Pegasus World Cup Turf Predictions, Odds, Top Picks (Gulfstream Park)

Pegasus World Cup Turf Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
J Spencer B Walsh
2 ATONE 20/1
J Castellano M Maker
3 FLAVIUS 15/1
P Lopez M Maker
E Gonzalez M Casse
T Gaffalione D Blacker
I Ortiz Jr T Pletcher
7 DOSWELL 10/1
J Alvarado B Tagg
J Ortiz C Brown
U Rispoli M Maker
J Rosario J Sisterson
R Gutierrez M Maker
L Saez T Pletcher

Best Bets for the Pegasus World Cup Turf

Here are my plays ($50 in total)

$2 Trifecta key – Colonel Liam over Never Surprised, Sacred Life, Doswell and Atone = $24

$5 Exacta part wheel – Colonel Liam over Never Surprised, Sacred Life, Doswell and Atone = $20

$3 Exacta part wheel – Doswell and Atone over Colonel Liam = $6

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Colonel Liam (3/1).

Pegasus World Cup Turf Predictions

Trainer Todd Pletcher holds a strong hand when he sends out the duo of Colonel Liam and Never Surprised to headline a deep field of twelve older males set for Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park.

Colonel Liam is the defending champion of the race and a slight morning-line favorite over his younger stablemate. A 5-year-old son of Liam’s Map, he sports a 2-for-2 record at Gulfstream Park, having also taken home the Tropical Park Derby in December of 2020. That win sparked a four-race winning streak, which included a pair of Grade 1 races. His season came to a premature end, though, when he ran the first bad race of his career in the Grade 1 Manhattan. Given some time after that race, he has been off for more than seven months but has been training well for his return

The speedy Never Surprised comes into the Grade 1 race off two powerful victories. A son of Constitution, he has finished first or second in all seven of his career starts. Yet to breakthrough in a graded race, his last two romping victories came in listed stakes and against 3-year-olds. Making his first start against older horses, he returns to Gulfstream where he finished second in the Grade 3 Kitten’s Joy in his only previous start at the South Florida track.

The 9-furlong grass test has many other interesting contenders, including Sacred Life and Field Pass. The experienced pair have taken turns beating each other in a pair of graded stakes on opposite coasts, exchanging narrow victories in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park and the Grade 2 Seabiscuit at Del Mar.

Pegasus World Cup Turf Predictions

Colonel Liam

The impressive winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf in 2021 has been away for nearly eight months. That’s not usually the ideal way you want to enter a big race, but his trainer Todd Pletcher knows how to have his horses run well fresh. This one has already returned a winner off a layoff before in his career, so there is good reason to believe that we will see him come back in good form. If that is the case, I like his chances on a turf course that he clearly likes. Before turning in a poor performance in last year’s Manhattan, the son of Liam’s Map had proven himself to be on a shortlist of America’s top turf horses. With the time off and now a mature 5-year-old, he may be even better this year. He is the top pick.

Never Surprised

The speed of the field, and the other half of the strong Pletcher pair, he will need to expend some energy from his far outside post if he hopes to take his usual early position on the lead as the field heads into the first turn. He will then likely have some other talented speed in here to deal with. That seems like a lot to ask of a horse who has never faced this difficult a field before. Those are the reasons I do not like him best, but having seen the way he has dominated his competition in his last two, he must be respected. If allowed to go on an easy lead down the backstretch, he becomes the horse to beat.

Sacred Life

Chad Brown’s only entrant was a nice rallying winner of the Grade 3 Knickerbocker two starts back for his only win in six starts last year. It seems that he does enough to get consistently bet at the windows, but not quite enough to be a consistent winner the last two years. Having said that, he is going well of late, and should have a solid early pace to set up his late run. I believe the 7-year-old French-bred is a cut below my top pick, but he looks like one of the most likely in the field to rally for a spot in the exotics.

Hit the Road

On his best, this California-based runner has a big shot in here, but traveling from the West Coast, it’s natural to wonder if he will turn in his absolute best in South Florida. Last time he left the friendly confines of Southern California, his late kick was not quite the same at Keeneland. Still, he is a very consistent closer who must be respected as he makes his first start beyond the one mile distance in which he has run in eleven consecutive starts. I’m siding with others, but I do recognize this Grade 1 winner as dangerous.

Field Pass

Nearing a million dollars in earnings, this multiple-stakes winning son of Lemon Drop Kid has been going well of late for trainer Mike Maker. In fact, he has been involved in two consecutive photo finishes with the well-respected Sacred Life. Once again, he should be in the mix as he returns to a turf course where he won his only start. A horse who merits respect, but with good speed ahead of him and good closers behind him, I don’t believe he has the kind of turn of foot of Colonel Liam, who has a similar running style. I respect him, but I like a few others better here.


Veteran trainer Barclay Tagg picked up the training duties of this lightly-raced 7-year-old a couple of summers back and has saddled him to his only three career wins. Clearly a horse with talent, who has some issues, he was never better than when he rolled wire-to-wire in last month’s Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale. It would seem Tagg has found the key to getting this horse happy and to the races and with some very good races at Gulfstream Park under his belt, he looks like a real threat to make some noise in his biggest test yet.

Channel Cat

Another experienced runner, this one was tenth in this race two years back. A winner of $1.4 million, he’s found some big success here and there, like when he won the Grade 1 Man O’ War last spring, but they’ve become pretty few and far between of late. He is also cutting back to a distance that he has not seen in over a year and generally I believe he is best at longer distances. He’s hard to completely throw out, given some of the wins he’s had over the years, but this looks like a tough spot for the son of English Channel.

Space Traveller

An English import now trained by Brendan Walsh, this one has not won much in the last two years. His only win in that time was in a listed stakes race at York seven races back. Having said that, he has run in several big races in the United States and has never been embarrassed. His first trip to Gulfstream was a bit disappointing, though, finishing fourth behind Doswell in the Ft. Lauderdale last time. He’ll obviously need to improve upon that effort. It’s certainly possible, given his class, but as far as winning, I prefer several others here.

Cross Border

The winner of the Grade 2 Bowling Green last summer at Saratoga, this 8-year-old son of English Channel really seems to do his best racing at the upstate New York oval. Away from Saratoga, he is still a nice horse, as evidenced by his recent win over the all-weather track at Turfway Park, but just not quite the same. At Gulfstream Park, he is 0-for-4, but has been competitive. In fact, last year he was a pretty good third in this race behind Colonel Liam. Can he do even better this year? I don’t think it’s very likely for the New York-bred.


Another one from the Maker barn, this 7-year-old has won a stakes race in each of the last two years. Those are his only two wins in eleven starts since coming to America from Europe. He’s often in the mix, though, and has gone off favored in each of his last four starts, including last time when he was third in the Artie Schiller Stakes. This race is obviously tougher than that. Like every single horse in the field, if he fires his absolute best shot, he’s in with a chance, but I don’t see enough positives to get excited about his chances.

March to the Arch

The winner of just a shade under $1 million in earnings in his career did not do much last time at Aqueduct when fifth in the Artie Schiller. With a little break in between that start and Saturday’s test, trainer Mark Casse will try to have the veteran back to his best. He’ll need it to make a serious dent in this field, but if he can find his best late kick, he does rate a chance. He’s had some good results over the years at Gulfstream, and there should be some pace to run at. I like others better than this 7-year-old, but a rally into the exotics is not out of the question.


This son of Into Mischief has been improving steadily since being transferred to the barn of Mike Maker. He will have attractive odds in this one, but he might just be ready to do something big. After some nice performances in New York, he ran second to Doswell last time in the Ft. Lauderdale. It was a race where the winner controlled things on the front end, but Atone rallied nicely and was second best. If he can continue to improve and perhaps run even better in his second start at Gulfstream, this is a long shot that I could see making some noise on Saturday.

How to watch the Pegasus World Cup Turf

Pegasus World Cup Turf Race Information
What Pegasus World Cup Turf (Grade 1)
Location Gulfstream Park
Time Saturday, January 29 — 4:49pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $1,000,000

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

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