Achilles Takes JC Gold Cup in Upset

The JC Gold Cup (BC) (Grade 1)- $750.000 Purse
BEL- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
September 28, 2019

Achilles has always been a great horse in the morning. The workout times he turns out consistently are excellent, and show that he can be an elite horse. At times he has been, such as earlier this year when he won the SA Handicap. That has simply not happened consistently. Since the SA Handicap, Achilles had been a disappointment, with the last two races being significant flops. Based on current form, there was little reason to believe that Achilles was about to win the JC Gold Cup against this type of opposition. Even trainer Diablo Diablo was considering moving him, as in the forum, he stated that he had been entered in the auction at one point, before being pulled close to the deadline. Now, Achilles would have another chance to make his trainer proud, and boy, did he ever. Without getting what had been a normal dose of lasix before the race, Achilles had a strong stretch run, and defeated many horses that he will see again in the BC Classic. The win is the first in the stake for both Diablo Diablo, and trainer R Gutierrez. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 2:00.50, the fastest winning time since 2012. Let’s take a look!

(1/2 Mile- :47.67)- The quickest out of the gate would be L A Raw, out of D J C Racing Stables, and he would take a length lead as they moved around the turn and entered the backstretch. Behind him, there was a three wide group, consisting of a horse that got in at the last minute. War Command would get in late thanks to the scratch of Range Of The Sun, and he would run in the outside lane here for Estero Farms. Running along side him would be Maxmillion Farm’s Dastardly Havoc, and Tactical, from Mb Stables. It would be another length to Splash Mountain, John Henry’s reigning BC Classic champion, and Hollywood Latte, from Nakamura Stables. After them, there would be a gap of two lengths to another group of three. On the inside of this group was our eventual winner, Diablo Diablo’s Achilles, who would have four and a half lengths to make up to the leader. Combat Wombat (Maxmillion Farm) and Beaver Wars (Team 7 Illusions) ran to his outside. Behind him, the remaining five of Centerpiece (Mb Stables), Champion In Action (Night Rider Stables), Magne Account (RNP Stables), Serengeti Sands (TwinTowersRacing), and Erupt (D J C Racing Stables) ran in close proximity to one another.

(3/4 Mile- 1:11.50)- We have some good action going on the front of the field, as they are four wide entering the turn. The early leader, L A Raw is caught by the three who has been following him closely, Dastardly Havoc, Tactical, and War Command. It’s Tactical with a neck in front here as the run around the turn begins. Both Splash Mountain and Hollywood Latte are not shy by what is going on in front of them, and are also inching closer to the leaders, and are within a length and a half. Splash Mountain looked particularly eager to find an opening to come through the front runners. Behind them, the horse who had been in front of the second group, Achilles was making a move, pushing himself into the gap that had been there before, and was a length ahead of his prior running mates, Combat Wombat and Beaver Wars. Achilles was still on the rail, but R Gutierrez had it clear to his outside if he felt another lane would be better. The rest of the field were within seven lengths of the lead, and still running close together, but none had made a noteworthy move as of yet.

(Top Of Stretch, 2F To Go)- During the turn, Tactical starts to draw away from the rest of those that he had been running with and leads by a length. War Command is in second as he continues to do really well in the race he got into at the last minute. L A Raw was tiring, and so to would be Dastardly Havoc. This would allow Splash Mountain to move into the second lane, while Hollywood Latte looked to follow Tactical through the field. Both of these horses seemed to be positioned well. Meanwhile, R Gutierrez really rode Achilles well around the turn. It was very beneficial that he had the room to his outside as the jockey tried to figure out which lane would be the best. It looked for a moment like he would try to follow Splash Mountain, but then called that off, and moved his horse to the outside and into the money lane. Handling the turn well, Achilles was less then three lengths from the lead. There was still a gap to the rest of the field, with it five wide, five lengths from the lead. Perhaps something would come out of that, but they would have a lot of traffic to maneuver in front of them.

(Finish- 2:00.50)- In the stretch, it would be Achilles, finally putting it all together again and living up to his excellent works with an outstanding performance. He would quickly catch up to Tactical, and did not have much difficulty in passing him to get the big win for his career! Despite being passed easily, Tactical still was running well to the wire himself, and completes the exacta. It was another length to third place Splash Mountain, who narrowly finished ahead of Hollywood Latte and War Command. In a dead heat for sixth would be Champion In Action and Magne Account, two of the horses that ran in that back group almost all of the way and made their move too late to have a shot at winning. The rest of the order reads Centerpiece (who really disappoints today), Serengeti Sands, Erupt, Combat Wombat, Dastardly Havoc, L A Raw, and Beaver Wars.

About The Winner- Achilles, trained by Diablo Diablo, and ridden to victory by R Gutierrez, is a four year old gelding by Disregard, and is out of Anya Kuro. He was bred in California by Diablo Diablo as a third quarter two year old, the only trainer for which he has ever known. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his fifth in 17 starts, his third stake win, and second graded win. Both graded wins are Grade 1’s. His career earnings are now $894.360.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Achilles Diablo Diablo Gutierrez R 14.90   11 2:00.50 — 
  Tactical Mb Stables Franco M 2.75   21 2:00.70 — 
  Splash Mountain John Henry Velazquez J R 6.85   3nk 2:01.05 — 
  Hollywood Latte Nakamura Stables Beschizza A 24.40   4nk 2:01.12 — 
  War Command Estero Farms Bridgmohan S X 27.95   51/4 2:01.18 — 
  Champion In Action Night Rider Stables Castellano J J 28.20   61 2:01.26 — 
  Magne Account RNP Stables Carmouche K 13.20   61 2:01.26 — 
  Centerpiece Mb Stables Talamo J 6.75   8no 2:01.53 — 
  Serengeti Sands TwinTowersRacing Colon L H 15.90   9no 2:01.54 — 
  Erupt D J C Racing Stables Bravo J 8.40   10hd 2:01.55 — 
  Combat Wombat Maxmillion Farm Bejarano R 10.45   11no 2:01.59 — 
  Dastardly Havoc Maxmillion Farm Centeno D E 8.55   12no 2:01.60 — 
  L A Raw D J C Racing Stables Contreras L 30.10   131 2:01.62 — 
  Beaver Wars Team 7 Illusions Garcia Alan 38.55   14 2:01.87 — 

Track: Fast

Time: :473  1:112  1:352  2:002

$2 Mutuel Prices:

1 – Achilles 31.80 13.20 8.80
6 – Tactical   3.90 5.50
3 – Splash Mountain     5.20

$1 Exacta: 1 – 6 Paid 93.50

$1 Trifecta: 1 – 6 – 3 Paid 540.00

Scratched: Bad Bad Boy, Range Of The Sun, Twin Towers

— NS

Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES

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