The top older horses in the land get in their last big races before the November Breeders’ Cup. The list of racing stars has been significantly depleted in many divisions and the Classic division has suffered as well with Justify among the retirees.

The best older horses, ACCELERATE and WEST COAST are, well, on the west coast for the Awesome Again Stakes.

At Belmont, on a fairly interesting Super Saturday of major stakes races, DIVERSIFY will try to lead from start to finish once again and won the Jockey Club Gold Cup as he did last year.

Jake has Belmont picks for today!

But JAKE has some selections today and a longshot for the Gold Cup!

RACE 8 – JOE HIRSCH TURF CLASSIC – 1 1/2 mile on the turf;   

HI HAPPY, at 6 to 1, deserves on more chance to get back to his form from the summer. He loves Belmont and Luis Saez rode him well before. Jake says keep this 6-year-old horses in your tri tickets for sure!

RACE 9 – The Pilgrim for 2yos on turf; Jake says this is a weak renewal of this Grade 3 so OPRY looks very tough to beat. But who wants at 6 to 5 shot? How about SPIRIT ANIMAL for the upset?


RACE 10  – Are you ready for JAKE’S TAKE of the day? JOCKEY CLUB GOLD CUP – GRADE 1 – 1 1/4 MILES DIRT

GRONKOWSKI! Okay, he is a 3-year-old going against older runners in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (100th running). That means you will have to get at least 4 to 1 on him to play.

But he had a super run in the Belmont (99 Beyer), seemed to hate the Saratoga dirt last timer in the Travers (not to mention he was checked and steadied a few times on the rail in a terrible trip).

Not buying into DIVERSIFY being able to keep those 110 Beyers up, going to play the Gronk!


BONUS PICK – RACE 6 BELMONT – DOLCE LILI (exiting key race, freshened)


GRONKOWSKI – by Cindy Pierson Dulay –















JOHNNY BEAR will be the most popular local horse in the International but THUNDERING BLUE, the Cinderella horse with personable connections, is expected to come.

Here he is with trainer David Menuisier’s daughter Lucie in the tack!

Photo courtesy David Menuisier – Twitter














Horse – Owner – Trainer  – Additional Notes

Arklow – Donegal Racing, Bulger, Joseph and Coneway, Peter – Brad H. Cox

Bandua – Calumet Farm – Jack Sisterson

Bigger Picture – Three Diamonds Farm – Michael J. Maker

Call Provision – Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence – Chad C. Brown

Can’thelpbelieving (IRE) – Albert Frassetto – H. Graham Motion

Dee Ex Bee (GB) – Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed al Maktoum – Mark Johnston

Desert Encounter (IRE) – Abdulla Al Mansoori – David Simcock

English Illusion – 4U Thoroughbred Racing Stable Inc. – Sylvain Pion

Eziyra (IRE) – His Highness The Aga Khan – Dermot K. Weld

Focus Group – Klaravich Stables & William H. Lawrence – Chad C. Brown

Funtastic – Three Chimneys Farm – Chad C. Brown

Hi Happy (ARG) – La Providencia, LLC – Todd A. Pletcher – racing SATURDAY at Belmont

Horseplay (GB) – Cliveden Stud – Andrew Balding

Johnny Bear – Colebrook Farms and Bear Stables, Ltd. – Ashlee Brnjas

Khan (GER) – Darius Racing – Hank Grewe

Markitoff – Three Diamonds Farm – Michael J. Maker

Mekhtaal (GB) – Al Shaqab Racing – H. Graham Motion

Mustajeer (GB) – David Spratt – Ger Lyons

Neepawa – Chiefswood Stable – Mark E. Casse – racing today at LAUREL PARK

Oscar Nominated – Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey – Michael J. Maker

Sadler’s Joy – Woodslane Farm – Thomas Albertrani – racing today at Belmont

Soglio – Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey – Michael J. Maker

Souper Tapit – Live Oak Plantation – Mark E. Casse

Spring Quality – Augustin Stable – H. Graham Motion – racing today at Belmont

Teodoro (IRE) – Bellman, Laurence and Ingram, Caroline – Tom Dascombe – racing today at Belmont

Thundering Blue – Clive Washbourn – David Menuisier

Tiz a Slam – Chiefswood Stable – Roger L. Attfield