“On the heels of televising the Woodward Stakes, we are excited to provide racing fans with live coverage of the Jockey Club Gold Cup on MSG Plus this Saturday,” stated Lydia Murphy-Stephans, executive vice president of programming and production, MSG Media. “This continues our commitment to offer New York area sports fans coverage of a variety of first-rate sporting events, and adds to our expanding lineup of premier horse racing programming.”
“We are thrilled to be working with our partner MSG in presenting the Jockey Club Gold Cup on the biggest day of the Belmont Park Fall Championship Meeting,” NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward said. “Through the MSG Plus telecast, sports fans will get to know one of our sport’s biggest stars, Curlin, and will get to see our magnificent sports venue, Belmont Park.”
Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin is the No. 1 Thoroughbred in the world according to the British racing publication Timeform. The four-year-old chestnut is a winner of 10 of his 14 starts, including victories on two continents. Curlin has won $9,796,800, just shy of Cigar’s all-time mark of $9,999,815.
Curlin, however, has proven that he is more than up to the task. He won the 1¼-mile Jockey Club Gold Cup last year as a three-year-old by a neck over Lawyer Ron. A win on Saturday not only gives him the money title, it also could nail down a second consecutive Horse of the Year title. But just as in last year’s Gold Cup when the brash three year old Curlin knocked off top older horse Lawyer Ron, fresh from victory in the Woodward Stakes, a hot three year old named Mambo in Seattle will attempt to knock off top older horse Curlin, who also comes in fresh from winning this year’s Woodward. Mambo in Seattle won a minor stakes at Saratoga and then, in one of the most memorable Travers ever, dueled the highly touted Colonel John, head to head, neck to neck, nose to nose, down to the wire. ESPN called Mambo in Seattle the winner, his jockey shock his whip in the air in elation, but the photo finish camera would reveal that as the horse heads were bobbing at the wire, Mambo in Seattle had come up short by about a quarter inch.
The honor role of Jockey Club Gold Cup winners includes Man o’ War, Whirlaway, five time winner Kelso, Forego, Affirmed, John Henry, current leading money winner Cigar, third all time money winner Skip Away, Mineshaft, and Funny Cide.