2023 Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds & Picks

Two G1 winners provide the necessary heft in the G1 2023 Jockey Club Gold Cup, the million-dollar marquee event at Saratoga on Saturday, with Proxy and Rattle N Roll set to battle it out for the big purse and a golden ticket into the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Breeders Cup Odds

Jockey Club Gold Cup

G1, $1,000,000, 1m 2f dirt, 3yo+, 6.18pm ET

With a seven-figure purse up for grabs and a free pass into the Breeders’ Cup Classic at stake a deeper field might have been expected for the historic Jockey Club Gold Cup, which headlines the final weekend at Saratoga, but Saturday’s race still has a dash of G1 quality that should prove decisive.

It breaks down as two top-level contenders against a bunch of wannabes and never-will-bes, and Rattle N Roll (9-5) is probably the right favourite after his strong effort in the 2023 G1 Stephen Foster at Ellis Park over a mile-eighth. He rallied hard but came up a half-length short at the wire and was clear second-best in front of some good horses, including Proxy (2-1), who ran a career-worst when never lifting a leg, last of eight.

Rattle N Roll had earlier shown his talent with three straight wins at G3 level, including the 2023 Pimlico Special over a mile and three-sixteenths when Clapton (8-1) was third, beaten four and a quarter lengths, and he is a proper game-day player.

Proxy is obviously better than that Foster effort – he won the 2022 G1 Clark – and he sees out the ten furlongs well, as his place finish in the 2023 G1 Santa Anita Handicap illustrates. A repeat of that performance would be good enough here, and he has already bounced back from the Foster with a defeat of third-raters in the 2023 G3 Monmouth Cup. He is a classier horse than Rattle N Roll but less reliable.

Away from the top two the level dips quite a bit. Clapton, who makes his first start for a new barn, was a well-beaten runner-up in the 2023 G2 Suburban at Belmont Park over today’s distance and could make a bid for the board. Third that day, four lengths behind, was Unbridled Bomber (15-1), who has never won a stakes race.

Up at Woodbine, Tyson (5-1) has been tearing up the synthetic track with wins in the 2023 G3 Dominion Day and the 2023 G2 Seagram Cup, but he has three huge questions to answer – the much tougher competition at a distance he has never tried on his main-track debut. His barnmate Duke Of Love (15-1) won the 2023 G3 West Virginia Governor’s at Mountaineer Park last time, but that is chalk and this is cheese; he is out of his depth.

Bright Future (6-1) romped in a mile-eighth allowance here and may be worth another try at Graded level despite his abject effort in the 2023 G2 Brooklyn, while Warrior Johny (20-1) could figure as a pace angle but would be happier in allowance grade.

2023 Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
ProxyJoel Rosario+200
Unbridled BomberDylan Davis+1500
Warrior JohnyJunior Alvarado+2000
Rattle N RollBrian Joseph Hernandez, Jr+180
ClaptonIrad Ortiz, Jr.+800
Tyson Manuel Franco+500
Duke of LoveLuis Contreras+1500
Bright FutureJavier Castellano+600

It is heads or tails, really; Proxy brings more class but RATTLE N ROLL is the solid option and has a great opportunity to add to his G1 score as a juvenile.

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