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Breeders' Cup 2017
HRN Original Blog:
From Coast to Coast

Majestic Harbor strikes it rich in Gold Cup at Santa Anita

Majestic Harbor Gold Cup 615 X 400
Photo: Benoit Photo

Game On Dude was seeking to join an elite group with a third win the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita (formerly the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup), but history would not be made today, as 14-1 Majestic Harbor ran away with his first grade 1 victory.


Out of the gate quick as a Quarter Horse from his rail post, the popular gelding made use of his typical early speed but was shortly joined by fellow speedster Fury Kapcori. Sensing a developing speed duel, jockey Mike Smith took up Game On Dude and allowed Fury Kapcori to establish the lead. Majestic Harbor and Clubhouse Ride took up tactical stalking positions a little further back with the rest of the field spread out behind them.


With no pressure from "The Dude," Fury Kapcori set ambitious splits of 22:38 and 45:39. With an easy 3 length advantage, it looked as though the 4-year old colt was going to steal the race on the lead, but as the field hit the far turn, his advantage quickly diminished before completely disappearing. Game On Dude took the first shot at Fury Kapcori, but his run stalled before it really even got going. With both speedsters folding faster than an amateur poker player at a table full of professionals, it was hardly difficult for Clubhouse Ride to slip up the rail and Majestic Harbor to swing wide and overtake the duo.


The leader by the one mile call, Majestic Harbor made it look easy as he opened up on his rivals, cruising to an easy 6 1/4 length victory. He stopped the clock in 2.01:53 for the 1 1/4 mile trip. Clubhouse Ride, who followed the winner all around the track, finished a clear second. Imperative closed for third and Game On Dude hung around for fourth. The order of finish was completed by Lideris, Fury Kapcori and Salto Del Indio.


Off 14-1 post time odds, Majestic Harbor paid his happy backers $30.80/$10.60/$5.40 for a $2 win bet. Clubhouse Ride returned $5.60/$4.00, and a $2 show bet on Imperative was worth $4.00. The $1 exacta paid $68.80, the $1 trifecta returned $340 and the $1 superfecta was worth $812.50. 


According to trainer Sean McCarthy, everything worked out in their favor today. “It worked out perfectly for us (pace-wise). The horse had a great week, a great 10 days. The T’s were crossed, the I’s were dotted, and you just hope that when you lead him over there, he fires, and he fired. I couldn’t ask for a better trip, I couldn’t ask for things to have been any better,” he stated.


McCarthy was a bit on the fence as to where Majestic Harbor may race next. “We’ve kind of got a cushion right now, so we’ll just wait and see how he comes out of the race. The Pacific Classic (at Del Mar Aug. 24) certainly is a race you’ve got to take a look at . . . We might wait for that race, he ran such a big race today. He trains well over that Polytrack at Del Mar. I’ve never run him on it but I had him on it a couple years training over it, so we’ll see how it plays out," he explained.


By Rockport Harbor, and out of the French Deputy mare, Champagne Royale, Majestic Harbor recorded his 6th win from 23 career starts and improved his overall record to 23: 6-6-4. The $300,000 winner's share of the $500,000 purse pushed the horse's total earnings to $655,764. Purchased for a mere $20,000 at the Keeneland 2009 September Yearling Sale by Sean McCarthy for Gallant Stable, Majestic Harbor has proven to be quite the bargain. Always a useful type, the son of Rockport Harbor is in the midst of his best season yet, and by virtue of today's win, earned himself an automatic berth in this year's edition of the Breeders' Cup Classic.


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Older Comments about Majestic Harbor strikes it rich in Gold Cup at Santa Anita...

The sad part is he is six years old and ran the race of his life and I don’t see him challenging the top horses in the division in future. Until yesterday he was only a G3 winner who was zero for 5 in G2 races and 1 for 2 in G3’s. IMO, the only reason he won was the speed dual. GOD, without Fury Kapori, would probably have wired this field. Every quarter in the race was slower than the previous one and they walked home that last quarter in 26.39. Speed killed. They did the first two quarters in 45.39 and the last two in 51.73, 7 1/2L slower. Clubhouse Ride isn’t a true G1 horse either.
  • Mike Relva · Good point! · 1212 days ago
  • Sully · The point is when GonD gets challenged in the early stages, and I don't mean pressed, I mean met with a contender that can outsprint him in the early stages, he folds like a flower early in bloom. With GonD, it's never been a question of his talent, but a question of his heart. When he's outrun early, and I truly mean outrun early like Fury Kap had the capability of doing, he folds. It was what many of us MH fans have been awaiting for a while now, but in races that never truly had this setup. He had trouble in those trips in lesser competition, but this time, perfect setup, perfect trip (he4 doesn't like racing inside foes). I'm not saying he's the cream of the crop or anything, but he was a very achievable $30 winner if you've been paying attention to Cal racing, and a very achievable $340 & $812 super if you like the box play · 1209 days ago
After tossing the 1 and 2, it left the 3and 4 which I boxed in an exacta. However whenever you figure a pace duel, which I did, it's not usually the stalkers who win but the deep closers, because the stalkers are to close to close to the pace in the 4th quarter and give way in the fifth. It's hard to remember because it only applies to 10f races, and those distance races are as close to extinct as you can get. Even after saying that the #6 is an early stalker who was regularly getting beaten by this group and IMO should have finished behind the #3 and #4, and I haven't got a clue to the running style of the #5 or the #7 as none of the forms showed it. Thus a small exacta box was in order it seemed.
Once Game On Dude lost the lead he was done for the day. Will this be his last race?
Agree.Strange ride. A waste. Glad I missed it.
Actually it proves two things One game on dude needs to retire. 2. Some new horses are making noise
This horse on the Gallop out was still a machine. Impressive Performance. Even Clubhouse Ride ran ok.
Great to see Majestic Harbor htting his best stride at 6!
2nd time The Holly Gold Cup run at Anita. 1st in 49 after a big fire
Game on Dude will be back and I hope with Martin Garcia as jockey. He needs to be loose on the lead and he doesn’t like to rate, so I don’t understand what Mike Smith was doing. Fury Kapcori couldn’t carry his speed 9 furlongs so it’s no shock he couldn’t do it for 10, even though he also got a strange ride from his jock.
64-1 when 6th in last year's New Orleans Handicap, Majestic Harbor has found a new lease on his racing life since moving to Southern California.
I was a good race to watch. I think Majestic Harbor/Tylor Baze did very well.
Very impressive win by Majestic Harbor. He will be big odds on BC Classic Day, and to me seems to have a legit shot.

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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Ashley began her time with Horse Racing Nation blogging as The Florida Filly. Using that moniker, she mainly covered racing in South Florida but also blogged about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offered her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. A move north to New Hampshire began both a new chapter in both Ashley's personal life and professional life. She currently pens the new From Coast to Coast blog for HRN, which is simply a revamped version of The Florida Filly. Don't let the new look and name change fool you, though. Ashley still brings to the table the same great coverage as From Coast to Coast as she did for The Florida Filly. Ashley also participates as a voter in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley is from Central Georgia but is currently living in New Hampshire with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. A stay-at-home mom, Ashley juggles parenting with blogging and her other passions. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is a fervent football fan, enjoys reading and studying history, and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.

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