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Flat Out Takes Down Jockey Club Gold Cup

The 5-year-old Flat Out and the 70-year-old trainer Charles “Scooter” Dickey earned their first Grade 1 on Saturday afternoon as the bay horse came from off the pace to score a 2 ¼-length victory in the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, the centerpiece of “Super Saturday” at Belmont Park.

 

Ridden by Alex Solis, Flat Out sat comfortably behind Rodman through an opening half-mile in 48.56 seconds and began inching closer to the pacesetter as the field of seven headed into the far turn. Taking control with a quarter-mile to go, Flat Out never was  seriously challenged through the muddy stretch and cruised under the wire in 2:03.17 in his first start at 1 ¼ miles.

 

“This is my first Grade 1 win; you wouldn’t believe how big this is,” said Dickey, who three months ago notched his first graded stakes when Flat Out won Belmont’s Grade 2 Suburban Handicap by 6 ½ lengths on July 2. “I’ve been training since 1963. It’s tremendous. It’s hard to fathom, but I like it.”

 

Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes, finished second, with favored Stay Thirsty another half-length back in his first start against older horses. Rodman, A. U. Miner, Birdrun and Ice Box completed the order of finish.

 

Sent off as the 7-5 second choice behind Stay Thirsty, Flat Out returned $4.80 for a $2 win bet. Now 5-3-0 from 12 starts in a stop-and-go, injury-plagued career, the son of Flatter earned $450,000 to become racing’s newest millionaire with a bankroll of $1,109,713.

 

“It’s about time, isn’t it?,” said winning owner Art Preston. “He’s a great horse – he’s run a lot of good seconds and everything, and he just had the race he needed today. It’s the first Gold Cup we’ve run in, and to win the first one, that’s pretty special. It was his race today. Everything worked out.”

 

With Flat Out’s victory also came an automatic “Win and You’re In” berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, where he is likely to face two other “Super Saturday” winners in 2010 juvenile champion Uncle Mo, who took the Grade 2 Kelso, and the filly Havre de Grace, runaway winner of the Grade 1 Beldame.

 

Flat Out was on the 2009 Triple Crown trail before a stress fracture in his right shoulder sent him to the sidelines and recurring quarter-cracks kept him there. He made just one start in a two-year span from April, 2009 to May, 2011 and was second in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap in his return this past May. He next finished sixth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap just prior to his Suburban win, for which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 113. He was subsequently second to Tizway in the Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap and to Havre de Grace in the Grade 1 Woodward, earning respective 103 and 109 Beyers.

 

“He ran two real good races at Saratoga; you can’t knock those horses he faced there,” said Dickey.

 

The trainer said Flat Out would return to Monmouth Park on Saturday evening and depart for Churchill Downs early next week for the 1 ¼-mile Classic.

 

 

 

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Older Comments about Flat Out Takes Down Jockey Club Gold Cup...

Super excited to see Flat Out & Scooter Dickey win the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Scooter used to run horses at The Woodlands back in the day, so its nice to see all that hard work pay off. Hopefully he'll get rewarded more at the Breeders' Cup in a few weeks.

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