The Grade 1 Belmont Derby on Saturday, July 8 is the highlight of the summer three-year-old turf racing season. The $1 million race drew a field of 11 contenders, with […]
Ron The Greek Upsets in The JC Gold Cup
All but ignored in the pre-race talk, and at the betting windows where he went off at 21-1, Ron the Greek proved them all wrong on Saturday at Belmont, winning the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational with ease over a stellar cast. For collecting his first win since January, the six-year-old Florida bred earns entry into the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Classic on November 2 at Santa Anita, where he will have to do it all over again against much of the same competition. Ron sits chilly as the battle rages up front Breaking smoothly from the #1 post, Ron the Greek settled into a comfortable stride in third place in the 1 ¼ miles race, on the rail just behind pacesetter and Woodward Stakes winner Alpha (22-1), and Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice (3-1). Chasing behind were two-time defending Gold Cup Champ Flat Out (5-2), Kentucky Derby winner Orb (7-2), and Whitney Invitational winner Cross Traffic (7-2). As the field turned for home, Palace Malice moved to engage Alpha on the lead, and at first it looked like Ron the Greek would be swallowed up by the rapidly closing pack.
BC Classic will be an even tougher field
Just in the last of the turn, however, he seemed to find another gear and slipped through almost unnoticed by those dueling to his outside. Once straightened away, he simply pulled away from the field, to win by 6 ¼ lengths, a result that even seemed to catch race caller Tom Durkin by surprise. Now it’s on to the BC Classic, where Ron the Greek will likely face Palace Malice, Cross Traffic and Flat Out again, as well as last year’s winner Fort Larned and other top stakes horses from this season including Game On Dude, Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man.
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