Updated on 10/03/2011 5:53PM

Belmont: Flat Out scores convincingly in Jockey Club Gold Cup

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Tom Keyser
After finishing second in the Whitney and the Woodward, Flat Out was a clear winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Flat Out may not have run as fast as Uncle Mo or won by as wide a margin as Havre de Grace, but he won the most coveted prize on Belmont Park's Super Saturday card - the $750,000 Jockey Club Gold Cup - in convincing fashion, paying his way into the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs next month.

Flat Out's 2 1/4-length victory over Drosselmeyer in the Gold Cup gave his 70-year-old trainer, Scooter Dickey, his first Grade 1 victory in a career that has spanned nearly 50 years.

"I've been training since 1963," Dickey said in the Belmont winner's circle. "It's tremendous. It's hard to fathom, but I like it."

The win also earned Flat Out a spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs, where he will most likely face Uncle Mo, who won the Grade 2 Kelso in a solid mile time of 1:33.82, and Havre de Grace, who won the Grade 1 Beldame against fillies by 8 1/4 lengths earlier on the card.

"I wouldn't mind running against her at all," Art Preston, the owner of Flat Out, said about meeting Havre de Grace, who beat Flat Out at Saratoga in the Woodward. "Any of them."

"We're going to be there and try them," Dickey said.

The Gold Cup was a Win and You're In race, meaning the Breeders' Cup will pick up the entry fees for Flat Out to run in the $5 million Classic as well as provide a $10,000 travel stipend to the connections of Flat Out.

BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE: Racing schedule, replays, and past winners »

Flat Out, a 5-year-old son of Flatter who was hampered by shoulder and foot injuries earlier in his career, put in his fourth consecutive solid effort. In July, he won the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont by 2 3-4 lengths. At Saratoga, he finished second to Tizway - another potential BC Classic runner - in the Whitney and Havre de Grace in the Woodward.

In all of those races, Flat Out rallied from well off the pace. Saturday, jockey Alex Solis felt he had to change tactics because Belmont's muddy main track was not kind to closers. So, Solis put Flat Out into fourth position early on, about three lengths off the pace established by Rodman, who set fractions of 24.17 seconds for the quarter, 48.56 for the half-mile and 1:12.66 for six furlongs.

Flat Out was outside of Stay Thirsty down the backside, moved into the third entering the far turn and was second leaving the three-eighths pole. Flat Out came up alongside Rodman at the quarter pole and took the lead inside the three-sixteenths pole.

Flat Out, drew clear down the muddy lane and covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.17 and returned $4.80 as the 7-5 second choice. Drosselmeyer, the 2010 Belmont Stakes winner, rallied from fifth to get second by a half-length over Stay Thirsty, the 6-5 favorite. Rodman, A. U. Miner, Birdrun and Ice Box completed the order of finish.

"I talked to Scooter in the paddock and I said the track's playing really fast - I might have to use him a little bit leaving the gate to make sure we stay close, and it worked out good for him," Solis said. "It takes him out of his game a little bit, but it was something we had to do and take a chance."

The Gold Cup was Flat Out's first try at 1 1/4 miles, but Dickey said he was always confident in his horse's ability to get the distance.

"I never was worried about the mile and a quarter," Dickey said. "It's out of my mind now."

Flat Out was scheduled to ship back to Monmouth on Saturday night and then to Churchill Downs on Monday to begin training for the Classic.

Coming off victories in the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga, Stay Thirsty was trying to state his case for 3-year-old divisional honors. But jockey Javier Castellano felt his horse struggled with the muddy sealed racetrack. Stay Thirsty did finish second in the Belmont Stakes over a sloppy track.

"He didn't handle the track too well," Castellano said. "I know when he ran in the Belmont, it was a sloppy track and had a lot of puddles, a lot of water. He liked that. Today, unfortunately, it was tiring, sticky-muddy, and he wasn't very comfortable with that."