The Gold Cup is part of a Super Saturday trio of stakes which also include the $30,000 Turf Paradise Handicap and $30,000 Sun City Handicap. The 8-race card will have a post time of 12:40 pm.
Fan amenities include a free T-shirt to the first 5,000 fans, a Meet & Greet with riders autographing a complimentary jockey colony photo, bull dog racing and fashion show, a Kids’ Fun Park with free multiple bounce inflatables and pony rides and live music provided by the popular duo Dok and Gal.
Phoenix Gold Cup, 6 furlongs, 7th Race
Chief Cicatriz, one of two consecutive Gold Cup winners (2017-2018) and last year’s winner Minister of Soul are among the 9 sprinters with trophy eyes on a win in the track’s marquee sprint race. Another with previous Gold Cup experience is the talented Mr. Jägermeister, who finished third in this race last year.
Looking for a three-peat, Chief Cicatriz has been installed the even-money morning-line favorite. The Shawn Davis-trained son of Munnings has rattled off four consecutive stakes victories, one at Turf and three in New Mexico. A Grade 3 winner of Churchill Downs’ Aristides Stakes, ‘The Chief’ likes to play the game close to the lead, daring any competitor to challenge his speed and stamina.
Minister of Soul (10-1) has managed only won victory in ten starts since his Gold Cup win and that was in an optional claiming event in Albuquerque. However, his three 5-furlong workouts at Turf, two of them bullet works, suggest he may be coming into the Gold Cup in peak form.
Mr. Jägermeister (5-2) finished fourth in his most recent start to Grade 1 winner Ohio in the Cotton Fitzsimmons Mile on the turf. Although the son of Atta Boy Roy has won on the grass, nine of his 10 lifetime wins have come on the dirt. The Fitzsimmons was Mr. Jägermeister’s first start off a two month layoff. He followed that effort with two bullet 5 furlong workouts.
Shipping in from Santa Anita is Royal Trump, who’s won four of nine efforts in 2019 primarily against high-priced southern California claimers.
Sun City Handicap, 1 Mile, Turf, 5th race
A field of seven fillies and mares is headed by Golden Gate shipper True to Herself (2-1). The Irish bred mare by Clodovil won two of six efforts last year, alternating between grass and synthetic surface.
Several credible locals will give the shipper all she can handle: Kool Kate, winner of the Glendale Handicap; Unique Factor, winner of the Kachina; Chance to Shine, winner of the Queen of the Green and Tee Em Eye, winner of the Phoenix and second in the recent Sun Devil Sprint.
Turf Paradise Handicap, 1 1/16, Turf, 8th Race
Super Saturday will not go out with a whimper as a field of eight, headed by the ultra-consistent Arizona Moon (2-1) takes to the grass in the day’s finale.
Arizona Moon got the locals cheering heartily when he gave Grade 1 winner Ohio all he could handle in the Fitzsimmons Mile, losing by a neck. The 7-year-old son of Macho Uno, trained by Stacy Campo, who rallies late and strong, has been in the money in 14 of 20 outings with four victories over the local turf course.
Gato Guapo (9-5) finished second to eventual local Horse of the Meet Spooky Channel (who recently won Gulfstream Park’s Grade 3 McKnight Stakes), in this race last year, losing by a diminishing head. Gato Guapo won the Walter Cluer Memorial in November.
Clear the Mine (7-2) is coming off back-to-back local wins after shipping in from southern California. A son of Mineshaft, it will be his first start over the local lawn.