(Cyberknife / Pictures by way of Holly M. Smith)
From the NYRA Media Crew:
“It’s like a film, isn’t it,” marveled Al Gold. “It’s actually very surprising how the whole thing fell into position.”
Gold, who races below the nom de route Gold Sq. LLC, resides the lifestyles already stuffed with the stuff Hollywood couldn’t have scripted any higher. His heartwarming tale can take but every other excellent activate Saturday at Saratoga Race Route when his twin Grade 1-winning colt Cyberknife tries for his 3rd most sensible degree ranking within the 153rd renewal of the $1.25 million Runhappy Travers for 3-year-olds.
“I’ve had such a lot of horses and also you by no means know if one goes to step up and break free all of the others and this one simply did it. It’s this type of surprise,” stated Gold, a 66-year-old New Jersey local and Saratoga Springs resident who has been a horseplayer for fifty years and has owned thoroughbreds since 2004, however by no means had a Grade 1 winner earlier than.
Gold bought the son of sensational first crop sire and 2017 Horse of the 12 months Gun Runner and the maternal grandson of 2005 Travers winner Flower Alley for $400,000 on the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Make a selection Yearlings Exhibit. Then he went in for a regimen clinical checkup simplest to obtain the scary prognosis that he had prostate most cancers.
On December 7, 2020 – the day of his sixty fifth birthday – he underwent the primary in his sequence of therapies carried out with Accuracy Inc.’s robot radiation treatment tool branded because the cyberknife. Regardless of its ominous identify, the cyberknife is a non-invasive process that delivers radiation to the most cancers cells with out destructive different wholesome tissue or cells.
Gold had generally given his horses comical names or named them after TV display characters, however he gave this severe horse a major identify to get the phrase out to others that prostate most cancers is treatable and not a demise sentence. Thankfully, he’s now in remission and punctiliously playing the trip with the most efficient horse he’s ever owned.
“Cyberknife is the most efficient. He’s the pony of a life-time, a minimum of thus far,” stated Gold, who were given his get started making a bet horses when he was once 16 years outdated and on a circle of relatives holiday at a lodge within the within reach Catskill Mountains. As he tells it, at some point one of the vital males have been speaking horses and so they touted the child on a standardbred on that evening’s card at Monticello Raceway. He went to the monitor, wager at the trotter, cashed his price tag for a large worth, and not seemed again.
Gold these days owns about 25 horses with a number of other running shoes, however he decided on reigning two-time Eclipse Award winner Brad Cox for Cyberknife. It’s been a super fit.
Cyberknife has a file of 5-2-0 in 9 begins with income of $1,596,250, and amongst his 4 wins in six 2022 begins are Grade 1 victories within the Arkansas Derby and the TVG.com Haskell Stakes in monitor file time. The chestnut colt is the one 3-year-old male with two most sensible degree ratings this 12 months and is just one of a handful of horses of any age or gender with greater than a unmarried Grade 1 win in 2022.
“Fifty years within the sport and right here I’m. I say the cicadas come each and every 17 years and make that noise. After I began within the sport I had a actually excellent horse my first 12 months, and it took 17 years to have every other excellent one. I’m just like the cicadas,” stated Gold, whose different graded stakes winners are Little Leave out Holly [2011 Iowa Oaks-G3] and Chace Town [2006 Saratoga Special Breeders’ Cup Stakes-G2]. He additionally co-owned 2014 Grade 3 Toboggan winner Candyman E.
Florent Geroux has been within the irons for seven of Cyberknife’s final 9 outings and below his sensible trip Cyberknife was once the disenchanted winner of the Haskell at Monmouth Park on July twenty third. That day is one Gold won’t ever put out of your mind, and it isn’t simplest since the Haskell is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Vintage.
“This can be a very giant victory. The Arkansas Derby was once very giant, and the Haskell could also be. This can be a very giant deal,” stated Gold, who grew up at the Jersey Shore and frequented Monmouth Park for 35 years, proper after the race. “I began making a bet horses when I used to be a child and feature owned horses for years. You at all times have fantasies. You need to win the Derby and all of the giant races, however this is without doubt one of the ones I actually sought after to win. And we’re on our technique to the Breeders’ Cup. We cross to the Travers subsequent and we’ll see the place we’re.”
There may be greater than an all-expenses paid travel to the Breeders’ Cup and the Travers handbag to hand. There may be the topic of the $1 million Betmakers Bonanza, presented by way of the partnership of Betmakers Generation Workforce and Monmouth Park, to any horse who can win the Haskell, the Travers and the Breeders’ Cup Vintage.
What’s extra, a Travers win would toughen Cyberknife’s argument for a divisional championship must he succeed on the 11/4-mile distance.
“This horse is actually entering his personal. He was once a pleasing 2-year-old and at all times had skill however now that he’s older he helps to keep getting higher and higher. He’s an overly proficient horse,” stated Gold, who previous this summer time bought Cyberknife’s breeding rights to Spendthrift Farm first of all the 2023 season. “He labored nice right here on Saturday when he breezed 5 furlongs in a minute flat and seemed very sharp.”
Gold, who’s retired from a occupation in industrial actual property, splits his time now between houses in South Florida and Saratoga Springs, the place his home is recognizable as the only with the dual spires harking back to Churchill Downs.
“I put the dual spires on my area right here after I constructed it. It was once one thing I at all times sought after to do,” he stated. “I’ve a room in my area which is sort of a barn. I’ve a portray at the wall of a few horses I owned. One by no means made it to the races and the opposite one I misplaced my blouse on, however they photographed smartly and a fellow I do know did the portray, so I’ve somewhat barn environment right here. It’s a comfy position to chill out.”
However, he isn’t chilling nowadays as pleasure builds as much as the Travers.
“You’d suppose I’d experience it extra and sleep higher, however I’m simplest sound asleep two or 3 hours an evening as a result of I will be able to’t chill out. I’m too outdated for this,” quipped Gold, who is going to the monitor each and every morning to talk over with his horses and watch them undergo their routines.
Gold is understood for being sort, beneficiant, giving and sharing his excellent fortune with friends and family. When Cyberknife ran within the Kentucky Derby, the place he completed 18th after looking to chase the depraved tempo, his proprietor chartered a non-public jet, invited his huge posse, and collected all the tab for the travel.
“We had the large factor for the Derby, which didn’t figure out too smartly for the pony. As opposed to the 2 mins all of us had a good time there. It was once very, really nice. However for this race it’s simply going to be my spouse, Hilary, my youngsters Bryan and Dayna and their households, and 3 of my excellent pals who’re bobbing up. It is going to simply be 10 or 12 other people,” he stated.
Gold has been a spectator on the Travers for the final 10 years or so. Now that he’s a player he isn’t creatively visualizing himself status within the coveted winner’s circle subsequent to Cyberknife draped within the blanket of crimson carnations.
“No, not anything like that,” stated Gold, who will get to look at Cyberknife lift his silks simply two times extra earlier than the colt is going to Spendthrift. “I’m making an attempt to not get too some distance forward of myself.”
However having a look again over the new months, he beat a most cancers prognosis, received his first Grade 1 within the Arkansas Derby, had his first Kentucky Derby starter, received his 2d Grade 1 within the Haskell at what was once his house monitor whilst incomes a assured spot within the Breeders’ Cup Vintage, and now has the danger to win the celebrated Grade 1 Travers in his followed house the city and maybe even an Eclipse Award along with his horse of a life-time.
“Isn’t it an attractive factor? It’s wonderful whilst you consider all of it,” he stated. “I’m hoping we now have every other one like Cyberknife, however clearly I’m actually playing this one. When this wonderful 12 months is over and the pony is retired, then I’m going to sit down again and actually admire all of it extra. It’s going to be even higher later on.”