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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Excitement is amping up for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park as Saturday nears and plenty of updates have been recently released, courtesy of the track’s media department.
Post positions will be drawn Wednesday, January 20, at 1:45 PM Eastern and can be viewed at gulfstreampark.com/racing/live-stream, facebook.com/PegasusWorldCup, and pegasusworldcup.com/live-stream. First post for Saturday’s 12-race card (which includes 7 total graded stakes) is 11:40 AM Eastern.
The Racing Dudes team will cover the draw both here on racingdudes.com and with an instant reaction livestream shortly after the draw ends. Fans can tune in to the Racing Dudes livestream show (or watch the replay) at youtube.com/RacingDudes/.
Runners expected to appear in the entry boxes have made their final preparations, beginning with the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) champion Knicks Go, expected to be among the Pegasus morning line favorites. The son of Paynter looked strong in his final work Saturday, firing a 5-furlong bullet best-of-35 in 1:00.60 at Fair Grounds for trainer Brad Cox.
“He was really good – well, well within himself,” Cox said. “He galloped out in 1:14. The rider was very, very happy with him; we were happy with him. He’s as ready as he’s going to get.”
Trainer Jose D’Angelo’s Jesus’ Team comfortably covered 4 furlongs in :48.50 Saturday at the Palm Meadows, Gulfstream Park’s satellite training center. He’s hit the board in his last 5 starts, all stakes, including the Preakness (G1) (third) and the Dirt Mile (second).
“Jesus’ work today was perfect,” D’Angelo said. “I think, with this work, he will be ready for the Pegasus World Cup.”
Also hitting the Palm Meadows worktab Saturday was recent Cigar Mile (G1) champion True Timber, who went 1:01 flat in a 5-furlong breeze. Now with trainer Jack Sisterson, he’ll be taking his third shot at the Pegasus after finishing eighth last year and seventh in 2019.
Dale Romans’ Mr Freeze (second in last year’s Pegasus) and Coastal Defense each worked locally Saturday. Mr Freeze completed 5 furlongs in :59.83 (fastest of 40 that day) and Coastal Defense went a quick :47.11 over 4 furlongs.
Trainer Shug McGaughey spoke on camera with Gulfstream Park host/analyst Acacia Courtney about his entries in Saturday’s co-features:
Similarly, trainer Danny Gargan spoke with Courtney about his expectations for Tax (ninth in last year’s Pegasus after stumbling at the start), who exits a local victory in the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3).
Among the west coast invaders, Anothertwistafate (Turf) looms a dangerous threat to win his second straight following the San Gabriel Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park. Trainer Peter Miller attributes the success to jockey Joel Rosario’s suggestion to add blinkers before the San Gabriel.
“When (Rosario) tells you something, you listen,” Miller said. “He’s one of the jocks that I really respect his opinion. When he tells you something, he’s right most of the time.”
Trainer Michael McCarthy, who saddled the 2019 champion City of Light, sends Independence Hall from his California base after he finished a well-beaten fifth in the Malibu Stakes (G1). McCarthy couldn’t understand the poor effort and said that the 4-year-old continues to train well, including most recently a 6-furlong breeze in 1:12.60.
“For one reason or another, which I can’t put my finger on, he just did not seem to fire that day,” McCarthy said. “I have to draw a line through it. … If you bring a horse into a $3 million race, I think (his last work) is the kind of work you want to bring him in off.”
A brand-new feature in this year’s Pegasus comes in partnership with America’s Best Racing and JockeyCam, who will attach cameras to several yet-unnamed jockeys’ helmets during the two main events. The footage will stream on the Pegasus World Cup social channels.
“America’s Best Racing is absolutely thrilled to be part of the Pegasus World Cup immersive live show,” said Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing, Manager of Partnerships and Sponsorships. “We know that younger audiences are consuming sports and entertainment almost exclusively through social media platforms on secondary viewing devices like their phones, Ipads, and laptops which is the perfect way to witness the fast-paced perspective that can only be experienced with the technology delivered by JockeyCam.”
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