Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto and Charlatan are among a dozen Grade 1 and Grade 2 winners on a list of 16 horses invited Sunday to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
The fifth running of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, won previously by Longines World’s Best Racehorse Arrogate (2017), Horse of the Year Gun Runner (2018), Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner City of Light and Mucho Gusto (2020), will be run Saturday, Jan. 23 along with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).
Limited seating is available and tickets can be purchased at Pegasusworldcup.com.
The Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf will be part of an extraordinary program featuring seven graded stakes, four contested on the turf. Stakes on Pegasus Day will also include the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125,000 William L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 Marshua’s River (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3) and $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3).
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The 12 horses given first preference for the Pegasus World Cup were (in alphabetical order):
Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, Golconda Stables. Trained by Bob Baffert
Charlatan was regarded as one of the country’s top 3-year-olds after his performance in the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) but he was sidelined with an ankle injury before returning off a seven-month layoff to win the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.
Code of Honor
Owned by W.S. Farish. Trained by Shug McGaughey
W.S. Farish’s homebred Code of Honor will be making his 13th consecutive start in a graded race, his ninth in a Grade 1 event. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor was placed second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) and went on to win the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club (G1). Code of Honor’s 4-year-old season included a victory in the Westchester (G3) and second-place finishes in the Clark (G1) and Kelso (G2).
Harpers First Ride
Owned by MCA Racing Stable LLC. Trained by Claudio Gonzalez
Harpers First Ride, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred, enters the Pegasus having won four of his last five starts including a victory in the Pimlico Special (G3). Maryland’s perennial leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez will saddle the son of Paynter.
Owned by Grupo 7C Racing Stable. Trained by Jose D’Angelo
Jesus’ Team, second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and beaten less than a length by Knicks Go, sold for $30,000 as a yearling and has earned $508,940. The Jose D’Angelo-trained 4-year-old finished third in the Preakness (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2) last year.
Kiss Today Goodbye
Owned by John Sondereker. Trained by J. Eric Kruljac
John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye, a lightly-raced 4-year-old, upset Mucho Gusto and four others Dec. 26 in the Malibu when he closed from last. Trained by J. Eric Kruljak, Kiss Today Goodbye had finished fifth in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and fourth in the Twilight Derby (G2) earlier in the year.
Owned by Korea Racing Authority. Trained by Brad Cox
Multiple Grade 1 winner Knicks Go enters the Pegasus off three consecutive victories since being moved to the stable of Brad Cox. The 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Paynter was an impressive winner last time out of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister. Trained by Dale Romans
Mr Freeze finished second in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, 4 ½ lengths behind winner Mucho Gusto. Trained by Dale Romans, Mr Freeze went on to win the Fayette Stakes (G2) before wide trips resulted in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and fifth-place finish in the Clark last time out.
Owned by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Khaled. Trained by Bob Baffert
After his victory in the Pegasus last year Mucho Gusto finished fourth Feb. 29 in the Saudi Cup before Baffert gave the 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man time off. He returned Dec. 26 to finish fourth of six in the San Antonio (G2).
2020 Pegasus World Cup Replay
Owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Mark Glatt. Trained by Mark Glatt
Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus’ Team for the place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and City of Hope (G2). His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf.
Sleepy Eyes Todd
Owned by Thumbs Up Racing, LLC. Trained by Miguel Angel Silva
Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 19. The 5-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado, who won the Charles Town Classic (G2) in August, has been a model of consistency, winning eight of 15 races while racing at 11 different tracks for trainer Miguel Angel Silva.
Owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch. Trained by Danny Gargan
Tax, claimed for $50,000 out of his second career start by trainer Danny Gargan for co-owner Hugh Lynch, will run in his second consecutive Pegasus. The 5-year-old, an impressive winner of the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 12 off a seven-month layoff, was fourth in the 2019 Belmont (G1) and won that year’s Jim Dandy (G2). The son of Arch finished ninth in last year’s Pegasus after stumbling at the start.
Owned by Calumet Farm. Trained by Jack Sisterson
Calumet Farm is hoping the third time is the charm for True Timber. Seventh in the 2019 edition of the Pegasus and eighth last year, the 7-year-old enters this year’s $3 million edition off a popular victory in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 5 at Aqueduct. It was his first win in 13 starts, since September of 2018.
The also eligibles are (in order of preference)
? Anothertwistafate – Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd. Trained by Peter Miller
? Math Wizard – Owned by John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Collarmele Vitelli Stables LLC, Ioannis, Zouas, Bassett Stables. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.
? King Guillermo – Owned by Victoria’s Ranch. Trained by Juan Carlos Avila
? Idol – Owned by Calvin Nguyen. Trained by Richard Baltas
Anothertwistafate, winner of the Jan. 2 San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and Sept. 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is No. 1 on the also eligible list. The son of Scat Daddy is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf. Locally-based Math Wizard, a Grade 1 winner who finished second last summer to Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) show finisher Global Campaign in the Monmouth Cup, is second on the AE list while King Guillermo, owned by former Major League Baseball all-star Victor Martinez, and Idol, second in the San Antonio, round out the list.