By Evan Hammonds
Wertheimer and Frere’s homebred Happy Saver, making just his fourth career start, skimmed the rail in the stretch to get the lead under Irad Ortiz Jr., inching past fellow sophomore Mystic Guide to win the Oct. 10 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park.
The 3-year-old son of Super Saver , a three-quarters-of-a length winner, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.09. Odds-on favorite Tacitus, seeking his initial grade 1 in six attempts, settled for third after setting a soft pace.
“This race was uncomfortable for him. I wasn’t really happy down in there but I didn’t really have any other options,” Ortiz said. “I just had to go with the flow of the race. I thought we were going to be on the lead and I was surprised to look up and see Tacitus on the lead early. I can’t take back but I can’t go head and head so I just let my horse be there. I used him a little on the backside to stay close and go from there.
“He has a big heart, like I told Todd in the paddock,” Ortiz said. “He’s a fighter. Every time he has a horse in front of him and when you ask him to go, he passes the horse and then he puts his ears up.”