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Gold Cup at Santa Anita Betting – Hoppertunity Hops Away From The Field

Posted by on 6/25/2015 10:34:41 PM

The Grade-1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita was formerly known as the Hollywood Cup, but was relocated to Santa Anita last year after Hollywood Park in Inglewood was closed. The event carries a purse of $500,000 and is run over 1 1/4 miles on dirt, and it is one of the more prestigious races for those three years old and up.

There are a couple of really good horses in this field, but Hoppertunity has been solid as a three-year-old and should have plenty of speed left in his legs as a four-year-old. He has been on a nice run right now, so ride him all the way to the winner's circle for a big victory on Saturday.

What : Horse Betting

When : Saturday, June 27th, post time TBA

Where : Santa Anita Park, Arcadium, CA

Pick : Hoppertunity

(All horses listed as probable as of Thursday, June 25th)

Big Cazanova finished seventh at the Grade-2 Californian in his last start, which followed a fifth at the Grade-2 San Pasqual back in January, so 2015 hasn't been very kind to this six-year-old from Argentina. However, he did win the Grade-3 Native Diver Handicap last November (albeit on a synthetic surface), so there is some speed left in Big Cazanova.

Catch A Flight won the Californian in May, which followed a win at the Grade-3 Precisionist Stakes earlier that month. He also finished third at the Grade-1 Santa Anita Handicap in a very good field, so this five-year-old (also from Argentina) has an excellent shot at taking home the victory on Saturday.

Finnegans Wake came in fourth at the Grade-1 Manhattan Handicap earlier this month, but prior to that, he had a run of five races in which he won or finished second; all of those races were Grade-1 or Grade-2 events. Is this six-year-old starting to gas out? Saturday will be a huge test for him going forward.

Hard Aces came in third at the Californian and he has finished outside of the money in three starts since winning the non-graded Louisiana Handicap to kick off 2015 in January. He only started running in graded-stakes events last year and even now, he has run four, never finishing higher than fourth. He might be more of a darkhorse if he runs on Saturday.

Hoppertunity is coming off back-to-back third-place runs at the Grade-2 San Antonio Handicap and the Grade-1 Stephen Foster Handicap, and prior to that, he won the San Pasqual and the Grade-1 Clark Handicap, so Hoppertunity has a lot of momentum building right now. At four years old, there is still plenty of juice left in his legs and he didn't run the Triple Crown races last year, so he could be an exceptional older horse if he is handled correctly.

Majestic City won the Grade-3 Lone Star Handicap, his first finish in the money since a third at the Precisionist Stakes last year. He took ten months off after last May, so this six-year-old gelding should be well-rested and is probably getting back to his best. However, the top end of this field might be too much for him just yet.

Moreno has gotten back on track since finishing 14th at the Breeders' Cup Classic as he finished second to Shared Belief at the Grade-1 Santa Anita Handicap, then third at the Grade-2 New Orleans Handicap, followed by a win at the Grade-2 Charles Town Classic and then a second at the Californian. This five-year-old gelding has always been a solid horse, but he can't quite make it over the hump and he might be in a little too deep in this field. A finish in the money isn't out of the question, however.

Motown Men wraps up the prospective field and while he has 25 starts, only two have come in graded-stakes events; a fourth at the Grade-3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes on turf over a mile back in November 2011, and he finished third at the Precisionist last month. That isn't a big enough sample size to say that he can handle a field of this caliber, and you might be able to find him at some good odds.

How It Will Play Out

Hoppertunity didn't make it over the hump as a three-year-old, but he might be just getting into his stride as a four-year-old and that means trouble for the rest of the field at the Gold Cup.

Gold Cup at Santa Anita Betting Pick: Hoppertunity

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