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Check out our predictions and odds for the Pegasus World Cup Turf at Gulfstream Park!
I Ortiz Jr
H G Motion
ONE MORE BID
H G Motion
WHO’S THE STAR
S Joseph Jr
I Ortiz Jr
*Odds provided by Gulfstream Park.
$5 Exacta Part Wheel - City Man over Ivar, Lady Speightspeare, Speaking Scout, Atone, Master Piece and Good Governance = $30
$5 Exacta Part Wheel - Ivar, Lady Speightspeare, Speaking Scout, Atone, Master Piece, and Good Governance over City Man = $30
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick City Man (4/1).
Defeated by only one length when last seen in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, Ivar headlines a field of 12 older grass horses in Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
A 7-year-old son of Agnes Gold, the Paulo Lobo trainee has not won since July but nonetheless finished off 2022 with consecutive solid performances in Grade 1 races.
Second-place finishes in both the Woodbine Mile and Turf Mile set him up for another try in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was very competitive once again but had to settle for a close-up fourth behind the winner Modern Games.
Chief among his opposition in the 9-furlong Pegasus World Cup Turf will be the streaking New York-bred City Man.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the 6-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man has won stakes in each of his last three starts, and four of five overall.
Most recently, City Man was an impressive winner of the local prep for this, scoring a 1 1/2-length victory in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale four weeks ago.
Adding intrigue to the Pegasus World Cup Turf field is the presence of the mare Lady Speightspeare.
Trained by Roger Attfield, the 5-year-old daughter of Speightstown had a three-race winning streak broken last time when she finished a very good third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland on November 5.
Bred in Brazil, this classy 7-year-old has run three consecutive years in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile and has performed well each time. The latest came in his most recent start when he was beaten only one length by the star Modern Games.
A repeat of that effort will give the morning line favorite a big chance in here. Having said that, I think there are reasons to take a shot against him as the favorite. For all his good races, he has only won a single graded stakes race in America and that came more than two years ago.
He is also a bit of a question mark going an extra eighth of a mile over his preferred flat mile trip. Still, he must be respected for his class and consistency.
The first of two from top turf trainer Christophe Clement, this New York-bred could not be going any better. A winner of five stakes races in his 5-year-old season, he closed out 2022 with a bang by winning three straight.
Best of all, the last one came over this Gulfstream Park turf course when he rolled late in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale. He also has a versatile running style that gives his rider plenty of options depending on the early pace.
This will be his biggest test yet, but given his run four weeks ago, there is every reason in the world to believe that he can keep up his top form now as a mature 6-year-old. He is the top pick.
It’s always interesting to see a female take on the boys in a big race, and this mare is certainly in with a chance. Trained by Roger Attfield, she finished last year in top form, winning three consecutive graded stakes races at Woodbine before a bang-up third in the Breeders’ Cup.
In fact, that field in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, in which she was beaten only 1 1/2 lengths, might have been stronger than what she will see here. This will only be her second try at Gulfstream Park, but her good tactical speed should suit her well.
Having seldom thrown in a poor performance in her career and seemingly better than ever, she has a real shot to take down the males in this million-dollar race.
Trainer Graham Motion seems to have this 4-year-old gelded son of Mr. Speaker heading in the right direction.
He scored a romping win in the Hawthorne Derby three starts back, and after a narrow miss in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita, he came back to get up and win the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar last time.
That one came against 3-year-olds, so this will be a bigger test, but given his recent form, he is hard to dismiss. The nine furlongs of the Pegasus World Cup Turf seems to ideally suit the late runner, as well.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, this 4-year-old son of Practical Joke has accounted himself well since switching to the turf four starts back. A graded stakes winner on the dirt, he has run well in each of the four turf tries.
He has not broken through in graded stakes races on the grass yet, though, and this looks to be the toughest test yet. He is consistent enough to consider, but making his first start against older horses will be no bargain.
He is in with a shot, but I do prefer others in this deep field and he might not offer as good a value as several listed below him.
A Chilean import, this Mastercraftsman gray has only won 2-of-10 starts since arriving in the United States. He’s kept very good company, though, and in fact, exits the Breeders’ Cup Turf where he faded to eighth.
Considering the competition, it wasn’t such a poor performance, and followed some very nice races in Southern California. His biggest performance came three races back when he exploded down the lane to win the Grade 2 Eddie Read going away.
That one came at the same 9-furlong distance he will see on Saturday. This will be his first start for a new trainer, so it will be interesting to see how he does in the Saffie Joseph, Jr. barn. He is a live longshot.
This Mike Maker-trained veteran might be the most likely horse to be on the early lead. There is not a lot of early speed in the race, so that could be an advantage.
Although he has yet to break through in a stakes race, he has run plenty of good races in his career, including a solid fourth in this race last year. He finished off last season with a romping allowance score at Aqueduct going wire-to-wire, and now he has had a brief freshening since.
He should come out sharp and ready to show his speed. He also has run well in both his previous tries over this grass course. He is one of my favorite longshots in the race.
The second of two from the Clement barn, this 6-year-old son of Declaration of War was a very classy runner in his younger days. Not quite at his best in 2021, he only got in two races before an injury forced a layoff of 16 months.
Since returning, he has been pretty solid, with a win and two seconds in four starts. The good news is the latest was his best yet, when he beat everyone but his stablemate in Ft. Lauderdale.
If he indeed is rounding into his best form, he deserves respect here on his back class alone. He is in with a chance, but I do prefer several others.
After being a part of the Chad Brown barn for most of his career, this 7-year-old son of Kingman ran a sneaky good race when fourth in the Ft. Lauderdale for his new trainer Anna Meah.
A similar type of performance to that one, which he overcame not the best of trips to be beaten less than two lengths, puts him in with a fighting chance in this million-dollar affair. He was a big longshot that afternoon and he should be again on Saturday.
Although he has missed a lot of time over the years, he has been a consistent horse when he made it to the races. He is a longshot I will include in the exotics here.
This one is new to the barn of Graham Motion after being based in his native France the last four seasons. He did put together a decent record there, but many of his wins came early in his career.
He actually ran in the 2020 edition of the Group 1 French Derby as an unbeaten horse, but finished well back. Last year, he went 0-for-6, but kept solid company and was second in three of them. The year before that, his only wins came in allowance company.
He merits consideration here, because in general European turf, racing is superior to that in the U.S. but still would be a bit of a surprise having yet to win in any of his many tries against group stakes horses.
This gelded son of California Chrome was still a maiden only a few months ago. He was finally able to break through and win a maiden race two starts back and quickly came back to become a graded stakes winner in his most recent start.
Both of those wins came at a flat mile and in Southern California. Now he will travel across the country to face this Grade 1 field at a distance a furlong further than he has ever run before.
The good news is that his form is good and he has fired in all four-lifetime turf starts. Still, it would seem like an awfully big leap to go from a horse struggling to break his maiden to the winner of this in a few short months.
This son of Tonalist had a very good year in 2022 for trainer Mark Casse, winning 6-of-11. In fact, he will come into this race off three straight stakes victories. They all came on the all-weather track at Woodbine, however.
Most recently, he dead-heated for the win in the 12-furlong Valedictory Stakes eight weeks ago. While his form is good, the late runner has yet to prove himself against this type of competition.
It is also unclear if the turf is his best surface. Perhaps he can pass tired horses, but I like too many better to strongly consider him on Saturday.
As part of the Also Eligible list, he will only run in the event of a scratch from the field. If he does draw in, he looks like an unlikely candidate to be a contender.
The least experienced horse in the field, he was able to string a maiden win and an allowance win together last year but was unable to win his last two in listed stakes competition. He does look to have a future, but this test would likely be a bit too much, too soon.
As part of the Also Eligible list, he will only run in the event of scratches from the field. If he does draw in, I would find him hard to recommend.
Most recently, he finished ninth behind City Man in the Ft. Lauderdale. Before that, he was a surprise winner of the Grade 3 Knickerbocker in New York, but that came when he was loose at a slow pace. He is a cut below these.
Pegasus World Cup Turf Race Information
What: Pegasus World Cup Turf (Grade1)
Location: Gulfstream Park
Time: Saturday, January 28 -- 4:40 pm Eastern time
How to Watch: FanDuel TV
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.
Email: [email protected]
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