Exotics Plays for the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes
A very competitive field of eight will travel 1 1/4 miles over the Saratoga main surface in Saturday’s $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup S. (G1). The 10-furlong feature lacks a confirmed front runner and all of the pace in the heat will break from the outer post slots.
Jockey Club Exotics
The Todd Pletcher-trained #8 Bright Future has run some huge races while facing lesser during his six-race career, which includes an excellent allowance score while making his first run at this locale last time out. By Curlin, the four-year-old has a very high ceiling and comes into his toughest assignment to date with a solid half-mile drill on the course which should set him up perfectly for Saturday.
Bright Future has displayed a measure of early foot on numerous occasions in the past, and he will enjoy a fine voyage in this tilt while sitting in second or third to the top of the lane before putting in his winning run. Javier Castellano, who has endured a sensational 2023 season to this point, will be in the silks atop the chestnut.
Multiple graded stakes hero #4 Rattle N Roll never fails to fire in the stretch and comes off of an impressive second-place finish in the Stephen Foster S. (G1) at Ellis Park on July 1. The consistently very good four-year-old has posted a handful of morning drills in the Empire State leading up to this endeavor, and I expect him to run his race and to be a menacing figure in the lane with Brian Hernandez, Jr. coming in to ride.
Grade 1 victor #1 Proxy comes off of a wire-to-wire score in the Monmouth Cup S. (G3) and is an obvious top-three inclusion for conditioner Mike Stidham. The Tapit five-year-old missed by a head in the Santa Anita H. (G1) in his most recent run at 1 1/4 miles, and the Godolphin homebred figures to receive an advantageous trip while securing the rail slot, too. Joel Rosario will guide the bay.
Josie Carroll will saddle a pair of contenders in the contest, including the lightly raced #6 Tyson who will be making his initial run on the dirt. The Woodbine import is four-for-five in his lifetime and comes in with a pair of graded stakes victories in succession on the All-Weather at Woodbine. The gray son of Tapit has proven to have the ability to win from both on and off the early tempo and I expect the colt to be forwardly placed throughout the tilt on the stretch out to 10 panels. Manny Franco will be in the silks aboard the talented four-year-old.