Saffie Joseph 1000 wins
Ken McPeek 3000 wins
Sovereign Award finalists
Derby Points List
Omaha Beach with the giant statue of Pegasus fighting a dragon in the background at Gulfstream Park.
The fourth running of the formerly $9 million downgraded to $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) is Saturday at Gulfstream Park and all the horses entered are on the grounds now. A full field of 12 was drawn for the World Cup with no also-eligibles. Immediately before the Pegasus is the 2nd running of the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), which drew 13 (12 will start, with Tusk the also-eligible). For the first time, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf will be run free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards.
Here are some photos of the horses prepping for the races from Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Despite the sunny conditions, it has been unusually chilly for south Florida, with the temperature dropping down to the high 30's at the start of training hours on Wednesday. Because of this, there have been reports of falling iguanas. Iguanas become lethargic and even immobile when temperatures drop into the 40's, causing the lizards to fall out of trees.
|Omaha Beach gets new shoes for the Pegasus World Cup, scheduled to be the final start of his career. However, on Thursday, X-rays detected the start of a cannon bone fracture in his right rear ankle so he has been scratched from the race and officially retired. Owner Rick Porter said, "This horse means so much to the people connected to him because he has so much personality. We've just had bad luck with him. He was going into the Derby in great shape as the favorite and we had to scratch him. Then in this one he was doing great, was going to be the heavy favorite and be his last race, and this happens. This race meant so much to all of us, but you have to put the horse first. Once the X-rays were read, there was no talk of running. When I talked on the phone with (trainer) Richard Mandella and (jockey) Mike Smith, I think all three of us were crying. It's a shame we never got to see him at his best. He and Songbird were the two best horses I ever had and I've been fortunate enough to have some good ones. This guy, between his personality, his talent and his bad luck, was special."
|Arklow galloped once around in preparation for the Pegasus Turf. Trainer Brad Cox said, "That day there wasn't a lot of speed in the (Joe Hirsch Turf Classic), but the horse we thought would be on the lead that day was behind him. He's a little bit of a tricky horse to figure out where he's going to place himself. I've seen him break and the rider content with where he's sitting where he is and him taking the rider up into the race. Given that he's 6 years old, we still haven't figured him out. I just know he runs well."
|Channel Cat walks the shedrow. Trainer Todd Pletcher said of his Turf entrant, "We felt like we needed to see if he fit in a race like this, and I thought he ran a strong enough race last time to give it a try. If you look at his PP lines, he's run against the best American horses all year. My concern is that he's really at his best at a mile and three-eighths or a mile and a half, but we'll give it a shot."
|Henley's Joy galloped on the main track in preparation for the Turf. Trainer Mike Maker said, "If you win one of those races every year, it's a good year. He had some tough luck in a few races that might have went the other way if he got through, but that's racing. He shows up every single time. He's a picture and he's been working well here. It's a tough task to ask him in his first start against 4-year-olds, but he's earned it."
|Higher Power comes off the van at the barn area. Trainer John Sadler said, "We got a deluge (in last year's Pegasus). I think Accelerate handled a muddy track OK, but City of Light adored it. He ran a good race. It was a step back for him, but circumstances worked against us. We ran him on turf the first time at Del Mar and he was an unlucky second and should have won. He was training so well over the Del Mar dirt we decided to try the Pacific Classic. We were just delighted. He got a good trip and won it. He has a lot of stamina and he's improving. To my mind, he's probably second choice in the Pegasus. In the Breeders' Cup Classic he got away slowly and was third. I think with a good break in the Breeders' Cup he'd probably have been right there close for second. Vino Rosso was going to be the winner that day. But all things considered, it wasn't a bad race."
|Instilled Regard walks the shedrow. The 5-year-old son of Arch was an impressive half-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream in just his second start off a six-month layoff. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the call in the Pegasus Turf from Post 6.
|Mo Forza arrives at Gulfstream Park for the Pegasus Turf. Trainer Peter Miller said, "I'm very pleased with the horse. He's just really come into his own in the last few months. He's a very sound, healthy horse and we're really looking forward to Saturday. He had been unlucky. He could have won a couple races before breaking his maiden, but he just had some bad luck. It's just been maturation. He's starting to figure the game out. I really can't put a finger on it other than experience and maturity. He's the kind of horse you can put anywhere in the race. He's won from up close and he's won from pretty far back, so he's very versatile. I think the distance should suit him well."
|Mr. Freeze galloped once around. The multiple graded-stakes winner, enters the Pegasus off a third-place finish in the Nov. 29 Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. Trainer Dale Romans awarded the mount to Luis Saez.
|Mucho Gusto went out for a jog in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup. Trainer Bob Baffert said, "It's going to be tough, but there aren't any easy spots. It's a tough field, so you need a lot of racing luck leaving there. He's quick. He's got a lot of speed. It's a mile and an eighth and it's a $3 million race. It's exciting. It's an event and it's become an event. I'm glad they still have it because we need those kind of races and I want to be part of it. It would be great to win it again."
|Next Shares went out for a gallop, back to try the Turf again after finishing 7th last year. The 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) winner went winless in five subsequent starts before ending 2019 with a victory in the Seabiscuit over Sacred Life. Jose Valdivia Jr. returns to ride from from Post 9.
|Sacred Life walked the shedrow.
|Seeking the Soul walked the shedrow in preparation for his third attempt at the Pegasus. The Dallas Stewart-trained 7-year-old son of Perfect Soul has been winless in four starts since capturing the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs June 15. Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard for the Foster score and last year's runner-up finish in the Pegasus, will be back aboard.
|Tax in his stall. He will seek his first Grade 1 victory in the Pegasus. The 4-year-old gelded son of Arch was claimed for $50,000 at Keeneland in October 2018 and went on to win the Withers (G3) and finish second in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he finished well back in the field. The Danny Gargan-trained gelding captured the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga before weakening to seventh in the Travers. New rider Jose Ortiz gets the call.
|Tenfold enjoying his Gulfstream accomodations. Trainer Steve Asmussen said, "He's run some very big races. His third in the Preakness by three-quarters of a length to Justify, his Pimlico Special and the Jim Dandy. On his best day, he's obviously capable of very good things, but he has not been as consistent as we would have hoped and don't feel he's completely taken advantage of all the chances he's been given. But he's also a horse that's an extremely good ‘doer,' a very sound horse that's doing really well right now. With the invitation to the Pegasus in a very wide-open year, excluding possibly one horse, here we go."
|Without Parole checks out his new surroundings. The second choice on the morning line at 4-1 will have the services of famed international jockey Frankie Dettori from Post 3 in the Turf
|There are lots of birds at Gulfstream Park. On the left is a white ibis and on the right is an Eqyptian goose.
|A couple of different views of the Pegasus fighting a dragon statue.
Back to Horse-Races.Net main page