Rail Trip, who is trying to become the third multiple winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup, will be the starting high weight at 123 pounds when the Grade 1 is run for the 71st time Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The defending champion in the Gold Cup, which is worth $500,000, Rail Trip will try to join Native Diver and Lava Man as the only horses to win Hollywood Park’s signature race more than once. Both of those California bred geldings won the race three times – Native Diver (1965-67) and Lava Man (2005-07).
Owned by Mace and Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Ron Ellis, Rail Trip is also seeking to become the first horse to sweep the Mervyn LeRoy, Californian and Gold Cup in the same year since Eleven Stitches in 1981.
Richard’s Kid, the 2009 Pacific Classic winner, was assigned 121 pounds. A 5-year-old son of Richard’s Kid owned by Zabeel Racing Interational Corporation and trained by Bob Baffert, Richard’s Kid has been idle since finishing seventh in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 27. Baffert is looking for his third win in the Gold Cup.
The actual high weight among the 15 original nominees is Gio Ponti. Both the champion older male and champion turf male in 2009, Gio Ponti, who was given 124 pounds, is not scheduled to participate.
Here is the complete list of weights for the Gold Cup: Gio Ponti (124); Rail Trip (123); Richard’s Kid (121); Compari (117); Awesome Gem (116); Sangaree (116); Enriched (115); Slew’s Tiznow, Spurrier and Tap It Light (114); Brushburn, Cigar Man, Tres Borrachos and Victory Pete (113) and Kanan Dume (112).