Speed rankings: The fastest Pegasus World Cup contenders

Speed rankings: The fastest Pegasus World Cup contenders
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

With the defections of Tiz the Law, Charlatan and Mucho Gusto, Knicks Go suddenly looms as a potentially heavy favorite in the Grade 1, $3 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park.

The Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner is certainly fast enough to win Gulfstream's premiere race, but can he carry his speed for the 1 1/8 miles of the Pegasus?

Though he has yet to try a distance longer than 1 1/16 miles, he has had plenty of experience and success going two turns. With Charlatan out of the race, Knicks Go also appears to have a pace advantage over his rivals, which could help carry him the final 16th of a mile.

Interestingly enough, many of his opponents are in the same boat when it comes to distance.

Code of Honor has thrived in slow-paced 1 1/4-mile events or fast-paced one-mile events, but he has struggled to find his best form at distances in between.

True Timber, Sharp Samurai, Sleepy Eyes Todd, Jesus' Team and Mr Freeze all have found success at longer distances, but most would agree that their ideal distance is closer to one mile than 1 1/8 miles.

It also is important to note that while Knicks Go towers over the field in terms of recent speed figures, multiple other runners have run career-best Beyer Speed Figures within three points of his best, showing again that this race might be more wide-open than first appears.

In fact, likely long shot Harper's First Ride earned a 110 Brisnet Speed Rating when winning the Pimlico Special on Oct. 2, which surpasses Knicks Go's best of 109.

Below is a closer look at the best Beyer Speed Figures, Brisnet Speed Ratings and TimeformUS Speed Figures in the past two years for the 12 runners currently in the main body of the Pegasus field.

HorseFastest Race DateBeyerBrisnetTimeform 
Knicks GoBC Dirt MileNov. 7108 109 131
Mr FreezeGP MileFeb. 29 107  106 130 
Code of Honor 2019 JCGCSep. 28 106 109128
Tax Harlan's HolidayDec. 12 105  105  126 
Sharp SamuraiPacific ClassicAug. 22  103*  103  123 
Sleepy Eyes ToddCharles Town ClassicAug. 28 102  103  123 
Jesus' TeamBC Dirt MileNov. 7 102  103  121 
True Timber2019 Cigar MileDec. 7 101 101 123 
Kiss Today GoodbyeShared BeliefAug. 1 101    97 121
Harper's First RidePimlico SpecialOct. 2 101  110 120
 Math Wizard2019 Penn. Derby Sep. 21  99 100 123
 King GuillermoTampa Bay DerbyMarch 7   99  102  120 
* Career-best dirt figure.

Beyer speed figures and TimeformUS figures are courtesy of Daily Racing Form.  

Brisnet speed ratings are courtesy of Brisnet.

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