One would think that PREMIER PEGASUS (Fusaichi Pegasus – Squall Linda, by Summer Squall), a graded stakes winner who has now been undefeated in five of six starts, would have been the headline of the San Felipe Stakes, especially since he is a half-brother to Grade 1 Stakes winner, Street Hero. But the Rodney Dangerfield of the flashy California set doesn’t get any respect.
This half brother to the Grade 1 Norfolk winner Street Hero paid $90.80 while winning his maiden at first asking, then paid $13.00 while winning the Jack Goodman Stakes. He continued his victorious ways in the Hollywood Prevue, although he was sent off the second choice. His sole loss came against the blazingly fast The Factor in the San Vicente Stakes, when Premier Pegasus experimented with sitting off of the lead. In the San Vicente, Premier Pegasus sat third the entire way, unable to make up ground.
Overlooked at the odds of 7-1 in the San Felipe (G-2), Premier Pegasus and his regular jockey Alonso Quinonez wisely sat mid-pack, about seven lengths off of the electrifying fractions of :21.75 and :44.65 set by Albergatti and Runflatout. Albergatti was the first to falter as Comma To The Top briefly took over at the top of the lane, getting six furlongs in 1:08.98. With most of the field staggering from the suicidal pace, only Jaycito, who was last early on, and Premier Pegasus were gearing up with their runs. Premier Pegasus got the jump on Jaycito, traveling six wide around the turn he flew home by 7 ¾ lengths.
Premier Pegasus’ half brother Street Hero (by Street Cry) was injured and retired after his two year old season and never had a chance to prove himself at longer distances. Premier Pegasus has a more speed-oriented pedigree than his older half-brother.
At stud, his sire Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus produces mostly middle distance stakes winners up to 1 1/8 miles over dirt, although he does have one listed winner at 1 ¼ miles. Fusaichi Pegasus’ offspring fare better distance-wise over the lawn. He’s represented by six turf stakes winners at 1 ¼ miles or farther, including the San Luis Obispo Handicap (1 ½ miles) victor Champ Pegasus. Two of his five winners at Classic distances have similar breeding to Premier Pegasus, as they were produced from Northern Dancer sire line mares.
Premier Pegasus receives stamina from his first three damsires, yet his dam Squall Linda was a stakes placed sprinter who won or placed in 11 of 17 starts. She is a half sister to the stakes warrior Kohen With a K, who won 10 of 59 starts as a turf sprinter. Squall Linda has inbreeding to her fifth dam Lavendula. Lavendula was a precocious sprinter and won three of nine starts at age two. Lavendula produced Source Sucree, Squall Linda’s third dam and a stakes winner at 11 furlongs. Source Sucree is a half sister to the stallion Ambiorix who won from a mile to 1 ½ miles. Ambiorix was bred to Source Sucree’s daughter Giff-Gaff, a ¾ sister to the brilliant chef – de – race Turn To. An interesting note, Turn-To is the second tail sire of Halo (grandpa on his sire’s side). Halo is the second damsire of Fusaichi Pegasus. Premier Pegasus is a descendant of the Lowe Female Family 1-w. This family’s only Classic winner is Celtic Ash, the 1960 Belmont Stakes hero.
Premier Pegasus damsire Summer Squall is an excellent broodmare sire and works well with the Mr. Prospector sire line. There are six graded stakes winners based upon the Mr. Prospector/Summer Squall bloodline cross. Of those, only Seeking The Best, a turf miler in Japan, has Mr. Prospector in her second generation, similar to Premier Pegasus.
Premier Pegasus’ second damsire The Axe II raced for five years, winning 15 of 38 starts. He won from six to 13 furlongs on the turf and retired sound. Going back another generation, Premier Pegasus’ third damsire Ambiorix raced in France and won stakes races from a mile to 1 ½ miles.
Conformation wise, Premier Pegasus is a mid-sized colt. He has a powerful neck that ties into a strong, but ever so slightly upright shoulder. He long forearms and short cannons, indicative of a two turn horse and his hind end is leaner than his muscular forequarters.
Fusaichi Pegasus was the only Kentucky Derby winner sired by Mr. Prospector. Many horsemen felt that he wouldn’t be able to handle the 1 ¼ miles. Premier Pegasus has a speed over stamina pedigree and due to the influences of his distaff side, could continue the legacy and be a rare son of Fusaichi Pegasus that could handle 1 ¼ miles over the dirt. Premier Pegasus can successfully rate behind the speed which will help him in his quest to capture the Kentucky Derby.