Grade 1 Travers winner Afleet Express will miss
the Grade 1, $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational at Belmont Park on
Saturday, October 2, after having suffered a small tear in the upper suspensory
ligament of his left foreleg, said trainer Jimmy Jerkens.
The 3-year-old son of Afleet Alex, who is owned by Gainesway Stable and
Martin Cherry, will be rested for 90 days before being brought back for a 2011
campaign, said the trainer.
“He’s not lame; he never took a bad step,” said
Jerkens of Afleet Express, who won four of his seven starts this year.
“It’s just a little tear, and we probably got it in time so there
was no real lasting damage. It’s disappointing because he was in great
shape, but we want to have him back as a 4-year-old, so we won’t go on
Afleet Express, who won the Grade 3 Pegasus and finished third in the
Grade 2 Jim Dandy before nosing out Fly Down in a thrilling edition of the Midsummer
Derby, will likely return to training in Florida early next year, said Jerkens.
The centerpiece of the Fall Championship meet at Belmont Park, the 1
¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup is likely to feature Grade 1 Whitney winner Blame,
Fly Down, Grade 1 Woodward runner-up Mythical Power, Hollywood Gold Cup
runner-up Rail Trip, Hold Me Back, and possibly Dry Martini, Tranquil Manner
and Musket Man, according to Andrew Byrnes, stakes coordinator for The New York
Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA).
Along with the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Belmont Park’s
Super Saturday also features four other Grade 1 races: the $500,000 Joe Hirsch
Turf Classic Invitational, the $500,000 Flower Bowl Invitational, the $350,000
Beldame, and the $350,000 Vosburgh.