2022 Jockey Club Gold Cup Betting Odds and Contenders Preview
Eight horses will vie for their share of a $1 million purse in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, September 3! In addition to that rich purse, an expenses-paid spot in the starting gate for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Classic is also at stake. No single horse looms insurmountable over the field, meaning it should be competitive both on track and at the windows.
Olympiad won five straight to start the year but finished a disappointing fourth behind Life Is Good in the Whitney (G1) last out. Dynamic One, First Captain, and Untreated formed a blanket top three in the Suburban (G2). Tax, off for over a year and a half, returned a winner at Delaware in July and is ready to step back into top-flight company. Will one of these horses win, or will someone else spoil the show?
Keep reading to learn more about the contenders, and to find out how to watch and play the race online with TVG and FanDuel!
Jockey Club Gold Cup 2022 Information
Race Date: Saturday, September 3, 2022
Track: Saratoga Race Course
Post Time: 5:45 p.m. Eastern time
Distance: 1 ¼ miles on dirt
Age/Sex: 3-year-olds and upward
Where to Watch: TVG.com
Where to Bet: TVG.com and FanDuel Racing
Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds
The Saratoga racing office drew the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Wednesday, August 31. Morning lines are expected on Thursday, September 1. Once it is drawn, it should be a good guide to who may take money. However, in a race like this, with so many closely matched contenders, it is critical to watch them as post-time draws closer.
These eight horses have entered the 2022 Jockey Club Gold Cup, in order of post position. The chart also includes their trainers and jockeys:
|1||Tax||Danny Gargan||Kendrick Carmche||15-1|
|2||Olympiad||Bill Mott||Junior Alvarado||5-2|
|3||Untreated||Todd Pletcher||Jose Ortiz||10-1|
|4||Chess Chief||Dallas Stewart||Manuel Franco||20-1|
|5||Americanrevolution||Todd Pletcher||Joel Rosario||6-2|
|6||First Captain||Shug McGaughey||Luis Saez||5-1|
|7||Keepmeinmind||Todd Pletcher||Javier Castellano||6-1|
|8||Dynamic One||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||3-1|
As post time draws closer, you can watch the odds on FanDuel TV and TVG.com. If a horse you expected to be a favorite is not being bet, you can consider whether there is a good reason the horse is not taking money, or if you are just getting surprisingly great value on your horse. On the other hand, if a horse you expected to be a long shot is taking money, you can also make an informed choice of whether the horse really should be a favorite, or if it means you are just getting better value with someone else in the field.
Jockey Club Gold Cup Prep Results
The only race in which multiple Jockey Club Gold Cup horses raced last out was the Suburban. Dynamic One, an improving four-year-old, got his first graded victory in that race, which covers the same distance of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (albeit at Belmont, not Saratoga). He won by a nose over First Captain, who was nonetheless game in the stretch duel. Untreated set the early pace and battled those two through part of the stretch, but flattened slightly late to finish third, though only ¾ length beaten.
Olympiad is the only JCGC entrant who raced in the Whitney, the other Grade 1 for handicap horses at Saratoga. He tracked early but was hung wide and emptied out in the lane, finishing fourth in the field of five.
Americanrevolution also comes out of graded company; he last ran in the Stephen Foster (G2) on July 2 at Churchill Downs where he chased on for second, 2 ¼ lengths behind Olympiad.
Chess Chief prepared at Saratoga, but in the restricted Alydar Stakes, where he was a well-beaten third behind Art Collector. (Though, Art Collector franked that form by winning the Charles Town Classic (G2) in an authoritative fashion.)
Keepmeinmind is the only one coming out of a non-stakes race, but he also took his prep at the Spa. He rallied smartly to win a first-level allowance on July 22.
Tax prepared in a stakes race, but not at Saratoga. In his first start in 17 ½ months, he went gate to wire in the Battery Park Stakes at Delaware on July 9, over the slop. He does, however, have a victory at Saratoga earlier in his career; he won the 2019 Jim Dandy (G2).
Jockey Club Gold Cup Contenders
Tax: His last two wins have come from a rail draw, where he was able to clear from the inside and lead them around. However, those wins came against company inferior to this. Olympiad and Untreated are fast enough to make it a race with him early. Furthermore, even though his pedigree reads well for a distance like this mile and a quarter, his performance has been better at nine furlongs than longer.
Olympiad: He won his first five races this year, though came up completely empty in the Whitney. That was a surprise since his pedigree reads so well for a wet track. Even so? He has never missed the board in three Saratoga starts over a dry track, and there is some possibility in the underneath side of his pedigree for him to stretch out. With tactical speed and a dry track again, he could offer value in the JCGC.
Untreated: The newest face among the Pletcher trio, this lightly-raced four-year-old has hit the board in graded company in his last two starts, including that good third in the Suburban last out. He has improved as the distances got longer, a plus for this ten-furlong race. The question is whether he can work a tactical trip against this quality of horses, as he has made the lead in his last two but may not this time behind rail-drawn Tax.
Chess Chief: He improved mildly second off the lay to finish third in the Alydar last out, though was far behind the top two horses in that race. His best hope is that the pace gets hot and he is able to pick up some pieces, though his only money finish at a distance longer than a mile and an eighth came against allowance company. He will need to run a career best to be competitive if his foes show up here—though, note that he is trained by Dallas Stewart and sometimes his off-pace horses pop in big places.
Americanrevolution: This New York-bred won the Cigar Mile (G1) last fall, though has had to settle for underneath spots in a pair of nine-furlong stakes at Churchill this year. Perhaps the move back to New York will help, as he romped in his only start at the Spa. That was a two-turn race: but it was against NY-breds, so take that with a grain of salt. It also says something that jockey Luis Saez, who is the regular rider for both this horse and First Captain, picks First Captain.
First Captain: Like Dynamic One, who nosed him out in the Suburban last time, First Captain is an improving four-year-old. He is bred for stamina, and is getting better as the distances get longer. Though he ran a flat third in his only start at Saratoga, there was water in the ground that day and there is every indication that First Captain is better at age four than at age three. Luis Saez has gotten two good races out of him from two different trips, and should be able to get the best from him again.
Keepmeinmind: Laid off for about 11 months, this juvenile Grade 2 winner came back sharp in his first start for trainer Todd Pletcher, romping in a first-level allowance going nine furlongs at the Spa. He has as much back class as anyone here, but the big question is the mile and a quarter. He has never hit the board at the distance, and never done better than clunking along and passing some horses late. Perhaps he improves second off the lay, and perhaps he improves if he breaks well and settles better, but this is a lot of “perhaps” for a Grade 1.
Dynamic One: He had a few smart turns at age three, including a victory in the Curlin Stakes at the Spa last year, but he has been a new and improved horse at four. He finally ran to his stamina-soaked pedigree by winning the 1 ¼-mile Suburban last time out. The outside draw in a field of eight means that he should be able to get a clean trip, and jockey Irad Ortiz knows how to get the best of him. This may be his top-level coming-out party
Jockey Club Gold Cup Past Winners Past Performances
It is hard to build a meaningful history of the Jockey Club Gold Cup as it exists now, as it was only just moved to Saratoga (and to its current Labor Day time on the schedule) in 2021. Previously, it was run at Belmont in late September or early October. The late-meet handicap-division feature at Saratoga used to be the Woodward (G1), but that was only a mile and an eighth, not a mile and a quarter. The Woodward has now been moved to Belmont.
Last year, the first year that the JCGC was in its current form, Max Player prepared with a victory in the Suburban. This is the same race from which Dynamic One, First Captain, and Untreated all come.
Jockey Club Gold Cup Undercard
The Jockey Club Gold Cup is the eleventh and featured race on Saturday’s 13-race card. It is one of three graded stakes on the card, which also includes the Flower Bowl (G2) for older turf mares and the Saranac (G3) for three-year-old grass runners. With plenty of big fields and rich purses all day long, there will be excellent betting opportunities. It is a great day to watch racing and place your bets all day long at TVG and FanDuel!
Saratoga Race Course
Based in Saratoga Springs, New York, Saratoga Race Course is the oldest organized sporting venue of any kind in the United States. John Hunter, who became the first chairman of The Jockey Club, and William R. Travers built the horse racing track in 1864.
Saratoga has two popular nicknames—The Spa, named for the nearby mineral springs, and the Graveyard of Favorites, named for the historic upsets recorded there in years past. Perhaps most notable is Man o' War’s only defeat in 21 starts, Secretariat’s loss to Onion after winning the Triple Crown, and Rachel Alexandra losing there in her four-year-old season.
There are three separate horse racing tracks at Saratoga: a main dirt track, an outer turf track known as the Mellon Turf Course, and an inner turf horse racing track. The main dirt track has a 1 1/8 mile circumference, the Mellon Turf Course is a 1-mile turf track and the inner turf track is 7 furlongs. Additionally, there is the Oklahoma Track, used for morning training.
Jockey Club Gold Cup FAQ
Q: When is the Jockey Club Gold Cup?
A: Saturday, September 3, 2022, at 5:45 p.m. Eastern time.
Q: Where is the Jockey Club Gold Cup?
A: The Jockey Club Gold Cup takes place at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the Jockey Club Gold Cup?
A: Trainer “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons has the most-ever JCGC wins with an astounding six between 1929 and 1956. That includes a victory in 1930 with Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox. Three trainers entered in the 2022 edition have won before. Shug McGaughey and Bill Mott have won three times each; Todd Pletcher, who trains half the field, has won once.
Q: Who is the favorite for the Jockey Club Gold Cup?
A: The morning line is expected to be released on Thursday, September 1. Based on their form this year, either Olympiad or Dynamic One would make sense as the favorite; Dynamic One may carry the best recent form, but Olympiad had five straight excellent efforts before a regression in the Whitney.
Q: Who is the best Jockey Club Gold Cup jockey?
A: During his riding career Eddie Arcaro dominated this race: he won 11 times between 1935 and 1961, including with greats like Citation and Kelso. Among jockeys in the 2022 edition, Irad Ortiz, Jr. and Joel Rosario have won twice each; Javier Castellano and Manuel Franco have each won once.
Q: Who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2021?
A: Max Player won the 2021 edition of the JCGC for trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. They are not represented in this year’s edition.