It's been a long time since Flat Out last found himself in the Winner's Circle following the conclusion of a race. In fact, it was almost exactly one year ago that Flat Out beat Drosselmeyer and Stay Thirsty to win the 2011 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. On Saturday, Flat Out successfully defended his Gold Cup title with a gutsy effort to beat Stay Thirsty by a head in the final strides.
Flat Out broke a little slowly from the gate and was content to sit near the back of the pack in the early stages of the race. Stay Thirsty set solid fractions on the front end and turned back the challenges of Ruler On Ice, San Pablo and Fort Larned as he rounded the far turn. Flat Out began to make his move after racing wide of the far turn, grinding down Stay Thirsty through the final quarter mile. Just when it looked as if Stay Thirsty would hold on for the victory, Flat Out found one final surge to push him past his rival.
With his victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Flat Out is guaranteed a spot in the starting gate for the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 3rd. Flat Out went to post as the 7/2 favorite in last year's Classic but finished a disappointing fifth, three lengths behind Drosselmeyer.
Flat Out now sports a lifetime record of 19-6-4-2 and has won over $2 million in purse money.