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Gulfstream Park's three Pegasus contests are the highlights of a busy weekend stakes calendar, with Knicks Go taking on Life Is Good in the Pegasus World Cup and Colonel Liam returning from an eight-month layoff to defend his Pegasus World Cup Turf title.
The schedule features stakes from coast to coast, including Kentucky Derby and Oaks points preps at Oaklawn – and the expected return of Cezanne at Santa Anita.
Here is an early look at the fields.
Pegasus World Cup (G1), 1 1/8 miles, 4-year-olds and up
Knicks Go and Life Is Good meet in this $3 million event after victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic and Dirt Mile, respectively. Knicks Go won this race last year on his way to an expected Horse of the Year honor, and this will be the final race of his career. Sir Winston is coming off an impressive streak at Woodbine, with two wins and two seconds in his last four starts – three in graded stakes. Endorsed made a late bid last out in the Mr. Prospector at seven furlongs on this track but couldn't catch up to Officiating.
Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), 1 1/8 miles, 4-year-olds and up
Colonel Liam started 2021 with a win in this race and two more graded stakes then took a break after an eighth-place finish in the Manhattan (G1). He has been working at Palm Meadows, with a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.23 on Jan. 14. Channel Cat was only a neck behind Serve the King in the Red Smith (G2) last out on Nov. 20. Well-traveled Field Pass, winner of the Seabiscuit (G2) by a head last out, would make his first start at Oaklawn.
Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3), 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Regal Glory had three wins and a second in five stakes starts at five tracks last year, including a 2 1/2-length win in the Matriarch (G1) last out on Nov. 28. Princess Grace rallied to finish third by a nose in that race. The top three finishers in the Suwannee River (G3) are possible here, including winner Sweet Melania.
Inside Information (G2), 7 furlongs, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Four Graces' second-place finish by a nose in a Gulfsteam allowance on Jan. 6 was her first start off a six-month-plus layoff. Dance d'Oro returns off a 2-length win in the Rampart (G2) here on Dec. 18.
W. L. McKnight (G3), 1 1/2 miles (turf), 4-year-olds and up
Sole Volante will be looking for his first win in nine starts since June 2020. Flying Scotsman faded to finish sixth in the Tropical Turf last out and has not won in five starts since a February allowance here.
La Prevoyante (G3), 1 1/2 miles (turf), fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Probables include the top five finishers from the Dec. 31 Via Borghese Stakes, where Always Shopping rallied to finish a nose ahead of Harajuku. Hungry Kitten raced only three times last year, starting in August after a nine-month layoff.
Charlatan (G3), 1 mile, 4-year-olds and up (formerly the Fred W. Hooper)
Ny Traffic started 2021 with an allowance win at Belmont and finished with an 8 3/4-length victory in the black-type Hudson Handicap, with three graded-stakes losses in between. Shivaree won the Marion County Florida-Bred Stakes last out for his first win in seven starts since scoring in the same race a year ago. Officiating won the Mr. Prospector (G3) last out over Pegasus World Cup contender Endorsed and Dennis' Moment, who also is expected here.
Southwest (G3), 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds
Slow Down Andy, seventh on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 10 points, missed being 3-for-3 with his half-length loss in the Golden State Juvenile (G2) two starts ago and fought Messier in the final furlong to win the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) last out. Chasing Time tries his first stakes after a 7 3/4-length allowance win here last out. Newgrange is 2-for-2 after his Sham win. Dash Attack, who also has 10 Derby points, also is 2-for-2 with a win in the Smarty Jones here on Jan. 1. This Kentucky Derby points prep offers 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers with trainers other than Bob Baffert.
Martha Washington (listed), 1 mile, 3-year-old fillies
Tonito's earned two points on the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard with her third-place finish last out in the Starlet (G1), won by Eda, who also is expected here. Shotgun Hottie set the pace in the Untapable last out before giving way. Optionality broke her maiden on third try in October and won her next two, including an 8 1/4-length win last out in the black-type Trapeze. This Kentucky Oaks points prep offers 10-4-2-1 points to the top four finishers with trainers other than Bob Baffert.
San Vicente (G2), 7 furlongs, 3-year-olds
Messier will look to bounce back from his second-place finish to Slow Down Andy – a possibility here – in the Los Alamitos Futurity. Doppelganger graduated on debut last out at six furlongs. Forbidden Kingdom makes his first start since the Bob Hope (G3), where he finished second to Messier. Straight Up G had two straight wins before finishing second by a neck in the California Cup Derby.
Megahertz (G3), 1 mile (turf), fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Madone's last win came in the San Clemente (G2) in July, and he last ran in the Oct. 30 Autumn Miss (G3), finishing seventh. Mucho Unusual is coming off a 5: 2-2-1 record last year, finishing third last out in the Robert J. Frankel (G3).
Palos Verdes (G3), 6 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up
Cezanne is expected to make his return here. He raced only once last year, winning the April 18 Kona by 9 3/4 lengths before going to the sidelines. He's been working well at Santa Anita, going five furlongs in 59.6 seconds Sunday morning. Shooters Shoot would return to graded-stakes company after a second-place finish in a Santa Anita allowance on Jan. 2.
Toboggan (G3), 7 furlongs, 4-year-olds and up
The top three finishers from Aqueduct's Dec. 19 Gravesend Stakes could return here. Chateau won that contest by 3 1/2 lengths over Jaxon Traveler, with another 3/4 length to Drafted. Repo Rocks won allowance races at Aqueduct in November and December before finishing second in the Blitzen at Parx.
San Marcos (G2), 1 1/4 miles (turf), 4-year-olds and up
Subconscious won three straight before finishing fifth in the Hollywood Derby (G1) last out. The top three finishers from the San Gabriel (G2) could run here; Bob and Jackie won by a nose over Friar's Road, with Ready Soul a half-length back.
John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3), 1 1/2 miles (turf), 4-year-olds and up
Hierarchy returns to graded-stakes company for the first time since a ninth-place finish in the Wise Dan (G2), where he finished ninth. He hasn't won in six starts since. Dyn O Mite finished sixth in a listed Oaklawn stakes last out, coming off an allowance win at Keeneland in October.
Houston Ladies Classic (G3), 1 1/16 miles, fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up
Pauline's Pearl's win in the Zia Park Oaks was her first score since the April 3 Fantasy Stakes (G3) and followed in-the-money finishes in three state graded stakes. Golden Curl won the Ricks Memorial Stakes at Remington Park before finishing fourth in the My Charmer at Turfway last out.