The sixth running of the Pegasus World Cup may be the most balanced affair in this grade 1 race’s brief history. As twelve evenly matched runners go to post on January 28 at Gulfstream Park, we all are wondering who will claim the largest share of the $3 million purse? As we prepare to enjoy this mile and an eighth flight over the South Florida dirt, let’s take a look at the entrants and get a thought on each. Carded as race 13 with an expected post of 4:40 central, the Pegasus will be the final of seven stakes races on the day.
1 Proxy (9-2)- Trained by Michael Stidham, this son of Tapit is fresh off an impressive score in the grade 1 Clark back in late November. Normally a bridesmaid in these bigger stakes races, he should be included in your superfecta.
2 Simplification (15-1)- Battle-tested, this locally-based runner has made his last nine starts in graded stakes company. With only one win in that span (Fountain of Youth), questions abound about this Florida bred. We think his father has the answer…Not This Time.
3 Ridin with Biden (20-1)- This son of Constitution has won five of his last eight starts including two in a row at PARX. Trained by Robert Reid Jr., this five-year-old might be lost in the weeds here.
4 White Abarrio (10-1)- If you believe in a horse for the course theories this handsome son of Race Day is the one for you. Perfect in four starts at Gulfstream Park, this Saffie Joseph trainee last ran in South Florida on April 2 2022 in the Florida Derby. Last seen finishing third in the Cigar Mile, he could certainly be the one here.
5 Defunded (6-1)-Is this perhaps the horse on the biggest high? Two straight wins (Awesome Again, Native Diver) in graded stakes races and some magnificent works indicate he is quite live right now. Throw in trainer Bob Baffert’s ability to prepare a runner for a big race and Bada Bing!
6 Art Collector (10-1)- This six-year-old son of Bernardini had two wins in four starts last year and seems to either win or finish off the board ( 20 starts 10 wins one second). Four graded stakes wins speaks of his ability but he does not look like a Picasso here.
7 Skippylongstocking (5-1)- Two wins in his final three starts of 2022 means he may have found himself. The final race of the year saw this son of Exaggerator win the Harlan’s Holiday at Gulfstream. Having Jose Ortiz in the irons is a plus but likely not enough here.
8 Get Her Number (15-1)- This son of Dialed In has five wins in fifteen career starts but only one triumph in graded stakes company (American Pharoah 2020). A strong finishing second last out in the Cigar Mile was very encouraging. Jock Luis Saez is another plus and a big effort here is a real possibility. Might be the upset special on this menu.
9 Last Samurai (20-1)- Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, this son of Malibu Moon has not won since April of 2022 (Oaklawn Handicap). Nine starts in graded stakes company speaks of his experience, but this may be asking for a bit much.
10 Cyberknife (5-2)- Two grade 1 wins (Arkansas Derby, Haskell) and over $2 million in career earnings means this Brad Cox-trained son of Gun Runner is a deserving favorite here. He just missed in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last out and is training well heading into his final career start. A nice horse but a vulnerable favorite.
11 Stilleto Boy (30-1)- This battle-tested son of Shackleford finished third in this race last year. A hard knocker that seems to always run hard like his pappy means he needs to be in your superfecta. Not a likely-win candidate, but a horse that can trigger a nice exotic payout.
12 O’Connor (10-1)- Chilean-bred runner that has finished in the money in seventeen of twenty starts with ten wins. Has a win over the Gulfstream dirt but has never run against this type of class. Trainer Saffie Joseph wins a lot of Gulfstream but this is a bit of a reach for this horse.