The gray son of Jaklin Klugman will face eight rivals in the evening's feature and will carry jockey Patrick Valenzuela from post position two. Valenzuela replaces the recently retired Hall of Famer Laffit Pincay Jr., who rode Sky Jack in his last seven races and in all four of his career stakes victories.
Sky Jack hasn't raced since last summer and underwent surgery to remove a bone chip from his right knee in September, an injury he likely suffered during his 11th-place finish in the Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar. In addition to the Gold Cup, Sky Jack won the 2000 Native Diver Handicap (gr, III) and Cal Cup Classic, as well as last year's Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. III). Overall he's won 8 races from 15 starts for earnings of $929,267.
Sky Jack hasn't raced on the turf since winning a one-mile allowance race in wire-to-wire fashion in July of 2000 at Hollywood Park. He owns two wins from three starts on the lawn during his career.
Among the runners Sky Jack will face on Friday is California-bred millionaire Native Desert, who was second in the TVG Khaled Stakes on April 26 in his last start; Grade 2 winner Decarchy, last seen finishing unplaced in the Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in April; and noted California-bred turf stakes winner Spinlessjellyfish, who was sixth in the TVG Khaled after finishing second by a half-length in the San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita.