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Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC and Robert LaPenta’s Shantisara, Team Valor International and Gary Barber’s Wakanaka, and Bal Mar Equine LLC’s Dalika are prominent on the invitation list released Wednesday for the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G3).
The Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for older fillies and mares, will be featured on the Jan. 28 program at Gulfstream Park, co-headlined by the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 1/18-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up on turf.
Twelve fillies and mares are on the first invitation list for the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, while there are five on the list of reserve invitees.
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Shantisara, who earned Grade 1 credentials while winning the 2021 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Keeneland, is trained by Chad Brown, who saddled Regal Glory for a victory in the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf. The 5-year-old Irish import finished second behind Regal Glory in the Jenny Wiley (G1) at Keeneland in her 2022 debut before being sidelined for seven months. She returned to finish and even fifth in the Nov. 5 Fall Harvest at Keeneland.
Wakanaka, who is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, captured the Fall Harvest to conclude a productive 2022 season that included a victory in the Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine and a runner-up finish behind Regal Glory in the Just a Game (G1) at Belmont.
Al Stall Jr.-trained Dalika, a hard-hitting 7-year-old daughter of Pastorius, earned Grade 1 credentials with a victory in the Beverly D. (G1) at Churchill Downs in August and also won the Ladies Turf (G3) at Kentucky Downs and the Cardinal (G3) at Churchill.
Bobby Flay’s Pizza Bianca, the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner, is also prominent on the invitation list. The 4-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock has returned to trainer Christophe Clement after finishing third in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar and fifth in the American Oaks (G1) at Santa Anita.
Trainer Michael McCarthy, who saddled City of Light for a victory in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup (G1), is represented on the invitation list for the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s Queen Goddess. The 5-year-old daughter of Empire Maker, who captured the 2021 American Oaks (G1), won the Santa Ana (G3) and the Robert J. Frankel (G3) in 2022.
Charles Fipke’s Lady Speightspeare, who finished third behind Regal Glory and Shantisara in the Jenny Wiley went on to win three graded stakes in a row at Woodbine in the Nassau (G2), Trillium (G3) and Seaway (G3) before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Keeneland. Hall of Famer Roger Attfield trains the 5-year-old daughter of Speightstown.
Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey is represented by Andrew Rosen’s Skims and Annette Allen’s Stolen Holiday on the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare invitation list. Skims, a 4-year-old daughter of Frankel, won the Sands Point (G2) at Belmont before finishing a troubled fifth in the American Oaks at Santa Anita. Stolen Holiday, a 6-year-old daughter of War Front, has won two graded stakes in her last three starts, including Saturday’s Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream.
Augustin Stable and Catherine Parke’s Sparkle Blue, who was beaten by less than a length in the American Oaks after winning the Valley View (G3) at Keeneland, represents trainer Graham Motion on the invitational list.
Lazy F Ranch’s Gam’s Mission, who was saddled for a victory in the Mint Julep (G3) at Churchill Downs by Cherie DeVaux; and Kenneth Ramsey and the Estate of Sarah Ramsey’s Artie’s Princess, the winner of the Presque Isle Masters (G2) trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.; are also invited to compete in the second running of the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
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The list of reserve invitees (in alphabetical order) includes Stephen Screnci, Deters Company Frank Taylor’s Kate’s Kingdom, Steven Parkin’s Lady Rockstar, Georg D. Morgan’s Perserverancia, CHP Racing’s Saffron Moon and La Providencia LLC and LNJ Foxwoods’ Scotish Star.
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