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Javier Castellano celebrates aboard City of Light after winning the 2019 Pegasus World Cup
The third running of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) for older horses was contested on Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park in south Florida. Heavy rain fell during the race onto the already sloppy main track, with temperatures in the low 60's. The maximum field of 12 contested this 1 1/8 mile main track feature, with Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner and Champion Older Horse Accelerate sent off as the 3-2 favorite. In to challenge him included 9-5 second choice City of Light, winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and 9-1 third choice Audible, 2nd in the Harlan's Holiday (G3).
City of Light leads down the stretch in the Pegasus World Cup
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 City of Light Castellano 5.80 4.20 3.00 4 Seeking the Soul Velazquez 19.20 8.20 5 Accelerate Rosario 2.80 Winning Time: 1:47.71 $1 Exacta 3-4 41.10 $1 Trifecta 3-4-5 105.20 $0.10 Superfecta 3-4-5-1 67.85Results Chart
Left: City of Light in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a perfect trip. That's what I was looking for today. I know Patternrecognition on the outside has speed. I had to use him a little bit early to get the positon I was looking for. Watching all the races, speed was holding pretty good. The track is in good condition. We got a lot of rain, nothing we can do. I think it worked out perfect. I used the horse a little bit to get my spot, and then tried to control the race all the way. This is just amazing. It's what we all want, to be able to win a race like this."
Right: City of Light heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: City of Light in the paddock. Winning trainer Mike McCarthy said, "It's just wonderful. When he broke well and was able to kind of ease out outside of horses coming to the mile pole, I was very, very happy. Turning up the backside, Javier eased him off the fence. It looked like everybody was content with their position up the backside. When Javier started moving at the half-mile pole, it didn't appear that anybody was really pressuring him. He was able to go ahead and hold off his run for a little bit. One he switched leads coming into the lane, you saw what happened. It was over. I'm very happy for the horse. He's an amazing animal, an amazing athlete."
Right: City of Light shortly after the start of the race next to favorite Accelerate.
Left: Second place finisher Seeking the Soul walks over before the race. Jockey John Velazquez said, "He ran good, I wish I had a better trip going through the three eighths pole. When Jose Ortiz stopped, everybody gathered up at the same time, so I had to steady there, go to the outside, come back to the inside again and he still ran a good race. It's just a shame we didn't have the best trip."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Accelerate returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "This horse you have to ride him the whole time, and he was comfortable. I thought he was fine where he was and turning for home he looked OK, but Javier had so much horse. When he turned him loose he just went on. My horse kept trying but the horse in front had a better trip."
Left: The start of the Pegasus World Cup. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard 6th place finisher Gunnevera (post 8) said, "I don't think I had the right trip. I felt so sorry for him because he wanted to run today. But I didn't really get him in the right place at the right time. I had to check a bit, and I think it cost me a lot. Probably I don't win the race, but I'd have had a better position."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Pegasus World Cup with owner William Warren in the green coat and trainer Michael McCarthy to the right of the trophy behind jockey Javier Castellano.