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Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - Updated October 14, 2022

Jockey Club Gold Cup: Dynamic One Is Clearly a Danger for First Captain

Jockey Club Gold Cup Odds and Post Position

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga!

PP Horse TwinSpires Odds Jockey Trainer
1 TAX 15/1
K Carmouche D Gargan
J Alvarado W Mott
J Ortiz T Pletcher
M Franco D Stewart
J Rosario T Pletcher
L Saez C McGaughey III
J Velazquez T Pletcher
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher

Jockey Club Gold Cup Best Bets and Predictions

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$5 Exacta Part Wheel – First Captain over Olympiad, Dynamic One, Americanrevolution and Keepmeinmind = $20

$5 Exacta Part Wheel – Olympiad, Dynamic One, Americanrevolution and Keepmeinmind over First Captain = $20

$5 Exacta Box – First Captain and Americanrevolution = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick First Captain (5/1).

Pick made on 08/31/2022 at 07:17 PM EST

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Jockey Club Gold Cup Predictions Expert Picks Luis Saez

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher will hold a strong hand when he sends out four of the eight older males set to go in Saturday’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga.

Pletcher’s quartet is led by the Suburban winner Dynamic One and the 2021 Cigar Mile winner Americanrevolution, who will be two of the favorites in the wide open $1 million race.

Keepemeinmind, a recent allowance winner at Saratoga in his return, and the Suburban third-place finisher Untreated will round out Pletcher’s armada.

Chief among those trying to prevent Pletcher domination in the 1 1/4-mile race will be Olympiad and First Captain.

Despite the imposing presence of the Pletcher contingent, Olympiad could be a lukewarm favorite for trainer Bill Mott. The son of Speightstown had a five-race winning streak snapped when fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney behind Life Is Good four weeks ago.

First Captain, meanwhile, won the Grade 3 Pimlico Special two starts back for trainer Shug McGaughey, before being beaten by a dirty nose in the Suburban last out.

Tax, a graded stakes winner at Saratoga for trainer Danny Gargan, and Chess Chief, a graded stakes winner for trainer Dallas Stewart, round out the field for the Breeders’ Cup Classic “Win and You’re in” event.

Jockey Club Gold Cup Predictions and Race Analysis


A strong winner of five consecutive races, the final four of which were graded stakes, this Speightstown 4-year-old came up a bit empty last time when finishing a fading fourth in the Grade 1 Whitney. Perhaps Saratoga is not a favorite track of his, or perhaps it was just an off day.

He should get every chance here as he makes another attempt at his first Grade 1 victory. Trained by Bill Mott, he has good early speed which should give him first run at the leaders in a race where he will make his first start at ten furlongs.

No horse in the field has done as much as he has in 2022. A return to his form before the Whitney could be enough to win on Saturday. He is an obvious threat, but I do like a few others better.

Dynamic One

The first of four from trainer Todd Pletcher, this son of Union Rags will be in search of his third consecutive stakes victory on Saturday. Coming off a Grade 2 win at the 10-furlong distance last time, he also looks to earn his initial Grade 1 victory.

An opposing individual, it looked like he might swoop right by last time in the Suburban, but he couldn’t separate himself from First Captain, and won by a scant nose. It was his best win yet, but leaves little room for error as he faces that rival again, as well as other graded stakes winners.

He did win a stakes race at Saratoga last summer, but was a big disappointment in the Grade 1 Travers four weeks later. A fast pace could help set the table for his rally, but I am not quite sure he is ready to beat all of these. Still, he is clearly a danger.


Another Pletcher runner, he was second to Olympiad in the Grade 2 Stephen Foster in his last start. While Olympiad regressed in the Whitney, this son of Constitution was given plenty of time between starts. Now making his third start of 2022, he should be ready to fire his best on Saturday.

A Grade 1 winner of the Cigar Mile to end his 3-year-old campaign. He looks to prove himself going longer in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Interestingly, top rider Joel Rosario seemed to have a choice between some horses in here and went with this one.

With tactical speed to keep him involved early, and a nice win over the track last year, there is plenty to like on Saturday. He will not be my top pick, but he is right up there as one of the most likely winners.

First Captain

A determined winner of the Grade 3 Pimlico Special two starts back, he looks to have found a home going classic distances. Bred to do just, by Curlin out of an A. P. Indy mare, he also appears to be still on the improve after eight career starts.

The winner of five of those eight starts, he dueled on gamely while between horses the entirety of the Belmont Park stretch in the Suburban, falling just a whisker short. His only previous start at Saratoga was not great, but that came last year and he seems to be thriving there now.

Always a talented horse, I like his progression of late. This would be his biggest win yet, but he looks headed in that direction. He will also offer solid value in this wide open contest. He is the top pick. 


Previously trained by Robertino Diodoro, this son of Laoban has not won much, but has competed in top company from early on in his career. Third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2020, he could not break through with a win last year, but still ran some very good races.

Best of the bunch was a strong second to the champion Essential Quality in last year’s Jim Dandy. A return to that type of form certainly puts him in with a real chance on Saturday.

Now trained by Todd Pletcher, he had nearly a year away after finishing fourth in last season’s Grade 1 Travers. Now 4, he returned with a good looking allowance win six weeks ago. Top rider Joel Rosario has chosen Americanrevolution over him, but I still think he is a real threat in the exotics.


The final of the four from Pletcher, this 4-year-old son of Nyquist has won his last three against non-stakes competition, but has lost all five tries against stakes company. Having said that, he has been knocking on the door of late, and his last race may have been his best yet.

He finished third behind Dynamic One and First Captain in the Suburban, but was a pesky foe down the lane after setting all the pace. He’ll need another step forward here but that is not out of the question in his first start at Saratoga.

On Saturday, he should find some early pace pressure from Tax, with a few of the favorites not far behind. He’s in with a shot, but I like him the least of the four from Pletcher.


The winner over good horses in the 2019 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga, this speedy son of Arch has had a spotty racing record ever since. Now 6, his career has been marked by extended layoffs.

In 2020, he only made it to the races three times, but closed out the season with a nice win in the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday which came off a seven-month layoff. After a disappointing effort in the Pegasus World Cup in January of 2021, he was not seen again for nearly 18 months.

The return effort was solid, but the win came against cheaper competition in a listed stakes race at Delaware Park and in the slop. Talented and with a race under his belt, he cannot be completely dismissed, but this is an awfully tough spot for his second race back in more than a year and a half.

Chess Chief

Trained by Dallas Stewart, this son of Into Mischief ran fifth in this race last year at odds of 21/1 and will be a longshot again this year. A listed stakes winner in his final start of 2021, he has not been anywhere near the winner’s circle in four starts in 2022.

Most recently, the graded stakes winner was beaten nearly ten lengths in the Alydar Stakes behind Art Collected. If the gelding can somehow regain his best form, he is eligible to rally into a spot in the exotics, but his recent form leaves plenty to be desired. I can’t back him here.

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How to Watch the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Race Jockey Club Gold Cup (Grade 1)
Location Saratoga
Time Saturday, September 3 — 5:45pm Eastern time
How to Watch Fox Sports
Purse $1,000,000

$1000 Risk-Free Bet

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

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Image for Brian Zipse


Brian Zipse

226 Articles

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]

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