Longshot Ron the Greek found room along rail to capture Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. The 1 1/4- mile race was the concluding stakes in Belmont Park's "Super Saturday."
Sent off at 21-1 in the eight-horse field, Ron the Greek, ridden by Jose Lezcano, was running third most of the race, several lengths behind pacesetters Alpha and Palace Malice.
Around the final turn, Ron the Greek found racing room along the rail and was able to squeeze past Alpha coming into the stretch. Also advancing was two- time defending race winner Flat Out.
Trained by Bill Mott, Ron the Greek assumed command at the top of the stretch and cruised to a 6 3/4-length win over Palace Malice with Flat Out getting third.
Completing the order of finish were Vitoria Olimpica, Last Gunfighter, Alpha, Cross Traffic and Orb.
Ron the Greek covered the distance on a fast track in 1:59.70
The 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup is a Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" race. Ron the Greek secures himself an automatic spot in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park.
In winning his first race since January, the 6-year-old adds $600,000 to his bankroll. Owned by Brous Stable, Wachtel Stable, Jack Hammer and Gary Barber, Ron the Greek has earned $2,704,691 in 29 career starts with nine wins.
The veteran racehorse began 2013 by winning the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park. However, he failed to find the winner's circle through five other races.
Ron the Greek was fourth in the Santa Anita Classic followed by thirds in the Charles Town Classic and Stephen Foster. He then finished fourth in both the Whitney and Woodward.
Ron the Greek paid $44.00, $17.40 and $7.20. Palace Malice returned $5.00 and $3.10, and Flat Out paid $2.50 to show.
The other "Super Saturday" stakes winners were Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame, Graydar in the Kelso, Private Zone in the Vosburgh, Laughing in the Flower Bowl and Little Mike in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.