June 23, 2024

Olympiad back on best form in Jockey Club Gold Cup

Olmpiad wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Photo by Chelsea Durand/Coglianese Photos)

Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott experienced some downs and ups at Saratoga on Saturday, the bright spot being Olympiad‘s rebound performance in the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), which gave the four-year-old his first Grade 1 win and a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland in November.

The 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup came immediately after the Flower Bowl (G2), which the Mott-trained War Like Goddess lost by a neck at odds of 1-5. Olympiad also started as the favorite, at 17-10, and won by two lengths over Americanrevolution in a one-two repeat of their respective efforts in the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs in early July.

Olympiad made an interim start in last month’s Whitney (G1), when he started as second choice to Life Is Good. However, Olympiad came under a drive on the far turn and faded to fourth in what has been his only losing performance of the season.

“It’s gratifying to see him come back. The [performance] the other day [in the Whitney] was almost too bad to be true considering the form he had been in the previous five races. It was just good to see him bounce back,” Mott said.

Olympiad’s trip in the Gold Cup was reminiscent of ones that brought him success in the Foster, Alysheba (G2), New Orleans Classic (G2), and Mineshaft (G3) earlier in the season. Sitting second behind the pacesetter, in this case longshot Tax, who carved out moderate splits of :24.54, :49.70, and 1:13.47 over the fast going, Olympiad was perfectly poised to pounce when asked by Junior Alvarado.

Taking the lead on the far turn, Olympiad always had enough to keep Americanrevolution at bay through the stretch, while the rest made little impact in part due to the slow pace. Owned by LNJ Foxwoods, Grandview Equine, and Cheyenne Stable, Olympiad covered the course in 2:02.11 and paid $5.40.

Finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind Americanrevolution in third was First Captain, who was followed by Untreated, Keepmeinmind, Dynamic One, Chess Chief, and Tax.

Before earning his first stakes win in the Mineshaft at Fair Grounds in February, Olympiad had won three of his first five outings. His only stakes attempt during that span resulted in a fourth-place finish in the Cigar Mile (G1) last December, a race won by Americanrevolution. Olympiad’s record now stands at 12-8-1-1, $2,007,560.

Bred in Kentucky by Emory Hamilton and sold for $700,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Olympiad is by Speightstown and out of the Grade 3-placed Tokyo Time, a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to Grade 2 heroine Hungry Island and Grade 3 scorer Soaring Empire.

Grade 1 winners hailing from this female family include Preservationist, Chic Shirine, Serra Lake, Keen Ice, Verrazano, and Somali Lemonade.