Mrs. Gay Smith seeks to win her fourth Sandy Lane Gold Cup (Bar-1) and first since 2011 as she has added a new face to her stable and nominated him to the March 2 Caribbean classic.
Smith, who won the 2011 Gold Cup with Zoom, the 2006 edition with Sharp Impact and ’03 running with Thady Quill, has acquired JERRY THE NIPPER, a grade 2-placed son of Liam’s Map, from owner Mike Repole. The gelding, recently just 4 1/4 lengths in ninth behind Warm Heart in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27, has entered quarantine in Florida and is one of 12 horses that are on the final subscription list for the Gold Cup.
Smith originally had millionaire Stone Age, a son of Galileo, as a possibility for the Gold Cup but Jerry the Nipper, a seven-year-old with $544,000 in earnings, has taken that horse’s place. Smith also has PORTFOLIO COMPANY for the Gold Cup and that Kitten’s Joy gelding was recently fifth, beaten two lengths in a $100,000 handicap at 1 mile and 70 yards on the Tapeta at Gulfstream on Jan. 27.
Jerry the Nipper has a record of 21 starts, six wins, four seconds, and seven thirds and the New York-bred was stakes-placed six times before a troubled outing when he just missed winning the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream on Dec. 30.
Trainer Todd Pletcher put blinkers on the gelding for the Pegasus and after pressing front running Main Event through sharp fractions of 46.80 and 1:09.40, the gelding slipped back in mid-stretch (replays of the Fort Lauderdale and Pegasus Turf are below).
Twelve horses have been paid up to the final subscription for the ‘about’ 1 1/8 mile race on turf on the left-handed Garrison Savannah track near Bridgetown.
Ken Ramsey, who told HORSERACING JOURNEYS Youtube show last year that he was determined to get his fourth Gold Cup win in 2024, has four horses nominated. Grade 3 winner YES THIS TIME, trained by Peter Miller in California, has won six of 25 races but he has not won since the summer of 2021. Ramsey claimed Yes This Time for $80,000 in July 2023 and he was third in the Tapit Stakes at Kentucky Downs in his first race for the owner.
Ramsey also has CASH EQUITY (FR), a six-time winner and also an $80,000 claim, pointing to the race. The grey gelding was a fast-closing fourth in the $100,000 Carousel Club Handicap on Jan. 27. Ramsey’s SPY NOVEL, by Biosterous, was a $25,000 claim from Mark Casse and owner Gary Barber on Jan 1. a year ago. The two-time winner was recently second in a 1 3/8 mile optional claiming race on turf at Gulfstream for trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.
And a late nominee to the Gold Cup, the sprinter COTTON (Hightail), is also nominated to the Spa Sprint on the same day.
Interestingly, Ramsey is also the breeder of not only Portfolio Company but PAT’SSEWINGMACHINE (We Miss Artie), who won the Group 1 Coolmore Stakes at the Garrison last week for the Fun in the Sun Racing group. Pet’ssewingmachine is representing Canada in the Gold Cup as he is trained by Ted Holder from Woodbine.
Barbados-based horses BODIE TAP, BRILLIANT NEWS IT’S A GAMBLE, last year’s Gold Cup winner, and SO SUAVE (IRE) complete the nomination list:
BODIE TAP (Mark Goodridge) BAR
BRILLIANT NEWS (Sir David Seale) GBR
CASH EQUITY (Ken Ramsey) USA
COTTON (Ken Ramsey) USA
IT’S A GAMBLE (Mark Goodridge) BAR
JERRY THE NIPPER (Gay Smith) USA
PAT’SSEWINGMACHINE (Fun in the Sun Racing) CAN
PORTFOLIO COMPANY (Gay Smith) USA
RENAISANCE FROLIC (Sir David Seale) BAR
SO SUAVE (Nalicia Cozier) BAR
SPY NOVEL (Ken Ramsey) USA
YES THIS TIME (Ken Ramsey) USA