The feature race this Saturday at Saratoga Race Course is something entirely new for the acclaimed upstate New York track.
The 103rd running of the Jockey Gold Cup Stakes will be held for the very first time at Saratoga after primarily being held at Belmont Park over the course of the past century (it was held at Aqueduct several times between 1958 & 1974).
Through the years, the Jockey Club Gold Cup has been very significant in determining year-end championships and Horse Of The Year honors.
It has been won by a roster-full of legends, including; MAN O WAR, WAR ADMIRAL, WHIRLAWAY, CITATION, SWORD DANCER, KELSO ( 5 times), FOREGO, AFFIRMED, EASY GOER, CIGAR, SKIP AWAY, FUNNY CIDE, and CURLIN. Whew, that’s a barn-load of talent right there.
The race was held at either 1 ½ miles or two miles from 1919 to 1989, and has been held at 1 ¼ miles since 1990.
The $1 million dollar, Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup is also a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In qualifying race for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, scheduled for November 6th at Del Mar. The Winner of Saturday’s race will receive an expenses-paid berth to the Classic.
One important change about the race moving to Saratoga is that the 1 ¼-mile contest will be held around two full turns, rather than 1 ½ turns as it was at Belmont Park. The 1 ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar will also be held around two turns.
NBC Sports will televise the Jockey Club Gold Cup Saturday evening on NBCSN during a one-hour show starting at 6 p.m. Post Time for the JCGC is scheduled for 6:45.
On Friday the Daily Racing Blog will take a look at the field for this years edition of the Jockey Gold Cup Stakes. So stop back and see who we like.