The $1 million TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational (G1) is a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic and the highlight of the Belmont Park fall meeting. Just 8,639 fans came out on Saturday under overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 60's Whitney Handicap (G1) winner Fort Larned sent off as the 5-2 favorite in this 1 1/4 mile main track feature, over 3-1 second choice Ron the Greek, second in the Whitney after winning the Stephen Foster (G1), and 7-2 third choice and defending champion Flat Out, third in the Whitney last out.
Jockey Ramon Dominguez sent 11-1 Stay Thirsty to the lead and he set fractions of 23.49, 47.21, and 1:11.96 over the good track while stalked by 14-1 San Pablo and 35-1 Ruler on Ice. Entering the stretch, Ruler on Ice was eased as Stay Thirsty continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:36.41. Flat Out, who sat fifth early, gained steadily through the lane and caught the pacesetter in the final strides to win by a head in 2:01.44. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to favorite Fort Larned third.