THAT AIN'T HAY
There was a lot of talk about jumping in connection with last Saturday's $584,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Said John Hertler, trainer of Slew o' Gold, the 1-10 favorite, "Naturally, it's the most important race of my life, but it's still a race. If he loses, I'm not going to jump off a bridge." Said Mickey Taylor, one of 4-year-old Slew o' Gold's principal owners, "If he had [lost], I'd have jumped off the roof."
Not to worry. Slew o' Gold won laughing, by 9� lengths, and so banked not only the race winner's prize of $350,400 but also a $1 million bonus for sweeping the three-race Belmont fall series—the Woodward, the Marlboro Cup and the Gold Cup. That made Saturday's race in effect the richest in the history of the sport—that is, until Nov. 10, when the $3 million Breeders' Cup Classic, for 3-year-olds and up, is run. Winner's share: $1.35 million. Slew o' Gold is a likely entry.
After the Gold Cup, Taylor revealed that Slew o' Gold raced Saturday with fiber-glass patches on his right forehoof to protect two small cracks. But all that cracked in the race was the opposition, and afterward the Slew crew was jumping for joy, especially jockey Angel Cordero Jr. and Hertler, who each received 10% of both the Gold Cup winner's purse and the bonus, a satisfying $135,040 apiece. Cordero had also won the race before the Gold Cup, the Vosburgh, aboard Track Barron, to add $10,980 to his take for the day. Cordero had made $146,020 in less than four minutes of riding. Says Cordero, "I'm going to get it all in $100 bills and sit on my bed and count it."