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Zipse At The Track

The Real Premier Pegasus Takes Off

Zipse’s Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 56

In a race that looked to be quite wide open going in, Premier Pegasus turned today’s San Felipe Stakes into an absolute romp. Stamping himself as perhaps the second favorite for the Kentucky Derby behind only Uncle Mo, PrePeg romped to a 7 ¾ length runaway win in the quarter of a million, grade 2 affair Saturday at Santa Anita. Sent off at 7-1, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus proved to be a fabulous overlay as he sprinted past Comma to the Top as the field turned for home and then proceeded to draw off to the wire. The victory margin was the largest in the history of the race.

The San Felipe is the last major prep race for the Kentucky Derby in California other than next month’s Santa Anita Derby, and PrePeg used it to display the kind of potential that I had been hoping to see since I began to follow him last fall. Bred, owned, and trained by native Korean Myong Kwon Cho, PrePeg is one of two Derby contenders the 68-year-old horseman conditions, along with Riveting Reason, out of his stable of ten. Cho said after the race that he will now be pointed for the Santa Anita Derby.

Final time for the 1 1/16 miles over the fast track was 1:41.23. The final time came after a torrid pace of 21.75, 44.58, and 1:08.98 for six furlongs had been carved out by Comma the Top, Albergatti and Runflatout. Race time favorite Jaycito, making his first start for trainer Bob Baffert, rallied from far back to get up for a non-threatening second.

While the San Felipe result came to a surprise to many, the winner is a horse who seemed to be screaming out for more distance after running quite successfully in sprints his first four starts. Today also marked PrePeg’s first race without blinkers. Running without the hood seemed to relax him more, and sitting off of the blistering proved to be a blessing as the pace of the race unfolded.

Premier Pegasus is a horse I have rated highly from the beginning in my Kentucky Derby rankings, believing he would relish the added distance, and today he came through on my expectations. It seems likely that he will be the horse they all have to beat in the Santa Anita Derby, and from there you would have to give him a reasonable chance to match the feat of his sire, who won the run for the roses eleven years ago.

[How high do you think Premier Pegasus will rise on HRN's 2011 Kentucky Derby Rankings?]


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Older Comments about The Real Premier Pegasus Takes Off...

Since PrePeg seems to be pointed to SA Derby..where would Riveting Reason go for his next start? I read that Cho was thinking Sunland Derby? Any ideas or news on this?
Yes, I always liked him too, but ... I must admit, you liked him even more ;-)
This is what I expected from him since OCTOBER. Now I'm only left with one question: Do I move him up that one final spot above a certain "Uncle"?
Thanks Brian, and yes I thought Jaycito ran the kind of race that makes me think he could be peeking in about 8 weeks
A fantastic performance, I remember you touting him all year and 'man!' were you right! I honestly thought he was overratted. He's my solide number #2 right behind Uncle Mo now!
Jaycito looked pretty good closing and did have a little bump at the top if the stretch but i thought Pre Peg looked fabulous when he changed gears and took off...ver impressive performance....not sure if he could do that to uncle mo though
While Premier Pegasus ran an outstanding race, I thought Jaycito ran well for his first race. He did pass a lot of tired horses, but is capable of improving off this race. The SA Derby should be interesting.
It does make perfect sense to take different routes. Mr.Cho now has two legitimate horses for the KY Derby. I think Sunland Derby, Illinois, or Spiral would be reasonable final prep for Riveting Reason instead of SA Derby.
That's a good question, as he had previously said Riveting Reason was going to the SA Derby, but I think you are right about wanting to keep them seperated. After yesterday there should be no doubt as to who is the current Prince of California.
Couldn't agree with you more. I had my eye on him since his maiden start. Looks like two turns is what he was looking for. I do think he is the top West Coast Contender for the KY Derby for now. I wonder where Mr. Cho will start Riveting Reason? I'm sure he'll want to split the two on the road to the Derby.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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