Last updated: February 17. 2013 5:42AM - 62 Views

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NEW YORK — Flat Out made his first win of the year a big one, edging Stay Thirsty in the final strides to take the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Flat Out won the Gold Cup last year, but was 0 for 6 until overtaking Stay Thirsty two jumps from the finish to give trainer Bill Mott his second Grade 1 victory on a day that featured six graded stakes races.

Earlier, Mott's 4-5 favorite Royal Delta beat rival It's Tricky by 9 1/2 lengths in the Beldame Invitational.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, the 6-year-old Flat Out challenged pace-setter Stay Thirsty when the 10-horse field turned for home, and closed the margin with every stride before putting his head in front at the wire.

Whitney Invitational winner and 5-2 favorite Fort Larned was third, followed by Atigun, Fast Falcon, Ron the Greek, Game Ball, Hymn Book, San Pablo and Ruler On Ice.

The winning time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:01.44.

In other stakes races, The Lumber Guy won the Vosburgh, Nahrain took the Flower Bowl Invitational, 4-5 favorite Point of Entry won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic, and Jersey Town was an upset winner in the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez was aboard three Grade 1 winners — The Lumber Guy, Nahrain and Point of Entry.

The winning horses in each of the six stakes races earned automatic berths in the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.

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