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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2022 Jockey Club Gold Cup

And a little bit of the Pacific Classic!

KELSO - The King of the Jockey Club

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Saratoga Race Track, 10f

To whom it may concern: This analysis may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, paraphrased or posted without written consent and permission. You may not recreate this analysis or any portion of this analysis in any manner. Screenshots will be used, along with previous evidence already compiled. This analysis is posted on 9/2/2022 at 7:33pm. You have been warned.

Before venturing into the write-ups of each of these contenders, it is important to note that this will only be the second time that this race has been held at Saratoga. Up until last year it was run at Belmont Park and prior to that at Aqueduct. It was also run at 12f in years past. Because of this, a major handicapping component cannot be consulted - the history. Different advantages for different biases at different tracks.


DP = 2-15-5-0-0 (22) DI = 7.80 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 7-1-5-7-9 Speed = 8 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.67 Triads = 13-13-21

Post: 3 M/L: 10/1 Jose Ortiz Todd Pletcher Nyquist - Fully Living (Unbridled's Song)

At morning line odds of 10-1, this guy warrants a bit of scrutiny for a piece of the pie. The mare's balance is really standing out. With almost 8x the inherited speed over stamina sitting next to that very nice .86 CD, that top line is actually not too shabby either. The mares line is offering stamina through the roof. This 7.80 indexed guy has 10.6f capability. Believe it or not, Untreated has more stamina in him than his sire Nyquist, who demolished the 10f Kentucky Derby field. That is not something to overlook. His class is lacking but he has the distance that some others do not. Now we have to gauge his energy.

Untreated must be no further back than position 5 at the first call, and even better still, is if he could at least sit in 4th. He does not hit the board when he is positioned below that. He hits it every time when he does. This guy actually attempted to take it gate to wire in the 10f Suburban, which means Todd had to have some confidence that he was capable. He ended up 8.5 lengths behind the winner, Dynamic One, but he did retain his 3rd place money, just as he had done previously in the 9.5f Pimlico Special. If Todd is content with that, then he will send Untreated out to crawl on the lead with expectations of him rising in each call thereafter, exactly as he did in the previous two. With Tax in post one, hopefully, he will be the one to take charge and fail as the lead speed at this distance. With Tax's E1 figures, this looks to be the more likely scenario and if Untreated can sit back off of that, he will proceed faster through each call as long as he is just above mid-pack. He has the opportunity to hold on for the bottom spots because he has the highest inbred speed on the field coupled with ample stamina to continue beyond at least three others on this field. His mares give him a half decent shot at the bottom of the tote board and with those odds, its worth the gamble. The probability that he holds on for 4th is favorable based on the faults of a few of the other players.


DP = 8-9-12-1-0 (30) DI = 3.29 CD = 0.80

Mare Profile = 9-3-5-2-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 10 Index = 1.13 Triads = 17-10-15

Post: 2 M/L: 5-2 Junior Alvarado Bill Mott Speightstown - Tokyo Time (Medaglia d'Oro)

This guy posted a winning final time in the 9f Stephen Foster in 1:47.66. The track record for that race is held by Victory Gallop in 1:47.28. That is exceptionally impressive speed and the main reason why he so favored for this race. But it also could be a major negative for the 10f. That type of classy speed needs to be backed with major stamina for this distance. This is not a 9f race, it is a 10f race. He is one classy fast runner and he needs severe allegiance to his chefs to make it here.

His so-called "clunker" in the Whitney at Saratoga traveling the same 9f wasn't a clunker at all. Recall the 4 trainers led by Todd Pletcher who were complaining about the condition and the bias of the track at the time. Speed horses were having a difficult time on that surface and many of them completely faltered on it, not just Olympiad. Even many of the better speedy maidens were getting defeated at the short 6f distances by runners built like Echo Again - who I now question because of it, but that is an entirely separate article unto itself! (most likely my next one!)

Getting back to Olympiad, both of those points, (the fast win in the Suburban & the tough going on the adverse track) are very telling as it gives evidence of how this guy is truly built and what he has in store for him traveling 10f as opposed to only 9f. Both points give major evidence that this guy leans much more to the speed side as depicted in both sets of his configurations as well. Top and Bottom - SPEED. Many may not like to hear this but all evidence is pointing to a horse who may have a very hard time with that last 1/2 of a furlong. Now that the track has been "fixed", Olympiad will have better footing with his outward speed but can the stamina addition of the prominent non-chef, Medaglia d'Oro get him to where he needs to be on the endurance side. He really needs it.

Notice Untreated's numbers above as compared to Olympiad. Untreated has a chef CD of .86. Olympiad is at .80. That's fairly close - but notice the difference in the indexes. Untreated is sitting with over double inherited speed. But for the 10f, the mares need to give enough stamina in order to sustain all of that speed. There is no comparison in the mares configurations and while Untreated calculates to 10.6f even with that high index, Olympiad is only showing an optimum of 9.3f. That is a major difference and the main reason why Olympiad is just plain outwardly faster. At 9f and under, Olympiad destroys Untreated and obviously the rest of this field, but at 10f, we have a completely different game here. Olympiad's class, outward speed, agility, determination and pp sheet is spectacular but his mares set-up for the 10f is not convincing, at all. I didn't want to believe this, so I continued with the chart. I can see that his second generation is holding additional stamina from Medaglia, but he also gets even more speed thrown in by Storm Cat which could be a slight wash. His saving grace could be the 30 chef points that he is holding which will give him much more favoritism towards his sires than his mares. This is something he truly needs but I would have no way of knowing if it is enough to counteract that scale. The mares are steep on the speed side and the triads are very poor for the 10f. He needs every bit of those 30 chef points to get him there and he is very tight. The fact that Untreated has lower speed figures than Olympiad is actually more favorable for the 10f distance. Olympiad favors that speed and this could be his downfall, along with those mares configurations.

The only conclusion that I can come to here is that Olympiad is basically a classier version of Artorius with 30 chef points. I think he is just as borderline in distance capability but his speed is phenomenal. Tough call here. I can see no fault in using this guy in the bottom slots and maybe his class will get him closer to the finish line at 10f than Artorius in the Travers. I'll take my chance against a win here with a very nice horse and simply retain him for the bottom slots. He could outwit this field only if he has hyper allegiance to his chefs but we will only know that once the 10f race is over. If he holds tight to those 30 points, he slaughters me.


DP = 1-5-6-0-0 (12) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.58

Mare Profile = 10-5-2-4-5 Speed = 15 Stamina = 9 Index = 1.69 Triads = 17-11-11 (2nd generation Tapit)

Post: 5 M/L: 3-1 Joel Rosario Todd Pletcher Constitution - Polly Freeze (Supersaver)

Second generation Tapit boy who L-O-V-E-S a sloppy track. His performance in the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont was spectacular, beating the field by 11 lengths. That was 9f and then he came back to win the 8f Cigar (without rain) by only 1/2 length. He likes it slick and fast and a bit further in distance. With the way they have been manipulating that track with additional clay, this guy should have his comfort zone just to his liking on Saturday. In every race this horse has run, from his maiden and all the way through to his last in the Stephen Foster, 9 races total, he has never run an E1 or E2 pace figure under 90 - with several of them way over the 100 mark. There is not one horse on this field that comes anywhere close to that record. This means that if Americanrevolution isn't on the lead, (which he certainly shouldn't be!) - he will reserve so much additional energy than he has actually become accustomed to. This means his early pace structures will decrease and his late pace (and reserved energy) will rise significantly. With the stamina that both Constitution and Tapit contribute, along with his 3.00 index, this horse has no excuse for not conquering this 10f test, especially since he will most likely get a much easier early ride this time. If the Saratoga track is fully catering to speed these last days, he has everything he needs to cross that wire first.


DP = 10-9-16-1-0 (36) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.78

Mare Profile = 4-6-1-7-11 Speed = 10 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.50 Triads = 11-14-19

Post: 6 M/L: 5-1 Luis Saez Shug McGaughey Curlin - America (A.P. Indy)

Yes. Yes. Yes. There are several things that stand out, both with his numbers and his past performance sheet. First, he has the distance blindfolded. He is holding 11.5f. All stamina from the mares. He is also holding 36 luscious chefs points which is a very nice number. (The 30 points of Olympiad is borderline for consideration.) Distance is no problem through his configurations. His best performance figures of his career occurred at the 10f distance from his last race. A 3.00 chef index with an 8 point spread in the mare stamina is very nice.

One the most important aspects found in his PP sheet comes from May of last year, an allowance race at Belmont traveling only 8f. He showed serious perseverance traveling way under his optimum ON A SLOPPY TRACK to win. This one race demonstrates the ability of this guy, with his 36 points, to perform on any bias. In a Grade One race, this is the gold star that stands out. He has every opportunity to compete for a win down the stretch with more than ample speed and severe stamina against any pace. He is a definite top of the superfecta contender along with Americanrevolution. It is hard to differentiate between the advantages that both share.


DP = 6-6-11-1-0 (24) DI = 2.69 CD = 0.71

Mare Profile = 8-5-4-9-6 Speed = 13 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 17-18-19

Post: 8 M/L: 3-1 Irad Ortiz Todd Pletcher Union Rags - Beat the Drums (Smart Strike)

This guy is really starting to come into his own. Pletcher is really holding the sledge hammer in this race. Between Dynamic One and Americanrevolution, Shug will have his work cut out for him with First Captain. Dynamic One is a very balanced standout 2.69 late beast, who enters this race with the kind of late run that should work to his advantage because of some of the limitations found in others. He has already proven he has the 10f, so there is no worry there. Highly doubt that Ortiz will get that E1 pace of 73 in this race, but should Untreated get that lead, it certainly is possible. Again, I will not assume the lead or the first call time but should the race unfold moderately in the early stages, Americanrevolution will have all kinds of reserved speed in the latter portion of the race. If this twists his normal running style in an adverse way, then Dynamic One capitalizes. I can't see the pace getting out of hand though, which means I can only see Americanrevolution toning it down in the early stages and way far ahead of the other two when they all start to get busy nearing the final turn. Dynamic One and First Captain are on even terms, so it is more of the handicapper's preference between those two and which one you believe will get unleashed first. Both will be charging for the stretch with Americanrevolution quite a bit ahead of them with excess fire to burn.


DP = 0-2-4-0-0 (6) DI = 2.00 CD = 0.33

Mare Profile = 11-2-2-4-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.18 Triads = 15-8-14

Post: 7 M/L: 6-1 Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher Laoban - Inclination (Victory Gallop)

This guys optimum is 9.8f coming off of an allowance race after a very long layoff. Those three items walking into a Grade One race is hard to fathom. He has run in two 10f races, the Kentucky Derby in which he was never a factor and in last year's Traver's Stakes when he secured a 4th place by default in a short field of 7. He appears to be way in over his head in this spot.


DP = 3-2-11-0-0 (16) DI = 1.91 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 6-8-5-8-6 Speed = 14 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.00 Triads = 19-21-19

Post: 4 M/L: 20-1 Manuel Franco Dallas Stewart Into Mischief - Un Blessed (Mineshaft)

His numbers are very nice but this guy tried this very race last year and came in 5th on a 6 gate field. He has run in 34 races and this placement may be one too many. His configurations are pretty but his figures on the PP sheet are abysmal. Not against these guys this year either.


DP = 3-5-23-1-0 (32) DI = 1.56 CD = 0.31

Mare Profile = 7-5-4-8-8 Speed = 12 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.82 Triads = 16-17-20

Post: 1 M/L: 15-1 Kendrick Carmouche Danny Gargan Arch - Toll (Giant's Causeway)

Tax has spectacular numbers top and bottom and yet, Tax has never shown an allegiance to them, especially at this distance. His last race he wired the field impressively, but that was in a 100k Stakes race at Delaware Park. That track used to be an old haunt of mine, and the type of horses that compete at Delaware Park (outside of the Delaware Handicap) are not what you would call Grade One material. That race was an 8.5f walkover (on a sloppy track to boot) which points to a non-player in a Grade One race at Saratoga traveling 10f regardless of his configurations.

With further evaluation after I posted this, I decided that his placement on the far bottom of this list, coupled with the same idea that either a speedy type holds on for his piece of the pie or a Stamina boy could grab that 4th place slot, it would be smart to keep him for that spot. The far ends of the spectrum usually have a better advantage to grab their piece so I'll reconfigure to keep him.

Superfecta Wager: $12.00 for every $1.00 ticket

1st – Americanrevolution - First Captain

2nd – Americanrevolution - First Captain

3rd – Dynamic One - Olympiad

4th – Dynamic One - Olympiad - Untreated - Tax


From 1921 to 1975, the Jockey Gold Cup was run at 2 miles as opposed to the 1-1/4 miles that it is today. This race had been better known as "Kelso's Race" during the '60's because the Champion Kelso won it five times in a row traveling the 2 miles. The years of 1960, '61, '62, '63 and '64 - Kelso dominated the stage and took home all five trophies.

Just to show you how incredibly bred Kelso was, these were his numbers:

DP = 2-2-27-6-1 (38) DI = 0.85 CD = -0.05

Mare Profile = 2-2-7-11-3 Speed = 4 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.54 Triads = 11-20-21

He was a stamina beast who could easily tackle the 16f. They just don't make them like that any more on this side of the ocean. This is why Epicenter has stood out from the beginning on the dirt surface. Hopefully, the stardom of Epicenter will change the hearts and minds of the better breeders out there and they start to change things back to the way they were. We might even see a step up in longer distance Grade One races like the days of a foregone era if they did.

Back to present day and the 10f Jockey Club contest that consists of eight contenders this year. Some of which either did poorly at the same distance in a previous race or they have never even attempted it. That will be one of the main components of handicapping this race. Just like the Travers Stakes where we had a field of 8, two of them were obvious in their lack of distance capability. One of them was borderline and one of them had a poor track record in energy distribution. This left half the field with obvious ability for the distance. It was just a matter of configuring them properly for the superfecta. This race appears to have basically those same dynamics.

One of the most important aspects of this race will be how the winner (and second place finisher) will translate from his 10f triumph at Saratoga to the track at Keeneland. Of even greater importance is how the other 10f Breeders Win and You're In race, the Pacific Classic at DelMar, will translate as well. Saratoga is much more aligned with the bias of Keeneland which is where Breeders Weekend will be this year. The West Coast Del Mar bias near the water is quite different and produces a completely different competitor. There are a few in that Pacific Classic who have never ventured outside of the West Coast Slick tracks. There is even one who had his first seven starts in Rio de Janeiro before the West Coast campaign.

It is obvious that Flightline will have his way with that small group at the 10f distance. First generation Tapit star with a 2.71 index. There is no need for a formal analysis. Baffert's entry should hit the exacta bet for second. Other than that, there is no reason to waste time or even place a bet on that short field of chalk. They both should secure very high beyer figures for the effort on that slick track. Just remember, those figures will have no bearing on the Keenland Classic. Two separate biases on the two separate tracks will produce different outcomes. With that said, both Flightline and Country Grammer should have no problem competing when they travel to Keeneland because both have traveled outside of their comfort zone successfully.

What is very nice though is that most "handicappers" will look at beyer figures for the Breeders Classic and place major confidence on them. They will compare Flightline's high beyer from the DelMar track against Epicenter's from the Saratoga track. Remember, you can't compare these apples for apples for the bias of the Keeneland track. Flightline is a monster and he will produce a very fast win at DelMar. Epicenter's figures will not compare but his "conditioning race" is much better suited than Flightline's after all is said and done. This is not to say (yet) that Epicenter will beat him, but it does say that things may not always translate as many handicapper's believe in the long run. The bias at Keeneland will be one of the most important tells for this year's prestigious race.


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