Race of the Week 2017

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

21-1 Ron the Greek wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup

On the Super Saturday card Bill Mott had horses entered in six races. Early on the card he missed the winner’s circle in two of the non-stakes races. Then his superstar Royal Delta finished second in the Beldame. In the two big turf races Mott also had no luck. Mott still had hope to get a win in the day’s big one because he had Flat Out going for his third consecutive Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Little did Mott know that it would take his long shot horse Ron the Greek to bring home the Cup at 21-1.  Ron the Greek had not won a race since taking the Sunshine Million Classic at Gulfstream Park in January. He ran in five graded stakes since then always bringing home a check by finishing either third or fourth.
From the start of the race Mott could tell that Ron the Greek was ready, “Today, he broke like a different horse. He was up on the pace himself, much like in the Sunshine Millions. He was in the bridle today and he flat outran everybody.”
I don’t think Mott intended to use a pun there, but Ron the Greek did indeed outrun everybody including the favorite, Flat Out.
The race began with Alpha going to the lead with Palace Malice not far behind in the two-path. Ron the Greek was close, sitting in third. The top three stayed in that order for the first three-quarters of a mile that went in 1:10.78.
Midway through the clubhouse turn Ron the Greek slipped to the rail, which has been a very favorable place to be since the fall meeting began. Once there, Ron moved very quickly to the lead and drew away to a 6¾ length victory in 1:59.70 and paid $44 to win.
Ron the Greek was ridden by Jose Lezcano, who had just today returned to the track after being injured at Saratoga. In addition to winning the Gold Cup Lezcano won the Flower Bowl on Laughing.
Palace Malice held on for second and Todd Pletcher was pleased, "I thought he ran great, you know. He showed his 3-year-old form was legit. He ran well against older horses; he beat a lot of nice older horses today.”
Orb ran a very disappointing race finishing eighth and trainer Shug McGaughey said, "He was going down the backside fine and just dropped the bit and didn't do any running. It's pretty puzzling.”
The Jockey Club Gold Cup is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re in” series and so said Mott, “He’s going to the Breeders’ Cup because he paid his way in today. He got a free trip out there, got his entry fees paid.”


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Older Comments about 21-1 Ron the Greek wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup...

Mark,who are the proffessionals you mention? What makes you hink their opinion is better than yours.The right to carry a pad and pencil or in todays modern era, an I pad. Does not make them experts.I never heard anyone bad mouth RTG. I f anything i heard it the other way. Many were saying he was a dissapointment after his Gulfstream race and was under achieving. That to me implies that he still has the goods.
Glad to see RON THE GREEK win as Big as He did after seeing the "SO CALLED PROFESSIONALS" say last week before the race that "HE'S OUTCLASSED"! Well, He sure proved them wrong! He won in very Convincing Fashion and now I would say he is Class! LOL
Your choices today will be a bit tough. I would assume that the knee jerk reaction will be to move the Princess in one of the top 2 spots.As much as i think RTG ran a hole in the wind Saturday, he arguably ran 2 of the 5 most impressive races for older horses this year,including his romp at Gulfstream.I do not think his entire body of work warrants a move up into the top 10.Just keep an open mind on my guy,Cross Traffic.You have not heard the last of him.
Sure thing, Tom :-) I follow the 2-year olds now, but I try not to get too excited about them until after they turn 3.
tom, I'll get it to you tomorrow or sometime. I have to create a new one cause I deleted my old acct. I was getting 500 of those, "I've been left an inheritance from somebody in Africa" emails a day.
if you post your email i will shoot them over to you
No I haven't. Where's the link? I'd sure like to see them.
Jay in all of my life,if i made 10 Place bets i would be shocked. I would rather wheel the horse 2nd and pray for the big ballons.I have been lucky so far.The apprentice in NY. Manny Franco,Rudy tipped me off early in the year that he was gonna be a good one. Every time the kid rides and is over 6-1 or so, i put $10 to win. kid has brought in some nice prices.Has nothing to do with handicapping.I guess it is you and i left on site. Did you see Lisas pictures yet.
My bud never met a favorite he didn't hate. I have no doubt he woulda walked-out of Oaklawn Saturday night with some long green had he been there.
yeah tom, I wasn't sure where all that vitriol was coming from, myself. This week, I was the one that brought-up RTG and you asking me about my change of heart from the last time he raced. So I didn't get it. But...I did think you may have bet him to place.
I know how he must feel,i better watch out or i will be called a hypocrit again.Man those barbs hurt me.i lose at least 10 seconds of sleep every night.SS has finally come to the conclusion that Monkey and Abbs are my pals and would never turn on me.
tom, I tried to talk to my bud about sleeping through his favorite horses win (RTG) at 21-1, but he's so sick about it that he wouldn't talk about it.
I wish i could of said the same about satisfaction from this weekends result.There was only 1 that mattered to me.If your travels take you to Belmont Park.Please post, i would love to say hello. Do you follow the 2 yr olds as closely now,or do you wait til after the Breeders Cup?
I know there's going to be a lot of movement within my list, and I would believe overall. As you can expect, I got *a lot* of satisfaction in some of the weekend's results. ;-) But since I now have two requests for my list, I will try to pull it together tomorrow.
I agree with Jay,after you submit your vote and are able to discuss openly your selections.Please postthem here,it will make for an interesting debate.If any haters do sneak in through the backdoor. (pardon the french as they say) To the hell with them.I am glad you take this seriously.Many who vote or write articles just try to get a reaction out of people.But after this weekend ,i think there should be some movement within the list.
It's for the Top 10 in the country without regards to age or sex. That's part of what makes it so difficult to decide sometimes.
Well Florida,if you are 100 % sure ,then it is either Orb or Palace Malice. If i were only a betting man.I would peg you for Palace Malice.The vote you are submitting tommorrow,is that only for the 3 yo division or many others.
:) I imagine.

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Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


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