VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Ron the Greek takes Jockey Club Gold Cup

NEW YORK (AP) - Ron the Greek pulled a 21-1 upset on Saturday in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational at Belmont Park.

Shooting through a huge opening on the rail at the top of stretch, Ron the Greek sprinted away from Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice to a decisive 6 3/4-length victory.

It was a surprising return to form for Ron the Greek, a career winner of $2.7 million who was mired in a 1-for-9 slump.

Jose Lezcano was aboard for Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who also finished third in the race with Flat Out, winner of the last two renewals of this race.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup topped a stellar card that included five other stakes races, all with implications for the Breeders' Cup on Nov. 1 and 2 at Santa Anita. With the victory, Ron the Greek earned a spot in the $5 million Classic.

Ron the Greek was an afterthought in a strong lineup that included Kentucky Derby winner Orb and Cross Traffic, winner of the Whitney Invitational.

``Every once in a while, he'll throw one of these,'' Mott said. ``I can't determine when, but he did it today.''

Lezcano gave the 6-year-old a perfect trip and Ron the Greek responded with his ninth win in 29 starts in 1:59.70 for the 1 1/4 miles on the fast track.

``He broke good and seemed like a different horse today,'' Lezcano said. ``I put him in position and when I asked him, he took off and he was gone.''

Lezcano earned two stakes wins on his first day back after he broke his left wrist in a spill at Saratoga. He also was aboard Laughing for a win in the Flower Bowl Invitational.

Ron the Greek paid $44, $17.40 and $7.20. Palace Malace returned $5 and $3.10 while Flat Out, uncoupled in the betting from Ron the Greek, paid $2.50 to show.

Vitoria Olimpica was fourth, followed by Last Gunfighter, Alpha, Cross Traffic and Orb.

``He was going down the backside fine and he just dropped the bit and didn't do any running,'' trainer Shug McGaughey said of Orb. ``It's pretty puzzling.''

In the other stakes: Princess of Sylmar pulled an upset in the $400,000 Beldame Invitational, beating 1-5 favorite Royal Delta by two lengths.

The leader of 3-year-old filly division with victories in Kentucky Oaks and the Alabama Stakes, Princess of Sylmar was the 2-1 second choice in her first race against older rivals.

Javier Castellano was aboard for trainer Todd Pletcher, who captured his fifth Beldame. Princess of Sylmar improved to 8 for 10, paying $6.20 to win. The time was 1:47.93 for the 1 1-8 miles.

Pletcher won again when Graydar scored a front-running victory in the $400,000 Kelso Handicap, holding off Brujo de Olleros by three quarters of a length. Edgar Prado guided the 4-year-old gray colt to his fifth win in six starts. The 4-5 favorite paid $3.80 to win. The time was 1:34.08 for the mile.

Trainer Doug O'Neill shipped in Private Zone from California for a hard-fought win by a neck over Justin Phillip in the $400,000 Vosburgh Invitational. Martin Pedroza was aboard for the six furlongs in 1:08.02. Private Zone paid $9.20 to show.

Laughing beat Tannery by a half-length in the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for fillies and mares on the turf. Both were trained by Alan Goldberg for owner Richard Santulli.

Little Mike, last year's Breeders' Cup Turf winner, earned his first win since then in the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. Mike Smith was aboard as the 6-year-old gelding trained by Dale Romans snapped a four-race losing streak with a 7-1 upset, holding off Big Blue Kitten by a nose.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

· Dempsey: At the Gate - Thursday
· Justify to resume training in California
· Fans cheer Justify during parade lap
· Lather Up wins $1M North America Cup
· Justify back at Churchill after winning TC
· Owners: Justify will race again
· Justify grabs Crown with Belmont win
· Mike Smith oldest jockey to win TC
· Baffert has winning day, 3 times over
Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track!

Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card.

Join Mike daily with top picks from Belmont Park or grab winners in the Weekend Best Plays Report in the horse racing Multi-Track package. Want more action? Sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

Join Jerry daily with picks from Belmont, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita or choose a package that contains selections from Multiple Tracks for the LOW PRICE of $19.95! Or better yet, how about 30 Days of horse racing picks with his Monthly Racing Package for ONLY $99.95!
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership