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Jockey Club Gold Cup

The Jockey Club Gold Cup, established in 1919, is a prestigious thoroughbred flat race open to horses of either gender three-years-old and up. It is typically the main event of the fall meeting at Belmont Park, just as the Belmont Stakes is of the spring meeting and the Travers Stakes is of the summer meeting at Saratoga.

Part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, the winner of the 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup automatically qualifies for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

The Jockey Club Gold Cup has often been the event in which horses who have done well in a year's U.S. Triple Crown races first face older opponents on a weight-for-age basis.

Before it was known as the Jockey Club Gold Cup it began as the Jockey Club Stakes. This was its name when Man o' War won it against the only horse willing to race him. Damask, owned by Harry Payne Whitney, was entered as a sporting gesture and to keep "Red" from having to run alone in a "walkover." Damask finished 15 lengths behind with Red held under strong restraint in order not to humiliate his rival. Even so, Red broke the American record for a mile and a half.

Despite its $750,000 purse and Grade 1 status, the stature of the race has suffered somewhat in recent years thanks to the emergence of the Breeders' Cup held not long afterward, as well as the race's having been shortened to the more common distance of 1¼ miles in 1990, reducing its distinctiveness.

The race was once run (1976 through 1989) at 1½ miles, but from 1921 through 1975 it was two miles (3 km) long, second in distance only to the far less prestigious, 2¼-mile Display Handicap (among American stakes races during this period). From 1958 through 1974, except for 1962 and 1968, the race was held at Aqueduct Racetrack instead of Belmont.

The past winners of the Gold Cup is a veritable who's who of award winning Hall of Fame horses. Seven horses have won the race twice (including Triple Tiara winner, Shuvee). Only one horse in history has won the Cup five times, and that was the great gelding Kelso.

Perhaps the most memorable renewal was that of 1978, when Exceller defeated the previous year's Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew, by a nose, with the 1978 Triple Crown winner, Affirmed, finishing fifth.

Records

Time record: (at current 1¼ miles)

Most wins:

  • 5 - Kelso (1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)

Most wins by an owner:

Most wins by a jockey:

  • 10 - Eddie Arcaro (1935, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959, 1960, 1961)

Most wins by a trainer:

Winners of the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Year
Winner
Age
Jockey
Trainer
Owner
Time
2008 Curlin 4 Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al 2:01:93
2007 Curlin 3 Robby Albarado Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables et al 2:01.20
2006 Bernardini 3 Javier Castellano Thomas Albertrani Darley Stable 2:01.02
2005 Borrego 4 Garrett Gomez C. Beau Greely Kelly, Scott, Ralls, Foster 2:02.86
2004 Funny Cide 4 Jose Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 2:02.44
2003 Mineshaft 4 Robby Albarado Neil J. Howard Farish, Elkins, Webber 2:00.25
2002 Evening Attire 4 Shaun Bridgmohan Patrick J. Kelly Grant, Grant, Kelly 1:59.58
2001 Aptitude 4 Jerry Bailey Robert J. Frankel Juddmonte Farm 2:01.49
2000 Albert the Great 3 Jorge Chavez Nick Zito Tracy Farmer 1:59.24
1999 River Keen 7 Chris Antley Bob Baffert Hugo Reynolds 2:01.40
1998 Wagon Limit 4 Robbie Davis H. Allen Jerkens Joseph V. Shields, Jr. 2:00.62
1997 Skip Away 4 Jerry Bailey Hubert Hine Carolyn Hine 1:58.89
1996 Skip Away 3 Shane Sellers Hubert Hine Carolyn Hine 2:00.70
1995 Cigar 5 Jerry Bailey William I. Mott Allen Paulson 2:01.29
1994 Colonial Affair 4 Jose Santos Flint S. Schulhofer Centennial Farms 2:02.19
1993 Miner's Mark 3 Chris McCarron C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Phipps 2:02.79
1992 Pleasant Tap 5 Gary Stevens Christopher Speckert Buckland Farm 1:58.95
1991 Festin 5 Ed Delahoussaye Ron McAnally Kinerk Burton 2:00.69
1990 Flying Continental 4 Corey Black Jay M. Robbins Jack Kent Cooke 2:00.60
1989 Easy Goer 3 Pat Day C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Phipps 2:29.20
1988 Waquoit 5 Jose Santos Guido Federico Joseph Federico 2:27.60
1987 Creme Fraiche 5 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Woody Stephens Brushwood Stable 2:30.80
1986 Creme Fraiche 4 Randy Romero Woody Stephens Brushwood Stable 2:28.00
1985 Vanlandingham 4 Pat Day C. R. McGaughey III Loblolly Stable 2:27.00
1984 Slew o'Gold 4 Angel Cordero, Jr. John Hertler Equusequitey Stable 2:28.80
1983 Slew o'Gold 3 Angel Cordero, Jr. Sid Watters, Jr. Equusequitey Stable 2:26.20
1982 Lemhi Gold 4 Chris McCarron Laz Barrera Aaron U. Jones 2:31.20
1981 John Henry 6 Bill Shoemaker Lefty Nickerson Dotsam Stable 2:28.40
1980 Temperence Hill 3 Eddie Maple Joseph B. Cantey Loblolly Stable 2:30.20
1979 Affirmed 4 Laffit Pincay, Jr. Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 2:27.40
1978 Exceller 5 Bill Shoemaker Charles Whittingham Nelson Bunker Hunt 2:27.20
1977 On The Sly 4 Gregg McCarron Milton W. Gross Balmak Stable 2:28.20
1976 Great Contractor 3 Pat Day Roger Laurin Howard P. Wilson 2:28.80
1975 Group Plan 5 Jorge Velasquez H. Allen Jerkens Hobeau Farm 3:23.20
1974 Forego 4 Heliodoro Gustines Sherrill W. Ward Lazy F Ranch 3:21.20
1973 Prove Out 4 Jorge Velasquez H. Allen Jerkens Hobeau Farm 3:20.00
1972 Autobiography 4 Angel Cordero, Jr. Pancho Martin Sigmund Sommer 3:21.40
1971 Shuvee 5 Jorge Velasquez Willard C. Freeman Anne Minor Stone 3:20.40
1970 Shuvee 4 Ron Turcotte Willard C. Freeman Anne Minor Stone 3:21.60
1969 Arts and Letters 3 Braulio Baeza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 3:22.40
1968 Quicken Tree 5 William Hartack William T. Canney L. R. Rowan/ W. Whitney 3:22.80
1967 Damascus 3 Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith W. Bancroft 3:20.20
1966 Buckpasser 3 Braulio Baeza Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 3:26.20
1965 Roman Brother 4 Braulio Baeza Burley Parke Harbor View Farm 3:22.60
1964 Kelso 7 Ismael Valenzuela Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3:19.20
1963 Kelso 6 Ismael Valenzuela Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3:22.00
1962 Kelso 5 Ismael Valenzuela Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3:19.80
1961 Kelso 4 Eddie Arcaro Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3:25.80
1960 Kelso 3 Eddie Arcaro Carl Hanford Bohemia Stable 3:19.40
1959 Sword Dancer 3 Eddie Arcaro J. Elliott Burch Brookmeade Stable 3:22.20
1958 Inside Tract 4 Conn McCreary John J. Weipert, Jr. D & M Stable 3:23.40
1957 Gallant Man 3 Bill Shoemaker John A. Nerud Ralph Lowe 3:23.00
1956 Nashua 4 Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Leslie Combs II 3:20.40
1955 Nashua 3 Eddie Arcaro Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 3:24.80
1954 High Gun 3 Eddie Arcaro Max Hirsch King Ranch 3:25.80
1953 Level Lea 3 Bill Boland Not found John Shaffer Phipps 3:27.00
1952 One Count 3 Dave Gorman Oscar White Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords 3:24.20
1951 Counterpoint 3 Dave Gorman Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 3:21.60
1950 Hill Prince 3 Dave Gorman Casey Hayes Christopher Chenery 3:22.40
1949 Ponder 3 Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3:22.80
1948 Citation 3 Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3:21.60
1947 Phalanx 3 Roberto Donoso Sylvester Veitch C. V. Whitney 3:21.60
1946 Pavot 4 Eddie Arcaro Oscar White Walter M. Jeffords, Sr. 3:22.60
1945 Pot o'Luck 3 Douglas Dodson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3:27.40
1944 Bolingbroke 7 Robert Permane Jim Fitzsimmons Townsend B. Martin 3:27.20
1943 Princequillo 3 Conn McCreary Horatio Luro Boone Hall Stable 3:23.80
1942 Whirlaway 4 George Woolf Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 3:21.60
1941 Market Wise 3 Basil James George W. Carroll Louis Tufano 3:20.80
1940 Fenelon 3 James Stout Richard E. Handlen Belair Stud 3:24.40
1939 Cravat 4 Basil James Walter Burrows Townsend B. Martin 3:23.00
1938 War Admiral 4 Wayne D. Wright George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 3:24.80
1937 Firethorn 5 Harry Richards Preston M. Burch Walter M. Jeffords, Sr. 3:26.00
1936 Count Arthur 4 James Stout Bert S. Michell Fanny Hertz 3:24.40
1935 Firethorn 3 Eddie Arcaro Preston M. Burch Walter M. Jeffords, Sr. 3:24.20
1934 Dark Secret 5 Charles Kurtsinger Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 3:24.60
1933 Dark Secret 4 Hank Mills Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 3:25.20
1932 Gusto 3 Buddy Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 3:25.20
1931 Twenty Grand 3 Charles Kurtsinger James G. Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable 3:23.40
1930 Gallant Fox 3 Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 3:24.40
1929 Diavolo 4 John Maiben Jim Fitzsimmons Wheatley Stable 3:24.00
1928 Reigh Count 3 Chick Lang Henry McDaniel Mrs. John D. Hertz 3:23.00
1927 Chance Play 4 Earl Sande Louis Feustel Arden Farms 3:23.00
1926 Crusader 3 Albert Johnson George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 3:26.00
1925 Altawood 4 John Maiben G. Keene Glen Riddle Farm 3:26.00
1924 My Play 5 Andy Schuttinger Roy Waldron Lexington Stable 3:25.60
1923 Homestretch 3 Chick Lang Not found H. Alterman 3:24.20
1922 Mad Hatter 6 Earl Sande Sam Hildreth Rancocas Stable 3:22.60
1921 Mad Hatter 5 Earl Sande Sam Hildreth Rancocas Stable 3:22.40
1920 Man o' War 3 Clarence Kummer Louis Feustel Glen Riddle Farm 2:28.80
1919 Purchase 3 Clarence Kummer Sam Hildreth Glen Riddle Farm 2:28.80

  • In 1927, Brown Bud finished first but was disqualified.
  • Only two horses started in 1920.

References

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