Having teamed with Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm for a record 16 Florida Sire Stakes victories, Gold understands that expectations will be high for his trainees in the series for 2-year-old horses sired by registered stallions standing in Florida.
With undefeated Ballet Diva, as well as talented Silent Prayer, set for the Desert Vixen, and Brighton Lane, a full-brother to millionaire Jackson Bend, and stakes-placed Fellowship slated for the Dr. Fager, the pressure will be on Gold and Jacks or Better Farm to continue their success in the six-furlong stakes.
“It’s a problem anybody would want to have. You have to go with the flow. You could have a day that you can’t compare to or you could have a day when you just want to climb into a hole. Who know what’s going to happen?” said Gold, who has several other high-profile horses slated to compete in undercard stakes Saturday. “These horses have big shots. I’m certainly not going to complain about it, but I’m not going to brag about it. You’ve got to have the horse, and I’m just trying to get the best out of the horses that I have.”
The Florida Sire Stakes, set to be contested at Gulfstream Park for the second year, is scheduled to continue on Sept. 5, when the $300,000 Affirmed Division and the $300,000 Susan’s Girl Division are contested over seven furlongs, and on Oct. 3, when the $500,000 In Reality Division and the $500,000 My Dear Girl Division are slated for 1 1/16 miles.
Gold has saddled Jacks or Better Farm’s Jackson Bend (2009), Awesome Feather (2010) and Fort Loudon (2011) for sweeps of their respective Florida Sires Stakes divisions. In 2014, Gold and Jacks or Better Farm pulled off a team sweep with Sing Praises, who captured the Dr. Fager and In Reality, and Twotwentyfive A, who won the Affirmed.
“Am I impressed? No. Am I blessed? Yes. I’m getting horses that can do what everyone wants them to do. You have to give the breeder, Jacks or Better, the credit,” said Gold, who saddled champion Awesome Feather for a victory in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. “There’s a lot of luck involved. You can’t make a stallion better than a stallion’s going to be, but [Brei] has worked on the breeding and the cross-breeding and the buying. He’s developed it from the ground up, by himself. It’s not a syndicate with a bunch of people. He’s kept it in house. I get sent a product, and my job is to bring 100 percent of that product over there, and 100 percent of that product has been good enough to do what they’ve done.”
A native of New Jersey, Gold graduated with an accounting degree from Farleigh Dickinson University and took a job at Arthur Young and Co. in Manhattan. He left his job after a year and started working as a hotwalker at Monmouth Park, eventually becoming an assistant to the late Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Croll before going out on his own. He moved his stable from Illinois to Florida in 1985 and the rest is Florida Sire Stakes history.
“I try to keep focusing forward and not looking backwards. When it’s all over, then maybe I’ll look back and maybe I’ll be impressed with what I did,” Gold said. “Right now, it really doesn’t matter what was behind us. If I get beat eight times on the 8th, it won’t matter what we did before.”