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Jockey Club Gold Cup Betting – Tonalist Goes Back To Back At Belmont Park

Posted by on 10/1/2015 9:10:40 PM

The Grade-1 Jockey Club Gold Cup is the headlining event of the Belmont Park fall program, similar to the Belmont Stakes in the summer here. It is also a race in the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, which means the winner will automatically go to the Breeders' Cup Classic at the end of October, and it also brings a $1,000,000 purse to the table, so you'll see some very good horses at the starting gate, aged three years and older. It is 1 1/4 miles long, and run on dirt.

There is a field of six listed to line up on Saturday, and the winner should be the defending champion as Tonalist loves it here if you look at his past performances. It won't be a walk in the park as he has some solid competition to beat out, but Tonalist is the best horse in the field and he'll prove it with a big win this weekend and get another crack at the Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland, so he is where you should place your bet.

What: Horse Betting

When: Saturday, October 3rd, 2015; post time TBA

Where: Belmont Park, Elmont, NY

Pick: Tonalist

Coach Inge has finished in the money in each of his last three starts, all graded-stakes events, including a win at the Grade-2 Brooklyn Handicap in June and a second at the Grade-1 Woodward last month. He needed five tries to break his maiden, but Coach Inge has picked up the pace and will be a threat on Saturday. He has run 1 1/4 miles once, but this four-year-old gelding finished a respectable third at the Grade-2 Suburban Handicap in July.

Constitution is coming off a fifth at the Grade-2 Bernard Baruch Handicap last month, but that was his first start on turf. Prior to that, he won the Grade-1 Donn Handicap in February, and that is the only question that he needs to answer. How much did the seven-month layoff affect this four-year-old colt? This will be a good test for him this weekend.

Effinex won the Suburban Handicap and then finished fourth at the Woodward, and he also won the Grade-3 Excelsior in April. He finished last at the Brooklyn, but that is more of an anomaly as this is a solid horse, but this four-year-old will need a few things to go his way to end up in the winner's circle.

Looks To Spare is probably going to be a longshot as he has made 16 starts, but only one has been a graded-stakes race and that was a seventh at the Grade-3 Arlington Handicap in July. That was also on turf, and he has also run on a synthetic surface, so Looks To Spare has gotten around, but while he has had a few solid performances on dirt, most of those races were allowance or claiming races. This is easily the best field he has ever raced against, so this five-year-old gelding might just look to avoid finishing in last place.

Tonalist is the defending champion in this event and of course, he also won the Belmont Stakes last year, so there is something about Belmont Park that brings out the best in him. He finished third at the Breeders' Cup Classic, then opened 2015 with a win at the Grade-3 Westchester in May after six months off. Then he came in second at the Grade-1 Met Mile and the Suburban Handicap, and third at the Grade-1 Whitney in August. He should be the favorite when they line up on Saturday.

Wicked Strong will be stiff competition for Tonalist in a battle of the four-year-olds, and he finished fourth at the Whitney prior to a third at the Woodward. In six starts in 2015, Wicked Strong has

finished in the money three times, along with two fourth-place finishes and a fifth-place run, and he is a better horse than he showed in this race last year, when he finished 11th. He finished fourth at both the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes last year, so he knows what is like to run with the best of the best.

How It Will Play Out

Wicked Strong would be a nice bet, but he can't seem to close out races, and that gives the edge for Tonalist to win for the second year in a row, which means a spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic will be his.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Betting Pick: Tonalist



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