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Ryan Moore aboard Warm Heart after winning the 2024 Pegasus World Cup Turf
The $1 million 1/ST BET Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) was contested on Saturday afternoon at Gulfstream Park in south Florida. Conditions were excellent in South Florida, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 80's, and the turf course firm. A field of 12 older horses went to post for this 1 1/8 mile contest, Integration sent off as the 6-5 favorite, undefeated in 3 starts including the Virginia Derby (G3) at Colonial and the Hill Prince (G2) at Aqueduct. In to challenge him included 9-4 second choice and filly Warm Heart, third in the Hong Kong Vase (G1) after finishing a close second in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), and 9-1 third choice Webslinger, second in the Hollywood Derby (G1).
Down the stretch in the Pegasus World Cup Turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 9 Warm Heart Moore 6.80 4.40 3.80 4 I'm Very Busy Ortiz Jr. 12.60 7.20 12 Catnip Dettori 13.20 Winning Time: 1:44.45 $1 Exacta 9-4 54.50 $1 Trifecta 9-4-12 834.90 $1 Superfecta 9-4-12-1 17,310.20Results Chart
Left: Warm Heart in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Ryan Moore said, "She's always traveling very comfortably. I didn't want to be there too early, and I didn't want to be tipping out into the straight, and I thought I'd rather just wait. She's a great filly. She's had an incredible year. She hasn't had a bad race. The leader, he was always leaning out, and he was weakening and I knew I had plenty of horse, so no problem. I was happy to wait. This is the second day I've ridden here. I've ridden plenty of places now, so it would be a poor excuse if I had lost. She broke smart and she was able to put herself in that spot, and I was always happy."
Right: Warm Heart heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said (by phone from Ireland), "Ryan obviously gave her an incredible ride and has done such an incredible job. We're just so delighted for everyone, and for her to go off now to Justify is so exciting. She's absolutely made for him. She's an incredible filly. Ryan said it just didn't work out for her the last race. But she's tactical, she's tough and she quickens. She doesn't do an awful lot when she gets there but that's the way she's always been. She's very classy and very hardy, loves the fast ground. We'd love to have her and to be racing her, but the lads' business is breeding these horses and she's an absolutely incredible broodmare to be going to Justify."
Left: Second place finisher I'm Very Busy returns after the race. Trainer Chad Brown said, "I thought he got a really good trip. Our goal was to follow one of the live horses. Drawn next to Integration, that was the horse to follow and Irad [Ortiz Jr.] executed it perfectly. He had to pause just momentarily in the stretch to wait for a seam and it might have cost him the win there. We're very proud of him."
Right: Third place finisher Catnip returns after the race. Jockey Frankie Dettori said, "He was very good to me. I had good position in fourth. I had to use a bit of energy to get into position. At the top of the lane I thought I'd win. He ran a super race. With a better post, it could have been a different story."
Didia (outside) wins the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf
Didia and 15-1 Accomplished Girl dueled for the lead through fractions of 24.88, 48.62, and 1:12.01 while stalked by 43-1 longest shot Sister Lou Ann and Ruby Nell. Turning for home, Accomplished Girl tired allowing Didia to take over the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.14. Kept to task by Jose Ortiz, Didia outfinished 27-1 Surprisingly to win by a neck in 1:40.90. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Ruby Nell third.
Left: Didia heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "We thought that she was going to run off like she did in California, that she was going to go off in :46 or something like that, but she didn't. When I hit the first turn, I knew we were going very reasonable and I was able to take the position that I did. You can see her head and she put her ears up on the backside. I was head-to-head but she was relaxed. I was very happy in the position that I was. She gave me a very nice kick from the 3/16th to the last couple of yards. The other horses started gaining more ground on me but she was already on the end."
Right: Didia returns after the race. Winning trainer Ignacio Correas IV said, "It's our first time coming here, and it's really great. I told Jose to be close and don't leave her that much to do. He was a bit closer but when I saw that the pace was not that fast, I was very happy with where she was. I thought if she got beat it was going to be if she beat herself. She had everything in her favor. I think that probably she's better than I ever imagined. She can do whatever. When you think that she was running 1 1/4 and them come and put in such a performance almost wire to wire, close to the lead, these horses they just train themselves. We just need to stay out of the way."
Left: Second place finisher Surprisingly returns after the race. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "She closed really well. The fractions were pretty soft. She was at a disadvantage. I'm pleased with her effort. [Oisin Murphy] worked his way over. It kind of worked out well. She didn't break well. He kind of tucked in and she worked her way through horses. Then he found a seam for himself."
Right: Third place finisher Ruby Nell in the paddock. Trainer Richard Mandella said, "She ran nice. She got away from the gate a little bit too relaxed. I guess I put her to sleep with my training. We're going to have to set the alarm clock better next time. With that pace, she should have been cruising right along. Hey, I'm happy to be third."
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