Japan's Master Fencer lines up for Pegasus World Cup prep

December 15, 2019 10:35am

Master Fencer, the Japanese-bred colt who appeared in two legs of the Triple Crown series earlier this season, is back in the entries for a Saturday event that could propel him to the Pegasus World Cup (G1).

The sophomore son of Just a Way is among an initial list of 17 horses  in Hanshin Racecourse’s Maya Stakes. For 3-year-olds and up, it runs at about nine furlongs, the same distance as the Jan. 25 Pegasus at Gulfstream Park.

If he goes, Master Fencer would be making his second start off the layoff following a Dec. 1 allowance victory at Chukyo Racecourse. That day, he won by three lengths while carrying the high weight in a 1 3/16-mile race.

The Maya is carded as Saturday’s 10th race at Hanshin with post positions to be determined later.

Previously, in a three-race campaign for owner/breeder Katsumi Yoshizawa, the Koichi Tsunoda-trained Master Fencer placed sixth in the Kentucky Derby, hit the wire fifth in the Belmont Stakes and ran 13th when switched to turf for the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1).

Should Master Fencer earn an invitation back to the U.S. to the Pegasus, he could be in line for a break in the weights running without the anti-bleeding medication Lasix. The condition book has cut anywhere from five to seven pounds in past Pegasus runnings.

Editor's note: Changes announced Sunday afternoon for the Pegasus make it a $3 million invitational and medication-free event.

Other 3-year-olds expected in the Pegasus are the potential top two betting choices. Maximum Security’s the likely favorite off a victory in the Cigar Mile (G1), while Omaha Beach will prep in the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1)


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