G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup ‘Main Focus’ for Proxy

July 27, 2023

Proxy #6 ridden by Joel Rosario won the Grade III $400,000 Monmouth Cup at Monmouth Park. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)

Saratoga Race Course Week 4 Stakes Probables

Saratoga Race Course Notes

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – After a triumphant gate-to-wire score in Saturday’s Grade 3 Monmouth Cup, Godolphin’s Proxy will shift his focus to the Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on September 2 going 1 1/4 miles at Saratoga Race Course. The JCGC is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic in November at Santa Anita Park.

The 5-year-old Tapit bay emerged from only three week’s rest to capture the nine-furlong Monmouth Cup at its namesake Jersey Shore oval, setting a moderate pace down the backstretch with Calibrate applying some pressure nearing the far turn and Whelen Springs joining the fray approaching the quarter pole. But Proxy kicked clear of them both to win by 2 1/2 lengths while securing a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. 

The winning effort followed a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster on July 1 at Ellis Park, an effort that trainer Michael Stidham said was due to a speed-favoring track. 

“I knew going into the Stephen Foster that the track was a conveyer belt for speed. We drew the one-hole with tons of speed outside of us,” Stidham said. “We knew we were going to get a ton of dirt in our face and on that track, it was just impossible to make up any ground. That’s exactly what happened. We got checked around the first turn, got ourselves way back and were unable to make up any ground, so it was a race we just draw a line through.”

Proxy has now won three graded stakes over as many racetracks, capturing the Grade 1 Clark in November at Churchill Downs before narrowly defeating Last Samurai in the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap in April. During his sophomore season, he ran against Mandaloun and Midnight Bourbon in Fair Grounds Race Course’s Kentucky Derby prep series, including runner up finishes in the Grade 3 Lecomte and Grade 2 Risen Star. Stidham opted to put Proxy on the shelf following that spring and brought him back for a 4-year-old season, which resulted in a 6-2-2-2 record. 

Michael Stidham. (Coay Photography)

“If you go back to his 3-year-old year, where we were running in some of the Derby preps, I made comments that I didn’t think he was quite where he needed to be to keep pushing forward to try to make the Derby,” Stidham recalled. “So we backed off, gave him time, brought him back for his 4-year-old year which was decent. Now, he seems to really be putting things together as a 5-year-old.”

Stidham said the Monmouth Cup was not initially the plan, but that he didn’t want to run Proxy in a race like the Jockey Club Gold Cup from a two-month respite. 

“Now, we have almost five weeks going into the Jockey Club Gold Cup with a horse coming off a nice win,” Stidham said. “We wanted to get his confidence back up. He’s doing well. He came out of that race in good shape. Now our focus is the Jockey Club Gold Cup and hoping he runs well there, and we can start thinking about Breeders’ Cup Classic.” 

The Jockey Club Gold Cup will be Proxy’s first 10-furlong start since finishing a late-closing second to Stiletto Boy in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in March. 

Through an 18-6-6-2 record, Proxy boasts earnings of $2,024,970. A Kentucky homebred, Proxy is out of the dual Grade 1-winning millionaire Include mare Panty Raid. He is a half-sister to Micheline, a graded stakes winner on the grass. 

Saratoga Race Course Week 4 Stakes Probables


G2 Bowling Green
ProbableChannel Maker (Bill Mott), Daunt (Bobby Ribaudo), Get Smokin (Mark Casse), Highest Honors (Chad Brown), Master Piece (Rick Dutrow, Jr.), Never Explain (Shug McGaughey), Rebel’s Romance (Charlie Appleby), Rockemperor (Brown), Soldier Rising (Christophe Clement), Tawny Port (Clement), The Grey Wizard (Graham Motion), Verstappen (Brendan Walsh)
PossibleStrong Tide (Michael Lauer), Strong Quality (Mark Casse)


$135K De La Rose
ProbableEminent Victor (C. Brown), Evvie Jets (Mertkan Kantarmaci), Lovely Princess (Kenny McPeek), Malavath (Clement), Miss Carol Ann (Motion), Regal Realm (Jonathan Thomas), Runaway Rumour (Horacio De Paz)
PossibleJuncture (Brad Cox), White Frost (Mott) 

Susie Raisher Photo


G2 Glens Falls
ProbableAmazing Grace (Clement), Ever Summer (Clement), McKulick (C. Brown), Vergara (Motion), Virginia Joy (C. Brown), War Like Goddess (Mott)
PossibleTalbeyah (Casse)


G2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame
ProbableAppraise (C. Brown), Bat Flip (Todd Pletcher), Behind Enemy Lines (Jack Sisterson), Carl Spackler (C. Brown), General Jim (McGaughey), Mysterious Night (Charlie Appleby), Northern Invader (Cherie DeVaux), Ocean Vision (Tim Donworth)
PossibleWadsworth (Cox)

G3 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Oaks Inv. 
ProbableAllamericanbeauty (McGaughey), American Sonja (Joseph O’Brien), Aspen Grove (James Stack), Be Your Best (De Paz), Caroline Street (J. O’Brien), Elusive Princess (Jean-Philippe Dubois), Honor D Lady (Saffie Joseph, Jr.), Papilio (Casse), Selenaia (Thomas), Speirling Beag (Motion), Strikingly Spun (Joe Sharp), Xigera (Phil Bauer) 


G1 Whitney 
ProbableCharge It (Pletcher), Cody’s Wish (Mott), Rattle N Roll (McPeek), Smile Happy (McPeek), Zandon (C. Brown) 

G1 Test
ProbableDorth Vader (George Weaver), Jersey Pearl (Darrin Miller), Maple Leaf Mel (Melanie Giddings), Munnys Gold (Pletcher), Pretty Mischievous (Walsh), Tappin Josie (De Paz)
PossibleAlva Starr (Brett Brinkman), Clearly Unhinged (Michael McCarthy) 

G1 Saratoga Derby Inv. 
Probable: Battle of Normandy (McGaughey), Far Bridge (Pletcher), Lion of War (Charlie Johnston), Mondego (Clement), Program Trading (C. Brown), Truly Quality (Thomas), Webslinger (Casse)

G3 Troy 
Caravel (Cox), Cogburn (Steve Asmussen), Mister Mmmmm (Jason Barkley), Nobals (Larry Rivelli), Thin White Duke (David Donk)
PossibleGo Bears Go (Wesley Ward), Remuda (Eoin Harty) 

$135K Fasig-Tipton Lure
ProbableChazzesmee (Stack), Dakota Gold (Danny Gargan), Doctor Davis (Arnaud Delacour), Emaraaty (C. Brown), Ocean Atlantique (Mike Maker), Portfolio Company (C. Brown), Smokin’ T (McGaughey)
PossibleSantin (Walsh) 


G2 Adirondack 
ProbableBrightwork (John Ortiz), Copper Elm (Asmussen), Here U Come Again (Cox), Magic Cross (Mott), Princesa Celina (Ward), Saratoga Secret (D. Wayne Lukas), Streaming Now (Paulo Lobo)
PossibleOmaha Girl (Jorge Delgado) 

@jonathanstettin Thank you. This is a truly beautiful tribute to a racing legend. Good to hear the true story of what happened that day.

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