Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds and Picks

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

By Tom Wilkinson
Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds and Picks

One of the top horses in the country, Diversify is a solid favorite to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday at Belmont Park. Diversify won this race a year ago and he has won his last four races at Belmont Park. He is currently ranked No. 3 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll.

Only Accelerate and Justify are ranked higher. Let’s look at the race and Jockey Club Gold Cup picks.

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The Jockey Club Gold Cup takes place on Saturday, September 29 at Belmont Park with a start time of 5:50 p.m. Eastern.

Jockey Club Gold Cup

  • Horse - Carlino / Jockey - J. Lezcano / Trainer - M. Hennig / Odds - 30-1
  • Horse - Gronkowski / Jockey - J. Ortiz / Trainer - C. Brown / Odds - 5-2
  • Horse - Mendelssohn / Jockey - R. Moore / Trainer - A. O'Brien / Odds - 7-2
  • Horse - Patch / Jockey - L. Saez / Trainer - T. Pletcher / Odds - 15-1
  • Horse - Uno Mas Modelo / Jockey - J. Castellano / Trainer - A. Quartarolo / Odds - 30-1
  • Horse - Diversify / Jockey - I. Ortiz, Jr. / Trainer - R. Violette, Jr. / Odds - 7-5
  • Horse - Discreet Lover / Jockey - M. Franco / Trainer - U. St. Lewis / Odds - 20-1
  • Horse - Thunder Snow / Jockey - C. Soumillon / Trainer - S. bin Suroor / Odds - 5-1

Diversify is the class of this race, but there are some other recognizable names in the race, including Gronkowski and Mendelssohn. Diversify had a bad race five months ago in the Charles Town Classic Stakes and finished last, but he has been excellent since. The 5-year old horse won the Commentator Stakes in May, the Suburban Stakes in July and the Woodward Stakes last time out.

"He just threw in a clunker in the one race (at Charles Town), and he's been terrific ever since," said trainer Rick Violette to the media, "He's just gotten very, very confident. He settled in over the racetrack, he loves Saratoga, and he's done everything we've asked of him. We're trying to duplicate what we did last year. There's a lot of marbles on the table. A big race is a big race, and there's some nice horses in there. He's had three very, very good races, and it certainly doesn't hurt that he can handle an off racetrack."

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Diversify has won six of his eight starts at Belmont Park. The horse is being pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Classic in early November. "We'll kind of take it one step at a time," Violette said. "We'll probably head down to Kentucky and train him over there, and if all things go well, we'll go ahead to the Breeders' Cup. But it's one step at a time."

The field for Saturday’s race includes Gronkowski, Thunder Snow and Mendelssohn. One of those horses needs to challenge Diversify early in this race or it is over, as Diversify on the front end without a challenge is going to run away. Thunder Snow has the class to win this race, but he is so unpredictable it is hard to know what he will do. He finished last in the Juddmonte last time out.

Mendelssohn is coming off a solid second in the Travers Stakes, but he would have to show more to challenge Diversify on Saturday.

If there is a horse who might be able to run down Diversify it could be Gronkowski who is known as a closer. He finished second behind Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes. Gronkowski is coming off a poor eighth in the Travers, but trainer Chad Brown said the horse didn’t like the track.
Jockey Club Gold Cup Picks

I think this is a two-horse race, with Diversify the clear choice. The horse is in great form and has proven more reliable than any other horse in this race. I will take Diversify to win, but I also realize Gronkowski could have a chance to steal this race late, so I will also play and exacta box with Diversify and Gronkowski.

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