Todd Pletcher Will Unleash Competitive Quartet In Jockey Club Gold Cup

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will unleash a competitive quartet for Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup field, a prestigious 10-furlong test for 3-year-olds and upward at Saratoga Race Course.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup, offering a “Win and You’re In” spot in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Keeneland, is slated for Race 11 [5:45 p.m. Eastern] and will be broadcast live on NBC as part of a special 90-minute broadcast from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. that will include the Grade 2, $600,000 Flower Bowl [Race 10] which offers a “Win and You’re In” berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf . A stacked card includes the Grade 3, $200,000 Saranac in Race 4.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup, which celebrates its 104th renewal, has been won by all-time greats Man o’ War [1920], Gallant Fox [1930], War Admiral [1938], Whirlaway [1942], Citation [1948], Hill Prince [1950], Nashua [1955-56], Kelso [1960-64] Buckpasser [1966], Damascus [1967], Shuvee [1970-71] Forego [1974], Affirmed [1979], John Henry [1981], Easy Goer [1989], Cigar [1995], Skip Away [1996-97] and Curlin [2007-08].

Leading the Pletcher tetrad is Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Phipps Stable’s Dynamic One, who captured the G2 Suburban on July 9 at Belmont Park over returning rivals First Captain and Untreated, the latter also is trained by Pletcher. A 4-year-old chestnut son of Union Rags, Dynamic One finished 18th in last year’s Kentucky Derby, then earned his first career stakes victory in the Curlin last July at the Spa, displaying a late kick to defeat Miles D and First Captain by 1 3/4 lengths ahead of a distant seventh in the G1 Runhappy Travers.

Dynamic One returned to action with vigor this season when a respective second and third to Scalding in the G3 Challenger in March at Tampa Bay Downs and the G3 Ben Ali at Keeneland. From there, he added a pair of stakes wins to his ledger in the nine-furlong Blame on June 4 at Churchill Downs before his Suburban victory.

“He’s made steady progress throughout this year. I think each race has been better than the previous one, culminating with a win in the Suburban,” Pletcher said. “We’ve been pointing for the Jockey Club since then and has had a good schedule. The horse has trained well and we’re happy with the way he’s coming into the race.”

Pletcher noted Dynamic One’s improved maturity from ages 3-to-4.

“Physically, I think he’s always been a strong and good-looking horse, but I think he’s filled out even more,” Pletcher said. “More than anything, he’s just become a little more professional in his races and he’s figured it out. I would say he’s made quite a bit of mental progress.”

A $725,000 purchase from the Claiborne Farm consignment at the 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, Dynamic One hails from rich maternal bloodlines of 1988 Champion Older Filly and undefeated Hall of Famer Personal Ensign, who produced 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner My Flag. His dam, Beat the Drums, is out of Storm Flag Flying – the 2002 Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and daughter of My Flag.

Dynamic One boasts earnings of $699,950 and a record of 12-4-3-1. Breaking from post 8, Irad Ortiz, Jr. will return aboard Dynamic One.

WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s reigning New York-bred Horse of the Year Americanrevolution returns to his native state for the first time since capturing the G1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets on Dec. 4, 2021, at Aqueduct Racetrack. The 4-year-old Constitution chestnut captured three stakes against fellow New York-breds during last year’s campaign, including an 11 3/4-length conquest against elders in the Empire Classic at Belmont Park, where he earned a career-best 108 Beyer Speed Figure. Americanrevolution made both of his starts this year at Churchill Downs, finishing fourth in the Blame in June off a six-month layoff and second in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster on July 2.

Initially scheduled to enter the Commentator on May 30 at Belmont Park, Pletcher was forced to regroup when the race did not fill.

“We kind of got thrown off track earlier in the year when the race we were pointing for [Commentator] didn’t go and he had to run a mile and an eighth off the extended layoff,” Pletcher said. “He got a little tired from that but then he took a step forward and ran a solid race in the Stephen Foster. He’s been training strongly here, and he always has been a good work horse.”

Although he is Pletcher’s lone contender without 10-furlong experience, Pletcher has faith that Americanrevolution can carry a distance of ground.

“He’s proven versatile enough at a mile and an eighth and a mile, but he gives you the impression that he’s still finding more at the end of a mile and an eighth. Hopefully, that means he can carry it on to a mile and a quarter,” Pletcher said.

Two-time Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Joel Rosario, who has won 15 stakes this meet, will pick up the mount from post 5.

After a successful debut for Pletcher last out, Keepmeinmind will seek his first graded stakes victory since a maiden-breaking performance in the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club in November 2020 at Churchill Downs. Previously trained by Robertino Diodoro, the son of Laoban competed in nothing but graded stakes events last year with his best finishes taking place when third in the G3 Ohio Derby and a game second to dual champion Essential Quality in the G2 Jim Dandy at the Spa. He was beaten a half-length in both races.

Keepmeinmind fired off an 11-month layoff with a last out victory in a first-level allowance on July 22 at Saratoga.

“He had trained strongly leading into that,” Pletcher said. “He’s a horse that’s at his best going a mile and a quarter. We didn’t want to sprint him coming back. We felt like we had done enough with him. But still, to his credit, to be able to win off a long layoff like that shows the quality that he has.”

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano will have the call from post 7.

Rounding out the Pletcher contingent is Team Valor International’s Untreated. While he is the only Jockey Club Gold Cup contender without a graded stakes win, the son of Nyquist came close in his last three starts, when a pacesetting third in the Suburban and finishing three-quarters of a length behind Dynamic One. He showed early speed when third in the G3 Pimlico Special on May 20 and was beaten 1 1/4 lengths.

“He fought hard in the Suburban and same thing with the Pimlico Special,” Pletcher said. “He’s been knocking on the door, so a slight improvement could be the key.”

Untreated was a two-time allowance winner over the winter at Aqueduct, where he utilized off-the-pace tactics.

“He’s versatile enough tactic wise to where if it’s a slow pace he can go up front and if they go quicker, he can settle off the pace a little bit. We’ll see how it shapes up,” Pletcher said.

Jose Ortiz will pilot Untreated from post 3.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will seek his fifth Jockey Club Gold Cup victory with dual graded stakes winner First Captain.

Second in the Suburban beaten a nose, the 4-year-old son of 2007-08 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner and Hall of Famer Curlin captured the G3 Pimlico Special two starts back going 1 3/16 miles under returning rider Luis Saez. First Captain won his first three career starts, including a victory in the G3 Dwyer last June going a one turn mile at Belmont Park before suffering his first defeat in his sire’s namesake race last July at the Spa.

“I think [the distance experience] will help him, but he was coming off a mile and three-sixteenth race as well. He’s trained very well up here,” McGaughey said. “It seems like he’s a happy horse. We’ve learned that what he wants to do is run a distance of ground. This will be the third time Luis Saez has rode him and I think that will help, too.”

McGaughey, whose previous Jockey Club Gold Cup winners are Vanlandingham [1985], Easy Goer [1989], Miner’s Mark [1993] and Code of Honor [2019], said a Grade 1 victory would be important for First Captain’s resume.

“It’s a very good race,” McGaughey said. “In his continued career, it would be a big thing to win it. We’re looking forward to running him and I think he has a big chance.”

First Captain will emerge from post 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott will saddle four-time graded stakes winner Olympiad, who will strive to make amends following a distant fourth in the G1 Whitney on Aug. 6 at Saratoga.

By Speightstown, who sired 2010 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Haynesfield, Olympiad brags the most graded stakes victories in the field as well as field-best earnings of $1,472,560 through an 11-7-1-1 record. Olympiad won five straight races entering the Whitney, four at graded stakes level. He captured the G2 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs by 2 1/4 lengths over Americanrevolution, producing a field-best and career-best 111 Beyer Speed Figure, one start following a triumph over 2020 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Happy Saver in the G2 Alysheba on May 6 at the Louisville oval.

A 7 1/4-length winner of his 2022 debut going two turns at Gulfstream Park, Olympiad followed with triumphs in Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots’ G3 Mineshaft on Feb. 15 and the G2 New Orleans Classic on March 26. Olympiad is owned by Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods.

Junior Alvarado will retain the mount from post 2.

Three-time graded stakes winner Tax will seek his first win at Saratoga since capturing the 2019 G2 Jim Dandy for trainer Danny Gargan. The 6-year-old gelded son of Arch made his first start in a year and a half with a wire-to-wire victory in the last out Battery Park on July 9 at Delaware Park.

Owned by Gargan in partnership with R.A. Hill Stable, Tax also won the G3 Withers in February 2019 at Aqueduct as well as the G3 Harlan’s Holiday in December 2020 at Gulfstream Park.

Kendrick Carmouche will ride Tax from post 1.

Completing the field is The Estate of James J. Coleman, Jr.’s Chess Chief for trainer Dallas Stewart, who finished a last-out third in the Alydar on Aug. 4 at Saratoga. The Virginia-bred son of Into Mischief has won all five of his lifetime victories at Fair Grounds, including the G2 New Orleans Classic in March 2021.

Manny Franco, who guided Discreet Lover to an upset victory in the 2018 Jockey Club Gold Cup, then contested at Belmont Park, will attempt another upset in the race when guiding Chess Chief from post 4.

Saratoga Live will present daily coverage and analysis of the summer meet at Saratoga Race Course on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

NYRA Bets is the official wagering platform of Saratoga Race Course, and the best way to bet every race of the summer meet. Available to horse players nationwide, the NYRA Bets app is available for download today on iOS and Android at

The post Todd Pletcher Will Unleash Competitive Quartet In Jockey Club Gold Cup appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.