The Gold Cup (Grade 1)- $400.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Quarter on the Dirt
May 30, 2022
Is Sports Page finally finding that level of consistency that could make him one of the greats in the game? At times, we have seen it, but not often enough. In 2022, he has gotten off to a good start, winning an optional claimer and running second in the OP Handicap. The Gold Cup would be quite a test, against an excellent field, and winning this race has to not only get trainer John Henry to get this victory, but also feeling good that there might be many more big wins for him over the summer and maybe even in early November. Is the jockey making a big difference? It seems as though whenever D Van Dyke has been in the saddle, Sports Page has run a great race, and he would be here in the Gold Cup. For both trainer and jockey, it is their first win in this race, and our congratulations go out to them! It will really be exciting to see where Sports Page ends up next and how he follows this race up. The race winning time was 2:00.65, nearly identical to last year’s time. Let’s take a look!
(1/4 Mile- :47.55)- Four horses break well out of the gate, and emerging the quickest of that group would be First Sargeant. The High Voltage entry would command a lead of half a length around the first turn, with a pair from Night Rider Stables running to his inside. On the rail, 2019 winner Champion In Action was slightly ahead of stablemate Home Spirit. Arindel’s Toxic Personality runs fourth and would back off just a bit to assume more of a stalking position. In the middle of the field, we had a pack of three run together initially and the eventual winner, John Henry’s Sports Page, would be in the middle of them. The horse on the outside, Locamotive, trained by Aer Stables, pushed forward within the turn to claim fifth ahead of him. On the rail, it’s Strange Magic (TwinTowersRacing), and at the back and also running together, we have Antonym (Mb Stables), Mintmach (Nakamura Stables), and Tempestuous (Mb Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:11.36)- During the backstretch portion, First Sargeant will hold onto the lead, and still has Home Spirit and Champion In Action running beside him. Home Spirit starts to look as though he might take over the top spot soon when entering the turn. Toxic Personality remains four wide while running fourth. Meanwhile, Sports Page shifts hard for the rail near the exit of the backstretch but D Van Dyke then position the horse to potentially look for a lane between the Night Rider horses. No moves were being made behind him, and that would now include Locamotive as that one began to run out of steam.
(Top of Stretch, 1.7F To Go)- Early in the turn, Home Spirit would indeed take over the top spot from First Sargeant, and this would make things easier for Sports Page. That one ran well in the turn, and as Home Spirit ran well, Sports Page could pull up right behind him instead of hoping for another lane to open up. On exit of the turn, First Sargeant began to drop back more, and this gave Sports Page plenty of room to move one lane down to prepare to make a move around Home Spirit. Also at the front, Toxic Personality was running extremely well and seemed to be in a good spot for the stretch just as long as his wide trip most of the way would not affect him. Champion In Action continued to run well on the inside though lost some ground to his stablemate. Tempestuous was really the only horse that was further back that was beginning to make a move, advancing to the middle of the field while being four wide. He was only a length and a half behind Sports Page now, so he was certainly a threat. Everyone else needed to get moving now if they would have a shot.
(Finish- 2:00.65)- In the stretch, Sports Page was beginning to show that talent we all know he has but needs to show more often. He’d make the pass of Home Spirit and now needed to catch Toxic Personality. Approaching the wire, he would be much the best, passing that one easier than it seemed like he would and going on to win the race by a length. Toxic Personality did well to finish second, especially considering a four wide trip all race. Tempestuous closed for third, leaving Home Spirit to finish fourth, just ahead of Champion In Action. Rounding it out, it’s Mintmach, Antonym, Strange Magic, First Sargeant, and Locamotive.
About The Winner- Sports Page, trained by John Henry and ridden to victory by D Van Dyke, is a four year old gelding by Charley Farley and is out of the late Miss Page. She was bred in Florida by Greeko Holdem as a first quarter two year old, and acquired by John Henry, via Aer Stables, for $700.000 in private sales in December 2020. The win is his fourth in 19 starts and just his second stake win. His career earnings are now $1,790.460.
Time: :472 1:111 1:353 2:003
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 4 – 8 Paid 81.90
$1 Trifecta: 4 – 8 – 9 Paid 1,669.50
Scratched: Jolly Rook
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES