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HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grade 1 winners Say the Word and Storm the Court, as well as three stakes winners from the barn of trainer Todd Pletcher, lead a list of 16 horses invited to the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
The third running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus World Cup Turf, introduced in 2019 to serve as a companion race to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), will be run January 23. The Pegasus Turf has been won previously by eventual Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar (2019) and Zulu Alpha (2020).
The Pegasus World Cup Turf and Pegasus World Cup will be part of an extraordinary program featuring 7 graded stakes, 4 contested on the turf. Stakes on Pegasus Day will also include the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125,000 William L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 Marshua’s River (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3), and $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3).
The 12 horses given first preference for the Pegasus World Cup Turf are (in alphabetical order):
The also eligible horses (in order of preference):
Trainer Todd Pletcher, winner of 16 of the past 17 Championship Meet titles at Gulfstream Park, has an intriguing trio of contenders for the Turf in Largent, Social Paranoia and Colonel Liam.
Largent is an improving son of Into Mischief who enters the Pegasus off a victory December 12 in the Fort Lauderdale (G2). The gelding has won 6 of 9 career starts and has won 4 of his 5 starts at Gulfstream.
Pletcher-trained Social Paranoia, a 4-year-old son of Street Boss, prepped for the Pegasus at Gulfstream December 16 by winning an allowance/optional claiming event off a five-month layoff. Social Paranoia earlier in the year won the Appleton (G3) at Gulfstream.
Pletcher’s third entry is the lightly-raced Colonel Liam, a 4-year-old son of Liam’s Map who enters the Pegasus off an impressive 3 1/4-length victory December 26 in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Barclay Tagg comes into the Turf with Doswell. The lightly-raced 6-year-old raced only once as a 2-year-old, but the son of Giant’s Causeway broke his maiden as a 5-year-old and ended 2020 with a second-place finish behind Largent in the Fort Lauderdale.
It took 7 races for North Dakota to win his first race, but the Shug McGaughey-trained 5-year-old has since won 3 of 5 races with his last being the November 21 Red Smith (G3) at Aqueduct. McGaughey will also send out Breaking the Rules, a 6-year-old son of War Front who comes off a fourth-place finish in the Knickerbocker (G2) in October and a third-place finish in the Fort Lauderdale.
Say the Word, a 6-year-old Ontario-bred by More Than Ready, enters off a third-place finish November 27 in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) for trainer Phil D’Amato after winning the Northern Dancer Turf (G1) in October at Woodbine. The gelding finished fourth in his only other race at Gulfstream, that coming in 2018.
Storm the Court ships in from Santa Anita for trainer Peter Eurton. Winner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), the son of Court Vision was sixth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) last year before moving to turf and finishing seventh in the Hollywood Derby (G1) and second last time out in the Mathis Brothers Mile (G2).
Cross Border will attempt to give trainer Mike Maker back-to-back wins in the Pegasus Turf after saddling last year’s winner, Zulu Alpha. The 7-year-old son of English Channel was second in last year’s Sword Dancer (G1) and won the Bowling Green (G2), both at Saratoga. He comes into the Pegasus off a second-place finish in the Buddy Diliberto Memorial December 19 at Fair Grounds.
Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus’ Team for the place in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2), and City of Hope (G2). His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf.
Pixelate, trained by Michael Stidham, comes into the Pegasus off a victory December 26 in the Woodchopper at Fair Grounds. The Godolphin homebred and son of City Zip won the Del Mar Derby (G2) in September and was fifth in the Belmont Derby (G1) in October.
Anothertwistafate, winner January 2 of the San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and September 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is invited to the Turf and is on the reserve inviation list for the Pegasus.
The Pegasus Turf also-eligible list is led by Next Shares, who will try to make his third trip to the Pegasus Turf the charm after a seventh-place finish in the 2019 edition and a 12th-place finish last year. The 8-year-old would enter this year’s event off a third-place finish January 2 in the San Gabriel.
The reserve invitation list also includes Field Pass. The Ontario Derby (G3) winner is trained by Mike Maker, who saddled last year’s Pegasus Turf winner Zulu Alpha. Trainer Chad Brown, who won the inaugural Pegasus Turf with Bricks and Mortar, has two on the reserve list in Red Bank (G3) winner Analyze It and OXO Equine’s Greyes Creek.
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