Champ Pegasus defeated 11-10 choice Bourbon Bay by a nose after a scintillating stretch battle in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Stakes (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf course Feb. 19.
Trainer Richard Mandella said afterward that if Champ Pegasus is doing well after his exerting win, he would be pointed to the $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) at 1 1/2 miles at Meydan Racecourse March 26. If Champ Pegasus makes the trip, the 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) runner-up may get a rematch with Dangerous Midge, who is expected to run in the Sheema Classic as well.
On a course softened by rain, second choice Champ Pegasus, a homebred son of Fusaichi Pegasus --Salt Champ, by Salt Lake, went over $1 million in lifetime earnings for owners Diamond A Racing and Arturo Vargas.
Bourbon Bay defeated Champ Pegasus by 1 3/4 lengths in the 10-furlong San Marcos Stakes (gr. II) Jan. 17. In his first start since the Breeders' Cup, Champ Pegasus led by one length at the eighth pole that day but could not hold off Bourbon Bay, who registered his fourth grade II win on the Santa Anita lawn.