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.
|Knicks Go||BC Dirt Mile||Nov. 7||108||109||131|
|Mr Freeze||GP Mile||Feb. 29||107||106||130|
|Code of Honor||2019 JCGC||Sep. 28||106||109||128|
|Tax||Harlan's Holiday||Dec. 12||105||105||126|
|Sharp Samurai||Pacific Classic||Aug. 22||103*||103||123|
|Sleepy Eyes Todd||Charles Town Classic||Aug. 28||102||103||123|
|Jesus' Team||BC Dirt Mile||Nov. 7||102||103||121|
|True Timber||2019 Cigar Mile||Dec. 7||101||101||123|
|Kiss Today Goodbye||Shared Belief||Aug. 1||101||97||121|
|Harper's First Ride||Pimlico Special||Oct. 2||101||110||120|
|Math Wizard||2019 Penn. Derby||Sep. 21||99||100||123|
|King Guillermo||Tampa Bay Derby||March 7||99||102||120|