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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Coolmore’s well-traveled filly Magic Wand drew the far outside post 12 and was named the 7/2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
Second in this race a year ago to the presumed 2019 Eclipse Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar, the Irish-born and -based Magic Wand has shown a penchant for shipping anywhere to face the world’s best, regardless of gender. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has sent her all over Europe and to Dubai, Australia, Hong Kong, and four times to America. Her globe-trotting record stands at 22-3-8-2, mostly while facing Grade/Group 1 company.
Born in Great Britain as a son of top European sire Frankel, Without Parole (4/1) kicked his career off with a bang. Under the tutelage of John Gosden, he won his first four starts, topped by the St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in 2018. Moving to Chad Brown’s barn in 2019 may have helped him rediscover his mojo, as he ran a respectable third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) in his American debut.
Without Parole will join stablemates Instilled Regard (10/1) and Sacred Life (12/1) in the gate. Instilled Regard began his career on the dirt for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, winning the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) in 2018. He changed barns following the Run for the Roses and transitioned into a turf runner, finding the winner’s circle last out in the local Ft. Lauderdale Stakes (G2).
The French-bred Sacred Life made his first nine starts in his home country, winning a Group 3 event and only finishing off the board twice. He was purchased privately in the spring of 2019 and made four starts stateside, winning an allowance at Keeneland and thrice finished second against stakes company.
Here is the full field for the second annual Pegasus World Cup Turf:
Here are what some entrants’ connections had to say about the draw:
Tom Albertrani, trainer, Sadler’s Joy: “It’s going to be a good, challenging race for us, but I think he’s got the ability to get it done if he runs any one of his big races. He’s got it in him. If he comes back and puts in one of those big efforts, I don’t see why he couldn’t get the job done.”
Peter Miller, trainer, Mo Forza: “I’m very pleased with the horse. He’s just really come into his own in the last few months. He’s a very sound, healthy horse and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.”
Brad Cox, trainer, Arklow: “He’s a little bit of a tricky horse to figure out where he’s going to place himself. I’ve seen him break and the rider content with where he’s sitting where he is and him taking the rider up into the race. Given that he’s 6 years old, we still haven’t figured him out. I just know he runs well.”
Mike Maker, trainer, Henley’s Joy: “He shows up every single time. He’s a picture and he’s been working well here. It’s a tough task to ask him in his first start against 4-year-olds, but he’s earned it.”
Todd Pletcher, trainer, Channel Cat: “We felt like we needed to see if he fit in a race like this, and I thought he ran a strong enough race last time to give it a try. If you look at his PP lines, he’s run against the best American horses all year. My concern is that he’s really at his best at a mile and 3/8 or a mile and 1/2, but we’ll give it a shot.”
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