Pegasus World Cup: All Stakes Pick 5!

The first major race day of the year is here! Pegasus World cup is the most important race day for Gulfstream’s championship meet. Its signature races will be races 11 and 12 on the card. Race 11 is the Pegasus turf run at 1 3/16 miles followed by the championship dirt race being run 1 ⅛ miles. The undercard is also fantastic and I can’t wait for a full day of racing! There are 6 graded stakes on the day which will make up an all stakes late pick 5! Below I will analyze the races and give you all my pick 5 ticket. 

Race 8: La Prevoyante Stakes G-3:

Distance/Surface: 12 Furlongs Turf

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

  1. La Australiana 20-1
  2. Simply Beautiful_IRE 4.5-1
  3. Kelsey’s Cross 8-1
  4. Mean Mary 8-1
  5. Touriga_BRZ 6-1
  6. **Lady Paname_FR 3-1
  7. War Cabinet 12-1
  8. Latest Version 20-1
  9. Raining Lemons 12-1
  10. Get Explicit 3.5-1

Pace Scenario/Initial Thoughts:  There is very little pace in this race and with the oversees runners coming in, it is difficult to predict the pace scenario. The only early speed to me looks like Mean Mary! Everyone else is a crapshoot. 

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Mean Mary: I like this one at a price since she may be the lone early speed in the race. This is a huge step up in class, but if Luis Saez gets an uncontested lead, she could wire the field. In with a chance. 
  • Lady Paname: I wish I could go against the favorite, but this one looks so well meant. Chad Brown spots his runners better than anyone and he spots this one in a graded stakes after a year long layoff. He would not place this one if he wasn’t confident. She finished her 2018 campaign with two impressive victories in closing fashion. She fired a bullet workout on January 12th followed by a slow workout 6 days later. That workout pattern suggests Chad didn’t need to see anything more from this filly. She’s ready, don’t let the long layoff scare you. 
  • War Cabinet: This horse comes into this race with the best speed figure at the distance. Sired by war front, she is bred to run all day. Jose Ortiz takes the mount and her workouts have been great since her last race. At 12-1 she is worth a shot. 

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Get Explicit: She was beaten by weaker in her last race despite going off as the favorite. Her speed figures are not impressive and actually have dropped in 3 straight races. Her 7/2 ML price is silly. 
  • Simply Beautiful: At a small price, this horse would need to improve significantly to win this race. The last time she ran this distance, she finished 8th beaten by 8 lengths. The Euros usually struggle on the firmer turf as well. 

Summary & Top Pick:

  • Lady Paname is my top pick for the race. Placed so confidently by Chad Brown, you just can’t ignore her! 

Race 9: Inside Information Stakes G-2:

Distance/Surface: 7 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

.1 Liza Star 15-1

.2 Wildwood’s Beauty 12-1

.3 Baccarat Fashion 20-1

.4 JP’s Delight 10-1

.5 Blamed 6-1

.6 Nonna Madeline 8-1

.7 **Spiced Perfection 1.6-1

.8 Bronx Beauty 12-1

.9 A Bit of Both 12-1

.10 Pink Sands 8-1

.11 Our Super Freak 20-1

Pace Scenario/Initial Thoughts: Holy Cow the pace will be hot in this one! Blamed is the speed of the speed and will get out to the lead and try to hang on. Liza Star and JP’s Delight will also be a part of that conversation. Wildood’s Beauty and Pink Sands will be your late closers. The heavy favorite spiced perfection will likely be midpack for most of the race. 

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Liza Star: What’s not to like about this horse at 15-1?! She comes from humble beginnings, but she has really stepped in class her last two races and performed just fine. She won her last race in a non graded stakes at 5-1 by a length. She’s working out great too firing a bullet workout on January 4th. Four forlongs at 47.3 seconds is nothing to sneeze at. Big chance. 
  • Wildwoods Beauty: Another horse that has been working out great at Gulfstream. He’s fired 2 bullet workouts in his last 3 and looks ready to fire a good one. She also has good tactical speed which will benefit her in this spot. 
  • Blamed: She is the speed of the speed in this race. Last out she was able to win impressively even though she was pressed hard. It was the first race that Irad Ortiz took the mount and he sticks with her here which tells me he’s very confident that she can repeat that effort. Blamed got the best speed figure in this field last race and at a good price, I’m taking a shot. 
  • Nonna Madeline: Could this be a more confident placement by Todd Pletcher. She was running in grade 1 races back in 2018. She misses nearly the entire 2019 campain debuting in a 47,000 allowance on december 19th. After just that race he then sends her to a grade-2 on Pegasus day. He’s supremely confident in this horse and bettors should take notice. She’s working out like a monster and retains Johnny Velazquez for the ride. At 8-1 I love it!
  • Pink Sands: If this pace melts down, I think Pink Sands has the best chance of cleaning up. She has a great closing kick and fits well class-wise here. In with a big chance. 

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Spiced Perfection: You have to try to beat the heavy favorite in this one. This is too talented of a field for her to be this low of a price. She is the classiest horse, but she’s not even in the top 3 for speed figures in her last race. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great horse and may win this race. But with so many talented horses around her at better prices we have to take a stand against. 

Summary & Top Pick:

  • Nonna Madeline is my top pick in this race. Todd Pletcher is no dummy, and he wouldn’t spot her in this race if she wasn’t ready to fire. It’s a huge class jump from her last race, but she should have no problem stepping up. In general, I’m just taking a stand against Spiced Perfection and hoping that one of my picks comes home. 

Race 10: WL Mcknight Stakes G-3

Distance/Surface: 12 Furlongs Turf

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:)

.1 **Red Knight 3-1

.2 Prince of Arabia: 30-1

.3 Apreciado 8-1

.4 Carom 15-1

.5 Salute the Colonel 12-1

.6 Dubby Dubbie 20-1

.7Cross Border 4.5-1

.8 Pumpkin Rumble 6-1

.9 Shazier 20-1

.10 Temple 12-1

.11 Spooky Channel 20-1

.12 American Tatoo_ARG 3.5-1

Pace Scenario/Initial Thoughts: Most of the horses in this race, have not stretched out to this length in distance so predicting the pace is difficult. Your first 3 horses out will likely be Pumpkin Rumble, Carom, and American Tattoo. But other than those three, there is not a lot of speed signed up for this race. Expect a slow pace. Will be tough for closers to win this one. 

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Pumpkin Rumble: I don’t know how this horse is 6-1 on the moneyline. He has posted great speed figures in his last two races including a 5 length win in his last race. There he blew away the competition as a heavy favorite up at Woodbine. I think he is getting a major jockey upgrade in Tyler Gafflione for this one and he looks like one of the few horses that will be on the lead early. 
  • Red Knight: Of the 3 favorites, I do believe that Red knight is the best of the bunch. He’s off a bit of a layoff, but he has by far the best back class in this race and he also has the best speed rating at this distance of any other horse in the race. Joel Rosario picks up the mount and I think he is an upgrade from Junior Alvarado. Red Knight has also been working out like a beast. He fired two bullet workouts in January to prepare for this race. I think he is ready to fire. 

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • American Tattoo: There are just so many questions for this horse at a short price. He’s never raced on grass, and he has never raced against a field this classy before. There are several horses in this race with better speed figures. Play against. 
  • Cross Border: He had no excuses to lose his last race. He had the lead at first and second call and just got caught late. Now he moves up distance? I also don’t like that his speed figures have regressed in 3 straight races… Will he make it 4 in a row? I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t hit the board. 

Summary & Top Pick:

  • My top pick is Red Knight in this race! He is well spotted by Bill Mott and I expect him to sit close to the early speed before pouncing late in the final furlong. 

Race 11: Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational  G-1:

Distance/Surface: 9.5 Furlongs Turf

Full Field with Morning Lines (**Favorite:):

.1 Zulu Alpha 12-1

.2 Arklow 6-1

.3 Without Parole_GB 4-1

.4 Sadler’s Joy 8-1

.5 Channel Cat 10-1

.6 Instilled Regard 10-1

.7 Admission Office 30-1

.8 Henley’s Joy 30-1

.9 Next Shares 

.10 Mo Forza 5-1

.11 Sacred Life_FR 12-1

.12 **Magic Wand 3.5-1

Pace Scenario/Initial Thoughts: Holy Cow this is a mess of a race. I have no idea who will take the lead in this one. My best guess is that Mo Forza will show early pace, and if they leave him alone up there he might just wire the field. Other than that, there is not a lot of early speed signed up for this race. 

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Magic Wand: I like the favorite here and I actually don’t think he’ll be a heavy favorite going into the gate. Aiden O’brien is possibly the world’s best trainer, but his record in the US is not good. I’m hoping that shys people away from this horse, but it doesn’t shy me away in the least. One major factor in this race is that management has decided to ban all race day medications from this race. All of the American trainers in this race are notorious for using race day medications which have been banned in Europe for a long time. Magic Wand is an absolute warrior who has traveled the world to compete in horse racing’s most prestigious races. The last time he raced in the US was back in August for the Arlington Million. How did he do that day? He finished just 1 length behind horse of the year Bricks and Mortar. If B&M was in this race, he’d be the 4-5 favorite easy. I know there is other talent in this race, but I’m taking a stand and singeling Magic Wand!

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Everyone else: The medication ban is a big deal! Race day meds and drugs is a huge problem in horse racing and needs to be stopped. I’m talking to you Mike Maker, Brad Cox, Todd Pletcher, Richard Baltas, Peter Miller, and Chad Brown. Take a cue from our friends in Europe and get all drugs out of the sport. With a fair playing field, take the European Invader. 

Summary & Top Pick:

  • Single Magic Wand! 

Race 12: Pegasus World Cup Invitational  G-1:

Distance/Surface: 9 Furlongs Dirt

Full Field with Morning Lines (*Favorite:):

.1 True Timber 15-1

.2 Tax 8-1

.3 Diamond Oops 15-1

.4 Seeking The Soul

.5 Omaha Beach: Scratched

.6 Higher Power 6-1

.7 War Story 30-1

.8 Mr. Freeze 20-1

.10 Mucho Gusto 4.5-1

.11 Tenfold 30-1

.12 Bodexpress 30-1

Pace Scenario/Initial Thoughts: 

The big story with this race is the last minute scratch of Omaha Beach. He would have been the heavy favorites so his absence means that the morning lines listed above are going to drastically change. I suspect Mucho Gusto for Bob Baffert will now go off as the heavy favorite. The pace will be hotly contested in this one! Mucho Gusto, Mr. Freeze, and Bode Express will likely be your first horses out on the lead. Tax might have a great trip here sitting in the pocket behind the early front runners. War Story, True Timber, and Diamond oops will settle midpack while Tenfold and Seeking The Soul will try to close from the clouds!

Horses I like (Will use in Pick 5):

  • Bodexpress: I know there are a ton of speed signed up for this race, but I cannot ignore the 30-1 price on this horse. He is too good to be that high of a price. The outside post position doesn’t bother me since he has enough early speed to pass the horses inside him. This was also a horse that kept improving as the year went on and as he matured.  He lost his last race as the favorite, but that day he just caught in a speed duel. Although a speed duel could occur again here, I’m gonna take a swing at 30-1 that the other riders let Bode take the lead. I think he might just hang on. 
  • War Story: If I like Bodexpress, I have to like War Story who beat Bodexpress by 3 lengths in his last race. Similar to Bode, War Story seems to love the Gulfstream track and this might be his best distance. If the pace goes hot early which we expect, it will do nothing but benefit this horse who likes coming off the pace. The 30-1 price is ridiculous on this horse even if Omoha beach was in this race. 
  • Tax: This horse just tries hard every race! He’ll also have the perfect pace setup for this race. He has tactical speed and had a good prep for this race at Aqueduct. Since he used to be a maiden claimer, people don’t give this horse the respect he deserves. Just look at his resume. He’s hit the board in 5 graded stakes. He also finished 4th in the belmont losing by only 2 ¾ lengths. If Bob Baffert trained this horse, he’d be going off at half the price. Jose Ortiz retains the mount which is a great sign. At 8-1 I love the price too. Look at his workout pattern too. He fired a bullet workout on January 9th followed by a slow workout on January 18th. To me that means they didn’t need 
  • Seeking the Soul: This is another horse that just always tries hard. Unfortunately he doesnt win often, but he is always hitting the board in big spots. He’s losing the likes of City of light, Mckinzie, Thunder Snow, Vino Rosso, ect. This field is much weaker than any he’s seen this year. He’ll be closing hard and can win with a pace meltdown. You’ll get every bit of that 30-1 price. 

Horses I’m Playing against:

  • Mucho Gusto: Don’t get me wrong, he is a good horse. But he is not a good favorite in my opinion. He failed as the favorite in his last race where he finished 4th in the Oklahoma derby. I also think he is better at shorter distances. Seeking the Soul, Mr. Freeze, and War Story all have better speed figures at this distance. He’s great in grade 3 company but has failed to step in the grade 1’s. I’m taking a shot against this likely heavy favorite. 
  • Higher Power: This will be your likely 2nd choice at post-time. He is a good horse, but he has not won a race outside of california since March of 2019. He’s never raced at gulfstream and is also off a two month layoff. There are horses at much better prices that have either matched his speed figures or surpassed his speed figures at 9 furlongs. 

Summary & Top Pick:

  • This is a very tough race to predict. My main opinion is that I want to play against the top two favorites. My top pick will be Tax because he has great tactical speed that should allow him to take advantage of a very hot pace. 

Final Ticket: $0.50; 4,6,7/ 1,2,5,6,11/1,8/12/ 2,4,7,12 ; $60