time out, and the five-year-old could move forward some in his first try at 10 furlongs. Manny Franco has the call atop the exotics threat.

#6 FOREWARNED is winless from eight tries this season and has failed to hit the board in six of those. The Flat Out six-year-old will need a pace meltdown in front of him to have any chance against a fine field from the outside post. Sonny Leon has the reins.