Curlin won last year’s Jockey Club Gold Cup as a three year old and would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Horse-of-the-Year honors. His 2008 campaign highlights include wins in the Dubai World Cup (G1) and Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), a solid second in the Man o’ War (G1) on the turf at Belmont Park to former Breeders’ Cup Turf champion Red Rocks, and, most recently, last Saturday’s Woodward (G1) win at Saratoga.
The honor roll of Jockey Club Gold Cup winners includes the likes of Gallant Fox (1930), War Admiral (1938), Whirlaway (1942), Citation (1948), Nashua (1955-‘56), Sword Dancer (1959), Kelso (1960, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’64), Buckpasser (1966), Damascus (1967), Shuvee (1970, ’71), Forego (1974), Affirmed (1979), John Henry (1981), Cigar (1995), Skip Away (1996, ’97), Mineshaft (2003), Funny Cide (2004) and Bernardini (2006).
Jockey Club Gold Cup Day is the Belmont Park Fall Championship Season’s most significant day of racing with five Grade 1 stakes on tap worth more than $2.4 million. In addition to the Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, fans will see the $600,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at a mile and a half on the grass, the $600,000 Flower Bowl Invitational for fillies and mares at 10 furlongs on the turf, the $400,000 Vosburgh at six furlongs and the $600,000 Beldame for fillies and mares at nine furlongs.