Even a South Florida downpour couldn’t ruin the third annual Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. Last weekend gave us some fantastic performances, with North America’s richest races on dirt and turf being contested, including the newly-formed $7,000,000 Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf. Those two, plus a few surprises, gave us our best weekend of racing since the Breeders’ Cup. Let’s check out who made our Three Stars of the Week after all was said and done:
1. City of Light
There is no doubt that the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup is turning into a must-see event, with the race growing in popularity from both a wagering and an attendance standpoint. That popularity will continue to grow as long as great performances keeping happening at the event, with City of Light carrying on the tradition this season. The race was billed as a City of Light vs. Accelerate final showdown in their last hurrah beforeheading to Lane’s End Farm to start their second career. When turning for home, it looked like we were going to see them go head-to-head down the stretch; however, that changed quickly because City of Light had another gear that kicked in when jockey Javier Castellano asked him to go. He quickly disposed of Accelerate, and the race was over as he cruised home to win by 5 3/4 lengths. The win sends him out on the highest possible note, with the performance being one for the ages.
2. Bricks and Mortar
It’s only fitting that Chad Brown would win the first-ever running of the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf. He’s been the best turf trainer in this country for many years, but this may have been his best training job ever. Bricks and Mortar was able to defeat a solid field last Saturday despite making just one start in the last 14 1/2 months. The horse broke cleanlyb beforefinding a spot towards the middle of the field up the backside. Turning for home, he spun three-wide, then took control in mid-stretch. From there, he powered home, burying the competition for a 2 1/2-length victory. Brown will have plenty of options for this horse moving forward. Hopefully, he can stay healthy for all of 2019.
3. Hidden Scroll
The most eye-popping performance on Pegasus World Cup Day may have actually come in a maiden special weight. Race 4 on the card featured a solid group of 3-year-olds; however, one of them stood out over the rest in a major way. That horse was the Bill Mott-trained Hidden Scroll, who basically was running in a race all by himself. By the time they hit the turn, he was already over 5 lengths in front, but he didn’t stop there, as he kept pouring it on down the lane to win the race by 14 1/2 lengths in the end. This performance makes him one of the top contenders for the 2019 Kentucky Derby after he earned a 104 Beyer speed figure for the effort. He debuted this week at #4 in our latest Kentucky Derby Rankings.