Pegasus World Cup draw: Post positions, odds, profiles

Pegasus World Cup draw: Post positions, odds, profiles
Photo: Arron Haggart/Eclipse Sportswire

With last year’s winner Mucho Gusto retired and stablemate Charlatan skipping Saturday’s race, the role of likely favorite for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational falls to Knicks Go.

The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner drew cozy post No. 4 in a 12-horse field set for the $3 million Grade 1 race, a draw that trainer Brad Cox said left him "very pleased." Post positions are critical to the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, since the starting gate is only 150 yards ahead of the clubhouse turn, creating a disadvantage for horses drawn wide.

NBC will telecast the Pegasus World Cup with 4:30-6 p.m. ET coverage to include both the feature and the $1 million Pegasus Turf (G1) on what is forecast to be a sunny day.

The fields for both races in post position order with morning-line odds (trainers and jockeys) are shown here:

Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1)

1. Sleepy Eyes Todd, 8-1 (Miguel Angel Silva, Jose Ortiz). Victories in three of his last four races have gotten him attention, including last month’s score in the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream. Now 5, he also won last summer in the Charles Town Classic (G2) at 1 1/8 miles.

2. Coastal Defense, 20-1 (Dale Romans, Corey Lanerie). This lightly raced 5-year-old has won twice in nine starts but is 0-for-2 in stakes, both last fall. He finished fourth in both the Fayette (G2) and, after missing the break, in the Clark (G1). Those losses were only by a combined 3 1/2 lengths.

3. Independence Hall, 20-1 (Mike McCarthy, Flavien Prat). He is 4-for-5 going one turn but 0-for-2 in two-turn races like the Pegasus. Those two losses included a fifth-place finish last year in the Florida Derby. Last month at Santa Anita he was a distant fifth in the seven-furlong Malibu (G1).

4. Knicks Go, 5-2 (Brad Cox, Joel Rosario). Including the Breeders’ Cup this 5-year-old has won three in a row by a combined 21 1/4 lengths, all at a mile or longer. This will be his second start in Florida. His first was a fifth-place finish in the 2019 Sam F. Davis (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

5. Jesus’ Team, 8-1 (Jose D’Angelo, Irad Ortiz Jr.). The third-place finisher in last year’s Preakness won last month’s Claiming Crown Jewel over the same course and distance as he will be asked to run Saturday. At 62-1 odds he finished a surprising second to Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

6. Kiss Today Goodbye, 10-1 (Eric Kruljac, Mike Smith). Since a 1-for-9 start to a career that has taken him onto dirt and turf, he won his last two races, including last month’s San Antonio (G2) at 15-1. This 4-year-old is 3-for-7 on main tracks, all in southern California.

7. Tax, 5-1 (Danny Gargan, Luis Saez). After stumbling out of the gate he finished ninth in last year’s Pegasus, his first time off Lasix since he was 2. At age 5 this will be only his second race since last spring. His first was a 4 1/2-length victory last month in the Harlan’s Holiday.

8. Harpers First Ride, 10-1 (Claudio Gonzalez, Angel Cruz). The Pimlico Special (G3) last fall was one of the four victories this 5-year-old gelding extracted from his last five starts. The last two were minor stakes at Laurel Park. Like Knicks Go, he was sired by Paynter.

9. Last Judgment, 20-1 (Mike Maker, Paco Lopez). He is used to the nine furlongs he will be asked to run Saturday. It was only last weekend when he won over the same strip by 6 1/2 lengths in the Sunshine Classic for state-breds. His only two tries in graded stakes resulted in a ninth in the 2019 Pat Day Mile (G3) and an eighth in last month’s Mr. Prospector (G3).

10. Code of Honor, 9-2 (Shug McGaughey, Tyler Gaffalione). Since he won the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) in 2019, this 5-year-old has lost his last four fast-track starts. His two most recent races at Gulfstream came nearly two years ago — a win in the Fountain of Youth (G1) and a third in the Florida Derby (G1). With $2,644,320 he is the top earner in the field.

11. Mr Freeze, 15-1 (Dale Romans, John Velazquez). He led late in the Clark before Bodexpress, Code of Honor and two others ran by and left him to finish fifth. The 6-year-old millionaire was a winner in the October running of the 1 1/8-mile Fayette (G2) at Keeneland.

12. Math Wizard, 20-1 (Saffie Joseph Jr., Edgard Zayas). Since his 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) triumph, he has finished out of the money in six of his last seven races with as many different jockeys. He was fourth to Tax at Gulfstream last month in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3).

Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1)

1. Next Shares, 20-1 (Richard Baltas, Drayden Van Dyke).

2. Breaking the Rules, 10-1 (Shug McGaughey, John Velazquez).

3. Storm the Court, 12-1 (Peter Eurton, Julien Leparoux).

4. North Dakota, 10-1 (Shug McGaughey, Jose Ortiz).

5. Colonel Liam, 7-2 (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz Jr.).

6. Largent, 9-2 (Todd Pletcher, Paco Lopez).

7. Aquaphobia, 20-1 (Mike Maker, Joe Bravo).

8. Anothertwistafate, 5-1 (Peter Miller, Joel Rosario).

9. Cross Border, 15-1 (Mike Maker, Tyler Gaffalione).

10. Pixelate, 15-1 (Mike Stidham, Edgard Zayas).

11. Say the Word, 6-1 (Phil D’Amato, Flavien Prat).

12. Social Paranoia, 8-1 (Todd Pletcher, Luis Saez).

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