‘Now’s The Time To Take A Shot’: Looch Sends Uno Mas Modelo For Jockey Club Gold Cup

Trainer Anthony Quartarolo will saddle Uno Mas Modelo in Saturday’s Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at 1 ¼ miles at Belmont Park.

The 5-year-old Macho Uno gelding will stretch out from his regular role as a closer in sprint company. Uno Mas Modelo is coming off three straight wins, including two strong finishes to remain perfect through two starts this summer at Saratoga.

The Kentucky-bred has won 6-of-27 career starts and has been a different horse since debuting with blinkers four starts back at Thistledown, displaying a quick turn-of-foot to finish second on May 12 before registering three straight victories.

The gelding will represent last year’s second leading owner in victories Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing Stables, who finished 2017 with 159 wins. The Akron, Ohio native owns roughly 120 horses in training, and hopes to add a victory in this year’s Gold Cup which is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” challenge.

“This horse, since we put blinkers on him, has been an absolute freak,” Paolucci said. “If you watch his last eighth of a mile, even in his race at Thistledown, I’ve never had a horse come that fast that quick with that kind of turn of foot. He’s bred to go longer. He’s not a big horse, but he’s kind of athletic and just the way he finishes up. I’m a big believer that if you can go seven-eighths, you can run any distance. It’s the toughest distance in racing to run in my opinion. He breaks like a rocket. The last two races the rider chose to take him back. Javier [Castellano] said that he could have pressed the pace in his last race if he wanted to. He’s just that kind of horse.”

Although stepping up against Grade 1 competition, Paolucci said the race is wide open, with the exception of multiple Grade 1 winner Diversify, who looks to repeat his front-running victory in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 4 at Saratoga.

“I was looking at who is in the race, and obviously Diversify is going to be very tough to beat,” he said. “The rest of the field to me is very suspect, so I figured now’s the time to take a shot.”

Loooch and Quartarolo will test Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt winner Imperial Hint with 5-year-old gelding Sightforsoreeyes in Saturday’s Grade 1 Vosburgh. The son of Sightseeing is one of three debuting off a claim and stepping up to their first Grade 1 in the Vosburgh. The Kentucky-bred trained by Anthony Quartarolo is the lone entrant amid the field of seven that will make his first start at Belmont Park, and will do so wearing blinkers for the first time.

“I wanted to cut him back and put blinkers on when I first got him,” Paolucci said. “He’s kept some good company: Leofric, Petrov, and some good horses. He’s right there with them. I wanted to cut him back, and I didn’t have this spot in mind when I claimed him. I was thinking a one-turn mile.”

Previously trained by Doug Anderson, Sightforsoreeyes makes his seventh start this year and 25th of his career and brings four victories to his credit, including a 1 1/4 length win against allowance foes at Prairie Meadows on July 13. The gelding failed to hit the board in his three starts at Keeneland, Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park respectively.

After a few fourth- and third-place finishes against open claiming competition, Sightforsoreeyes tried the turf at Canterbury, where he was outkicked for fourth then returned and folded to ninth in his second grass start at Kentucky Downs before being claimed.

The post ‘Now’s The Time To Take A Shot’: Looch Sends Uno Mas Modelo For Jockey Club Gold Cup appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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