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Top 2019 Pegasus World Cup Contenders Blaze in Final Works

Ernie Belmonte

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s multiple Grade 1 winner City of Light, three days after arriving in South Florida, sparkled in his first local work and final breeze ahead a final career start in the Grade 1, $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on January 26th at Gulfstream Park.

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano was up for the breeze, which saw the 5-year-old son of Quality Road go a half-mile in 47.26 seconds over a fast main track – fastest of 103 horses at the distance. Castellano is named to ride in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, the richest race in North America.

“I thought it was a very good work,” trainer Mike McCarthy said. “It looked like the horse got over the racetrack nicely. Javier was very pleased. He cooled out well and looks good.”

City of Light has now had seven works since his front-running triumph in the Grade 1, $1 million Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 3, which came with Castellano aboard. The previous six had come at McCarthy’s home base of Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

“Javier worked him the week before the Breeders’ Cup, and I told him just basically a carbon copy of what we had then, and it was pretty much what I saw,” McCarthy said. “That’s more or less what we see from him all the time.”

Never worse than third in 10 career starts with five wins and $1.66 million in purse earnings, City of Light shipped to Gulfstream Jan. 16. He will retire to stud at Lane’s End following the Pegasus.

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“It’s his fourth ship of the year and fourth ship of his career. He doesn’t necessarily need to take his environment with him,” McCarthy said. “He settled in nicely here which is what I wanted to see, and it seems like to this point it’s worked out well.”

Post positions for the Pegasus and the inaugural Grade 1, $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, the richest grass race in North America, will be drawn Tuesday, Jan. 22 at Gulfstream. The draw can be viewed at GulfstreamPark.com and Facebook.com/GulfstreamPark.

“It’s a week away,” McCarthy said. “Just hope everybody gets there healthy and go from there.”

Likely Pegasus favorite and 2018 Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate put in his final breeze for the race Saturday at Santa Anita, going five furlongs in 58.80 seconds for trainer John Sadler, fastest of 35 horses. The Grade 1, $6,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner is scheduled to arrive at Gulfstream Jan. 22. Watch Accelerate work on XBTV.

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