Stevens on The Cliff's Edge for JC Gold Cup

(from Belmont Park notes)
Gary Stevens will take over riding duties on The Cliff's Edge in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park, trainer Nick Zito said Sunday.

The grade I winner breezed five furlongs over Saratoga's training track Sunday morning in 1:03. It was the fastest of nine works at the distance.

The Cliff's Edge, who will be facing older horses for the first time in the Gold Cup. Stevens, who rode Pleasant Tap to a Gold Cup victory in 1992, is replacing jockey Shane Sellers, who has ridden The Cliff's Edge in all 12 of the colt's prior races.

"When you're switching to Gary Stevens you're not experimenting, but this is a good time to make a switch," said Zito from Saratoga. "Shane did a great job on 'Cliff.' If we don't get any improvement with Gary, I'm sure Shane will be back aboard the horse someday."

As for the breeze, Zito said: "It was good. The track was real heavy, but that's the training track. We believe in it and have had a lot of success (training over it.)"

Others considering the Gold Cup are the connections for Domestic Dispute, Evening Attire, Funny Cide, Peace Rules, Love of Money, Seattle Fitz and Sarava.

The Cliff's Edge will be the first of this year's leading sophomores to face older horses.

"No matter what happens, Cliff has been very consistent and very good to us," said Zito, who won the 2000 Gold Cup with Albert the Great. "I think he'll hold his own."