Keen Ice Headlines 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup

2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup
Keen Ice is inserted as a 9/5 favorite in the 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup

A known fan favorite will serve as the star when the 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup hits the track this weekend at Belmont Park. Keen Ice has had an up-and-down 2017 after running strong in 2016. The now five-year-old ran 4th in the Pegasus, 7th in the Dubai World Cup, 1st in the Suburban and runner-up to Gun Runner in the Whitney. He’ll try to punch his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, a race he finished third in last season.

The 9/5 favorite gets the outside post in a field of seven and he’ll have plenty of competition.

Pavel poses the biggest threat according to the oddsmakers. As 5/2 in the 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup, Pavel is a hard charging three-year-old who came 4th in a competitive Jim Dandy but came through in the Smarty Jones. The son of Creative Cause is one of the big stars in the O’Neill-Reddam stable and that combination in itself speaks volumes about how qualified this horse can be.

The winner of the 2017 Jim Dandy, Good Samaritan, enters as an 8/1 outside shot and can probably be safely ignored given that he also placed 5th in the Travers Stakes. A more likely outside play is Rally Cry at 6/1. The four-year-old colt scored in the Alydar and finished a respectable second to Gun Runner in the Woodward Stakes.

Diversify is a highly regarded four-year-old gelding sired by Bellamy Road who recently won both the Saginaw and the Evan Shipman. At 4-2-0 in six competitive starts over the last two years, Diversify is not to be ignored as a 7/2 third-choice in the 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup. At the very least, any exotics should be padded by the Richard Viollette Jr. trainee.

Destin may seem tempting at 12/1, but the record-setting Tampa Bay Derby winner has never really lived up to his potential. He placed 2nd in the Belmont Stakes, 3rd in the Jim Dandy and 7th in the Travers. He’s rebounded with a win in a recent allowance as he’s recovered from minor injuries but remains a massive question mark. A standalone win bet is as good you’ll get here, but don’t lean too heavily.

Highland Sky rounds out the 2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup with 20/1 odds as the longshot.

Unless you have big hopes for some underachieving horses in this race, Keen Ice and Diversify should set up nicely for a battle down the homestretch.

Belmont Park will also host the 2017 Champagne Stakes, which features an enormous filed of twelve horses with a wide open field led by Good Magic at 7/2 and Hazit at 4/1. The winner of the Champagne gets through to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

2017 Jockey Club Gold Cup – Saturday, October 7th at Belmont Park
1 1/4 Miles – 3+ Year Olds – $750,000

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Diversify (NY) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 126 Richard A. Violette, Jr. 7/2
2 Highland Sky (KY) Rajiv Maragh 126 Barclay Tagg 20/1
3 Good Samaritan (KY) Joel Rosario 122 William I. Mott 8/1
4 Pavel (KY) Mario Gutierrez 122 Doug F. O’Neill 5/2
5 Rally Cry (KY) John R. Velazquez 126 Todd A. Pletcher 6/1
6 Destin (KY) Luis Saez 126 Todd A. Pletcher 12/1
7 Keen Ice (KY) Jose L. Ortiz 126 Todd A. Pletcher 9/5

2017 Champagne Stakes – Saturday, October 7th at Belmont Park
1 Mile – 3 Year Olds – $500,000

PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L
1 Kowboy Karma (KY) Alex Cintron 122 J. Larry Jones 12/1
2 Blame It On Honey (KY) Kendrick Carmouche 122 Anthony Farrior 50/1
3 Stronger (KY) Manuel Franco 122 Eric J. Guillot 15/1
4 Enticed (KY) Junior Alvarado 122 Kiaran P. McLaughlin 10/1
5 Master Manipulator (KY) Angel S. Arroyo 122 Eric J. Guillot 20/1
6 Good Magic (KY) Jose L. Ortiz 122 Chad C. Brown 7/2
7 Bahamian (MD) Mario Gutierrez 122 Simon Callaghan 5/1
8 Aveenu Malcainu (NY) Luis Saez 122 Jeremiah C. Englehart 6/1
9 Honorable Treasure (KY) Dylan Davis 122 Kenneth G. McPeek 6/1
10 Full of Run (KY) Nik Juarez 122 Jason Servis 15/1
11 Hazit (KY) John R. Velazquez 122 Todd A. Pletcher 4/1
12 Firenze Fire (FL) Irad Ortiz, Jr. 122 Jason Servis 10/1

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