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The giant statue of Pegasus fighting a dragon at Gulfstream Park.

2018 Pegasus World Cup Workout Photos

Date: 01/25/2018

The second running of the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) is Saturday at Gulfstream Park and all the horses entered are on the grounds now. Twelve will start plus there are two also-eligibles in case a horse scratches. Here are some photos of them from Thursday either on the track in the morning or schooling in the paddock in the afternoon. Conditions were excellent during training hours, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's.

Gun Runner came out on the track this morning to school in the gate then went back to the barn for his bath. Trainer Steve Asmussen said, "We're good. You know, he drew better than he did in last year's Pegasus, so we'll see what we can get done this year. I've always said, you don't know to complain about the post position until after a race is run. It might work out perfectly for him. The horse is doing extremely well and in the capable hands of Florent Geroux. Hopefully we'll have a big day Saturday and send the 2017 Horse of the Year out on top."
Gun Runner also schooled in the paddock during the fourth race in the afternoon. Owner Ron Paolucci said, "If you drew it up on paper and tried to make the race as fair as you possibly could, I think you've got speed on the inside, speed in the middle and speed on the outside. It's going to be a real rider's race going into that first turn. That's going to be the whole thing. Obviously, everybody is going to have their eyes on Gun Runner and Gun Runner is going to have his eye on everybody else."
Collected galloped on the main track and then schooled in the paddock in the afternoon (right). Jockey Mike Smith said, I'm not going to be favored by any means. But if there's a horse in the race that could turn the table on Gun Runner, I'm certainly on one of them. So, the pressure is probably going to be, I would have to say, more on the Gun Runner team than our team. But in saying that I still have got to get a lot of things done and done right to even give myself a chance to beat him. Hopefully he jumps out extremely well. Get out and get into a place that I feel is happy and comfortable for my horse and then see where everyone's at."
Fear the Cowboy galloped on Thursday morning. Trainer Efren Loza Jr. said, "We have a really good position. With the style of the horse, I think that is one of the best positions for that race. Our horse is in really good form. We are going to make our own. It all depends on the pace. Tyler (Gaffalione) will have a decision. He can go close to the pace or he can go a little bit easier in the first part of the race and we will try to be running the last half-mile." Owner Raffaele Centofanti added, "We come from pretty much the bottom up with this horse, buying him at the sale for $1,500. Seeing him grow from our farm to now has been really nice. Why not give it a chance? He loves the track, he runs well and I think he deserves it. I think the whole team deserves it and we're really happy."
Giant Expectations went out for a gallop (left) and then schooled in the paddock during the first race in the afternoon (right).
Gunnevera galloped twice around. Trainer Antonio Sano said, "I like the inside, so 6 is very good. The speed is good for us. Gun Runner outside; Sharp Azteca inside; West Coast inside; Collected inside. It all depends on the jockeys. He is in better condition than he was for the Breeders' Cup Classic (where he dead-heated with Arrogate for fifth). He is more mature. He's ready for the race. We are expecting a fast pace. It is a big help for our running style, which is from the back."
Seeking the Soul galloped on Thursday. Trainer Dallas Stewart said, "He's just been very sharp, very happy about his job. He's eating well, he's healthy, and he looks great, he's all dappled out. I think he's going to be ready to go. He can lay right off of them. He wants to get up quickly into the race, but he really runs better when he gets in the middle and kind of fights his way through. He kind of likes to fight. If he's got a target, he really likes that. I think he's going to have a target here."
Sharp Azteca went out very early Thursday. Trainer Jorge Navarro said, "There's a lot of speed in there. We'll let them go out, see what they do, and try to go outside and make one move. We don't need the lead." Owner Ron Paolucci added, "Sharp Azteca is a rocket, so anybody that really wants to try to run with him if he's intent is really going to cook themselves. Him being on the inside of the other three key speeds, it's going to either be a very past pace or there's going to be a lot of grabbing. He does love Gulfstream, and he's more tactical than people give him credit for. I don't think you need to run him off his feet early to get his best race."
Singing Bullet gallops on the main track. Trainer Dale Romans said, "It's a very tough race but we have a horse that's doing good, he's a big strong colt that's going in the right direction. You have to throw out his last race when he stumbled so bad out of the gate. When you have a horse that's doing good, going the right way, anything can happen. I want to study the race a little bit and I'll sit down with Robby (Albarado) when he gets to town and we'll talk about it and try to figure out how to pull an upset. We've done it a couple of times in this game, maybe we can do one more."
Stellar Wind galloped Thursday morning and then schooled during the fifth race in the afternoon. She is the first filly or mare to run in the Pegasus. Trainer Chad Brown said, "She's been working really well. Each week she seems to be getting a little stronger. She came to us in really good shape to begin with. Lately I saw her works pick up and we're excited to run her."
Toast of New York galloped on the main track. Trainer Jamie Osborne said, "We're happy (with post 9). I had a long chat with Frankie (Dettori) last night he's the one who has to do the steering and he felt that being out there between 6-10 he would be happy enough, so 9 is fine." Co-owner Dean Reeves added, "This horse is training well, he's got talent and you've got to believe. Sometimes you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, but you've got to believe it's there."
War Story was first to gallop this morning at around 5:45am. owner Ron Paolucci said, "Being that it's so close going into that first turn, I think the first three steps are going to be paramount. It's going to decide who breaks and who takes up. You saw last year with California Chrome, who broke half a step slow, if any of these break a half a step slow they're going to be really compromised and have to change their strategy." Trainer Jorge Navarro added, "He's been around for so long (6-year-old gelding). He knows how to stay fit. I've got to keep him happy, that's it. Of that Kentucky Derby class (2015), he is the only one that's still knocking them down. He still wants to do it. He wants to be a little bit longer (than 1 1/8 miles). But with all of the speed in this race, it's going to be to his advantage. There are a lot of fast horses in the race."
West Coast galloped on Thursday and then schooled in the paddock during the first race in the afternoon. "I think he has really matured," trainer Bob Baffert said. "He's a little bit anxious in the paddock. Sometimes he'll run half a race in the paddock. It's tough getting the saddle on him. I think he has become more professional. He shows you more in the afternoon. He's healthy and he looks great. This is a tough field. Last year it was a big showdown between Arrogate and California Chrome. This year we have Gun Runner. He is the big horse and he should be. I feel like I'm second and third. Racing luck determines everything. We all need it."

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