Siskany going for repeat in two-mile Belmont Gold Cup (2024)

Siskany going for repeat in two-mile Belmont Gold Cup (1)

Barbara D. Livingston

Long-winded turf runner Siskany trains on Sunday. He has won two of his three starts this season at age 6.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – For all of his previous success in the United States in recent years, 2024 promises to be even better for trainer Charlie Appleby.

From 2021 to 2023, the Newmarket-based Appleby won 18 races from 52 starters in the U.S. Already this year, Appleby has compiled a record of 5-5-3 from 16 starters in 13 graded stakes between New York and Kentucky, and he has about 20 horses currently residing in the U.S.

Appleby looks poised to have more success during the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival that kicks off Thursday at Saratoga with a 10-race card. Appleby will have runners in several major turf events, starting with Siskany in Thursday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Belmont Gold Cup, which is scheduled for two miles over the inner turf course.

Siskany won this race last year at Belmont Park. An added wrinkle to this year’s running is the winner gets a fees-paid berth into the Melbourne Cup in early November in Australia.

Siskany, a 6-year-old gelding by Dubawi, is 2 for 3 this year, having won a pair of marathon turf stakes in Dubai. Most recently, he finished fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths, in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup, where he did have to rally wide in the stretch

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Horses who finished fifth, sixth, and 12th in the Dubai Gold Cup, have come back to win group stakes in Europe in their subsequent starts.

“He’s a horse that likes to go farther than most in our barn,” said Chris Connett, assistant to Appleby. “Charlie’s very good at pinpointing what races to come over and target. For a stayer, he’s still got a turn of foot.”

Saratoga is certainly a tighter-turned track than Belmont Park, but Connett didn’t seem to think that would pose a problem for Siskany.

“I’d say he’s pretty versatile. The tighter track won’t be an issue for him I don’t think,” Connett said.

Siskany, who will be ridden by William Buick, will break from the outside post in this field of 12, which includes 2023 Belmont Gold Cup runner-up The Grey Wizard.

The Grey Wizard, trained by Graham Motion, has run twice this year with mixed results. He finished last of nine in the Elkhorn at Keeneland on April 20. He came back four weeks later and ran a solid third, just missing second, in the Grade 2 Louisville at Churchill Downs.

Motion has been on a heater the last two weeks or so. Since May 19, Motion has 11 wins from the last 15 races in which he’s had runners, which encompasses 18 starters.

Trainer Mike Maker has entered the trio of Really Good, Starting Over, and Lucky Curlin in the Belmont Gold Cup.

Really Good is coming off an allowance win at Aqueduct and won his only start at Saratoga, that coming in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race in his career debut in July 22.

Starting Over has not run since winning the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida at Gulfstream Park on March 30. Maker scratched Starting Over out of a stakes in Kentucky due to soft turf and said he would not run the horse here if forecasted rain made for soft or yielding ground Thursday.

Lucky Curlin finished sixth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn but bled in that race. As is the case in graded stakes in most jurisdictions, horses will not be permitted to race on Lasix in the Gold Cup.

Limited Liability, So High, Cibolian, Champagne Juan, Sports Editor, Six Minus, and Pioneering Spirit complete the field on turf. Costa Terra and Dai Vernon are entered for the main track.

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The Belmont Gold Cup is the first leg of a daily double linked to Friday’s Grade 1 New York Stakes for fillies and mares. The minimum base for that wager is $5 with an 18.5 percent takeout rate. The Belmont Gold Cup is also the first leg of a two-day, all-stakes pick four linked with Friday’s Intercontinental, New York, and Acorn Stakes. That wager has a $2 minimum base with a 24 percent takeout.

Earlier on Thursday’s card there is an all-turf pick three on races 1,5, and 8. The minimum base is $3 with a 19 percent takeout.

:: Want to learn more about handicapping and wagering? Check out DRF's Handicapping 101 and Wagering 101 pages.

Siskany going for repeat in two-mile Belmont Gold Cup (2024)


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