The Jockey Club Gold Cup for many years was the year-end championship. Before the Breeder’s Cup Classic this was the pre-eminent race on the fall calendar, run at 2 miles, then with Easy Goer winning the last 12-furlong running. This year’s field is not top caliber but $750K and Grade 1 status to the winner.
Diversify: This New York Bred is 6 for 9 lifetime and is currently in sharp form with back to back front-running scores in state restricted races. Those are the positives. He has never run in a Graded Stakes race. He has never run 10 furlongs. He is stepping up in class as the speed of the race.
Highland Sky: Highland Sky has run 12 times, all on the turf and has lost 4 races in a row with slow paces on the turf. The mare Kristi with a K went to the track 18 times with 17 of those races on the Turf. Highland Sky does have some Grade 1 place in the Belmont Derby on turf back in July of 2016. He has a closing running style, this is a whole new ballgame with the dirt.
Good Samaritan: Won the Jim Dandy with a high-speed figure, but that number may be actually “Class” adjusted. Disappointed in the Traverse Stakes. Showed ability on the lawn as a 2-year-old. His training was late to the game this spring. He is a slow plodder and fits with this group. But not sure if he is “Peaking” or coming into this race on a top effort.
Pavel: Has run 3-lifetime races and runs farther than 9 furlongs off just 3 preps. Made his debut a winning race in fast time. Smarty Jones was impressive visually and on the clock with a high-speed figure. Class test but may get perfect trip inhering the lead going into the 2nd turn when Diversify crumbles. Son of Creative Cause out of Maria’s Mon mare who is a stamina influence.
Rally Cry: Overmatched in the Woodward against Gun Runner. He was beaten by 15 lengths in the Grade 1 Met Mile. Pedigree says 10 furlongs is probably out of his range and faces other speed pressure. Probably the least most likely to win.
Destin: Has some back class from last year and has been facing tough older horses in allowance company. Running style is perfect and should sit the distance. Upset chance
Keen Ice: He is as slow as Ice with a record of 3 for 23-lifetime. This is your most likely post time favorite. Current form is the same form he has had his whole career. Slow and steady. He has no speed, his only positive attribute is he can run 10 furlongs in races and not stop for lunch. The older division is in shambles chance to pick up a win but at a severely underlaid price. Also a chance to run 3rd or 4th which he does quite often.
The Choice: Diversify is the speed of the race. Pavel and Destin get first to run going into the turn. Taking a chance that Pavel can ration his speed to the 10 furlongs in only his 4th-lifetime start.