2020 Hollywood Gold Cup (Santa Anita Park) - Predictions & Betting Odds
“If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick, Improbable”
Post Position and Odds – Hollywood Gold Cup
Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita Park!
|1||PARSIMONY||12/1||M Gutierrez||D O’Neill|
|2||MIDCOURT||9/5||V Espinoza||J Shirreffs|
|3||HIGHER POWER||5/2||F Prat||J Sadler|
|4||BROWN STORM||12/1||A Cedillo||M McCarthy|
|5||IMPROBABLE||5/2||D Van Dyke||B Baffert|
|6||TENFOLD||6/1||M Smith||S Asmussen|
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Led by Midcourt, Improbable, and Higher Power, six older males will attempt to have their name etched on a prestigious trophy when they go to post for the Grade 1, $300,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Since its inaugural edition, which was won by the legendary rags to riches story of Seabiscuit, the Hollywood Gold Cup has been an influential race on the American racing landscape. In recent years the prestigious 10-furlong affair has continued to produce important winners such as the last two Breeders’ Cup Classic winners, Accelerate and Vino Rosso.
Who will join the impressive roll call of champions in the 81st edition on Saturday? Run at the classic American distance of a mile and one quarter, this year’s running looks to be a wide-open affair. Instead of a standout, you have an evenly matched group, all hoping to not only add an important victory to their career highlights but also move up the ladder among the top older horses in the United States.
Hollywood Gold Cup Race Information
What: Hollywood Gold Cup (G1)
Where: Santa Anita Park
When: Saturday, June 6 — 5:00 pm Pacific time
How to watch: Stream live with TVG
When Midcourt is good, he is very good. The John Shirreffs-trainee strung together four straight victories last year, which included a romping win in the Grade 3 Native Diver. After his streak was ended convincingly by Gift Box in December’s San Antonio, he bounced back in his first race this year with a smart score in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes. The frontrunning win may have been his best race to date, but he was unable to keep it rolling in his latest race when beaten three-quarters of a length as the odds-on choice in the Big ’Cap. That one was his first try at 10 furlongs, so Midcourt still will need to prove he can beat horses of this level at the classic distance. With other speed in here to pressure him, he looks to be a vulnerable favorite once again. The blinkers will come off on Saturday.
The favorite in the first two legs of last year’s Triple Crown, this 4-year-old son of City Zip has yet to fulfill the promise he showed when an unbeaten Grade 1 winner. Now might be the time. In his only start so far this year, the Bob Baffert-trained runner ran a big race to open up a two-length lead turning for home from an outside post position in the Oaklawn Mile. He ultimately came up just short, as he was passed late by the very classy Tom’s d’Etat. Without that one to worry about this time, he looks like a real threat to earn his second career Grade 1 victory. The 10-furlong trip is a bit of a question mark, for the classy runner, but a similar burst to the lead like he made in his last one, should make him awfully tough to beat in here.
If you are looking for someone with good experience going the mile and one-quarter distance, this one may be the horse for you. The 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro’s ran a big race last summer to score in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar. He followed that up a few races later with another solid performance at the classic distance when finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. We’ve only seen him once since, though, and it was not a good effort. Sent off as the lukewarm 5-2 favorite in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup in January, he came up completely empty when called on and faded to 10th. Idle since that race in South Florida, improvement is expected back in Southern California. With top Santa Anita rider Flavien Prat in the saddle once again, he could sit a perfect early trip stalking behind the leaders until the turn for home.
There have been some good performances in his past performances, such as wins in the Grade 2 Jim Dandy and Grade 3 Pimlico Special, as well as a very competitive performance in the 2018 Preakness, but more recently the good results have been harder to find. Last time he finished 4th in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic won by the streaking By My Standards, but never scared the winner. A son of Curlin, the distance should not be a problem on Saturday, but whether he is good enough to win seems to be the bigger question. I find it hard to get excited about a horse who has lost seven straight races as the fourth choice in here.
It might be a bit of a stretch, but if you are looking for a longshot on Saturday, perhaps this South American import could be the one. He certainly has the experience going 10 furlongs and further, and his two races have shown improvement. Having said that, he’s yet to finish in the top three since arriving stateside and this does look like his toughest test yet. He has been showing plenty of speed in those last two improved performances, so at the very least, he looks like a horse that both Midcourt and Improbable will have to keep an eye on in the early stages.
The good news is that this Doug O’Neil-trained gray won his last race, and it came at the 10 furlong distance. The bad news is that it was four months ago, and half-way across the world in Dubai. In the United States, he’s only been able to find the winner’s circle once in 20 starts. In a weaker edition of the Hollywood Gold Cup than normal, nothing would shock me, but it’s hard to have much faith in a horse who so seldom wins, even if he can handle the distance.
Best Bets for the Hollywood Gold Cup
Here are my plays ($30 in total)
$20 Exacta Improbable over Higher Power = $20
$10 Exacta Higher Power over Improbable = $10
If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick, Improbable.