Alas, the summer at Saratoga is coming to an end.
But we shan’t bid adieu before the famous Jockey Club Gold Cup kicks off the final weekend at The Spa.
The road to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic will make one final stop at Saratoga Race Course this Saturday, September 3rd, as some of the best male dirt horses in training will square off in the $1.25 million dollar Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The Grade 1 contest is held at 1 ¼ miles, and is a Win and You’re In Challenge Series qualifier for the $6 million dollar Classic on November 5th at Keeneland.
The race Winner will receive an expenses-paid berth to the Classic, which year in, year out, is the most important race in determining Eclipse Award honors for Champion Older Dirt Male and often Horse of the Year as well.
This year marks the 104th edition of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. It is one of the sport’s most prestigious races.
It was moved from its traditional home of Belmont Park to Saratoga for the first time last year, and therefore became a two-turn, 1 ¼-mile race instead of 1 ½ turns in its former configuration at Belmont.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup has been Won by a whos-who of legends, including; MAN O’ WAR, GALLANT FOX, WAR ADMIRAL, WHIRLAWAY, CITATION, SWORD DANCER, KELSO (five times!), FOREGO, AFFIRMED, EASY GOER, CIGAR, SKIP AWAY (twice), MINESHAFT, FUNNY CIDE, and CURLIN (twice).
That, is a barn of all-timers right there folks.
This year’s renewal of the race drew a competitive field of horses trying to secure a valuable Win that can garner the Victor an opportunity to knock divisional leaders FLIGHTLINE and LIFE IS GOOD off of their perch when it comes time for the Classic two months later.
So while the glitz and the glamor of the Travers is in the rearview, there is still some important racing left to be done at Saratoga.
The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be televised nationally on NBC as part of the network’s Road To The Breeders’ Cup Series.