OCEANPORT, NJ – Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred Pneumatic appears bound for the Preakness Stakes (G1) after easily winning Saturday’s $150,000 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Pneumatic was bet down to 4/5 favoritism as he broke from post 5 under Joe Bravo. He raced three-wide early while stalking early leaders Arkaan and Wartime Hero through opening fractions of :24.17, :48.28, and 1:12.80.
Making his bid in the far turn, Pneumatic held a clear lead at the top of the stretch and drew off under only mild urging. Bravo kept him hand-ridden while watching Jesus’ Team slowly creep into view on the infield video board.
The Steve Asmussen trainee crossed 2 1/4 easy lengths much the best in a final time of 1:44.76 for the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route.
“I talked to Steve and his assistant, Scott Blasi, this morning and they were really excited about the horse, but you never really know until you sit on them,” Bravo said. “He was just in full control the whole time. A very relaxed animal – he was going very smoothly. I give credit to the other two horses for hanging with him for second and third because we kicked so solidly turning for home, and I looked and I said, “Okay, they’ve stayed with us for a little bit.’”
Jesus’ Team finished well and was 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Arkaan, who faded after being headed but still outkicked the rest of the strung-out field.
Super John, Wartime Hero, Big City Bob, Skyscanner, and As Seen On Tv completed the order of finish.
The Pegasus is the final event of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Derby prep race season. Pneumatic earned 20 points for the win, with Jesus’ Team receiving 8 for second, Arkaan 4 for third, and Super John 2 for fourth.
Pneumatic’s win was his first since kicking off his career with back-to-back victories at Oaklawn Park earlier this spring. The 3-year-old Uncle Mo colt, previously third in the Matt Winn Stakes (G3) and fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1), will now point to the Preakness, according to the Daily Racing Form’s David Grening.
Pneumatic returned $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. Jesus’ Team brought back $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show, while Arkaan paid $3.20 to show.