By Richard Rosenblatt
Charlatan, who returned to the races after an absence of eight months with a dominating 4 ½-length victory in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on opening day Dec. 26, will likely make his next start in the world’s richest race, the $20 million Saudi Cup at 1 1/8 miles in Riyadh on Feb. 20, Bob Baffert said this morning.
The winner receives $10 million.
Charlatan had his first workout Saturday since the Malibu, going four furlongs in 49.80.
The four-year-old son of Speightstown was making his first start in the seven-furlong Malibu since crossing the wire on top in the first division of the Arkansas Derby last May 2, only to later be disqualified on a disputed medication violation.
The dazzling chestnut colt has reached the finish line ahead of his rivals by a combined margin of 26 1/2 lengths, an average of better than six lengths per race.
“That’s the plan right now,” Baffert said of the Saudi Cup. “I’ve got another week to make up my mind, but he’d be coming back a little quick for the other race ($3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park Jan. 23) off a long layoff, and he ran so hard (in the Malibu), I worry about that.
“The thing I like about the Saudi race is it’s a one-turn mile-and-an-eighth and Charlatan is so fast. It’s a challenge, but it’s $20 million.
“That’s a lot of money.”
Additional Pegasus Invitations to Independence Hall, Coastal Defense and Ride a Comet
Math Wizard, King Guillermo Move into Main Body of Pegasus World Cup (G1) Field
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Gulfstream Park officials announced Sunday additional invitations to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), to be held Saturday, Jan. 23.
Independence Hall, a 12 ¼-length winner of the Nashua (G2) at two and runner-up in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at three, and Coastal Defense, fourth Nov. 27 in the Clark (G1), have received invitations for the 1 1/8-(G1mile Pegasus World Cup and have been added to the also-eligible list.
Moving into the main body of the Pegasus World Cup from the also-eligible list are Grade 1 winner Math Wizard and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo.
Ride a Comet, an impressive winner Saturday of the Tropical Turf (G3), has been invited to the 1 3/16 mile Pegasus World Cup Turf and was placed on the also-eligible list. Moving into the main body of the Pegasus Turf is Next Shares and Field Pass.
Limited seating is available and tickets can be purchased at Pegasusworldcup.com.
Fans can watch and wager on the Pegasus World Cup at 1stbet.com and xpressbet.com.
Independence Hall, a 4-year-old son of Constitution, returned from an eight-month layoff to win under allowance conditions in November at Del Mar before finishing fifth Dec. 26 behind Charlatan in the Malibu (G1). Independence Hall is trained by Michael McCarthy, who trained 2019 Pegasus World Cup winner City of Light.
Dale Romans, who saddled Mr Freeze to a second-place finish last year behind Mucho Gusto in the Pegasus World Cup, trains Coastal Defense. A 5-year-old son of Curlin, Coastal Defense was fourth in the Clark as well as the Oct. 10 Fayette (G2).
John Oxley and My Meadowview Farm LLC’s Ride a Comet is undefeated in four starts since returning from a two-year layoff. The 6-year-old son of Candy Ride, trained by Mark Casse, also won the Kennedy Road (G2) in November at Woodbine.
True Timber Takes Sisterson by Surprise with Pegasus Preparation
Jesus’ Team Breezes ‘Easy’ Six Furlongs at Palm Meadows
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Calumet Farm’s True Timber took trainer Jack Sisterson by surprise Saturday morning during his five-furlong breeze in preparation for a third start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park.
Working in company with multiple-stakes winner ≈, True Timber covered five furlongs in 1:00.20 under exercise rider Mark O’Dwyer at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
“He worked great this morning. It was probably one of the better breezes he’s done with us. He went in company with another older horse, American Tattoo, and Mark sort of tapped his hip and he came home in 11 [seconds] and galloped out very strong,” Sisterson said. “I was quite surprised the way he went. Usually, he’s rather workmanlike and … slow, but he was extremely fast this morning.”
The 7-year-old son of Mineshaft, who captured the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct had previously turned in two half-mile workouts in 53.45 seconds and 51 seconds, respectively.
“He’s 7 years old and he knows exactly what his job is. We just train him the way he wants to be trained and keep him happy,” said Sisterson, who took over the training of True Timber following the retirement of previous trainer Kiaran McLaughlin toward the middle of 2020. “He seems to be turning the corner for us.”
In his two previous starts in the Pegasus, True Timber finished seventh in 2019 and eighth last year.
Jesus’ Team Breezes ‘Easy’ Six Furlongs at Palm Meadows
Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team breezed six furlongs Saturday morning in preparation for a planned start in the Pegasus World Cup.
The multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Tapiture was timed in 1:13.40 at Palm Meadows. Regular exercise rider Simon Rodriguez was aboard for the workout.
“The hard work was last week. He did it in the way I want,” said trainer Jose D’Angelo, who 4-year-old colt produced a five-furlong bullet workout Jan. 2. “I wanted an easy work. I think he’s ready. He’ll just have one more four-furlong work to main his condition.”
Jesus’ Team, who broke his maiden for a $32,000 claiming price at Gulfstream last March, has been stakes-placed in his last five starts, including a third-place finish in the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) and a second-place finish in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland. The Kentucky-bred colt most recently captured the Dec. 2 Claiming Crown Jewel at Gulfstream.
“It’s very exciting. It is the most important race of our calendar in South Florida at Gulfstream Park,” D’Angelo said. “I think it’s a big test for both me and Jesus.”
Victoria’s Ranch’s King Guillermo breezed five furlongs in 1:00.93 Saturday morning at Gulfstream Park for a possible start in the Pegasus World Cup.
The son of Uncle Mo, the 2020 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner, finished fourth behind True Timber in the Cigar Mile while coming off a seven-month layoff.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Fair Grounds Saturday morning in preparation for the Pegasus.
About The Stronach Group and 1/ST G3 Pimlico Special Winner Harpers First Ride Pegasus-Bound
Laurel Park-Based Gelding One of Two Maryland-Breds in Field
LAUREL, MD – MCA Racing Stable’s Harpers First Ride, a four-time stakes winner in 2020 including the historic Pimlico Special (G3), is set to launch his 5-year-old season in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) Saturday, Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park.
Based at Laurel Park with trainer Claudio Gonzalez, Harpers First Ride was among the invitees to the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus for 4-year-olds and up, being held for the fifth consecutive year. Also on the list is another Maryland-bred, 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) winner Knicks Go.
Harpers First Ride ended 2020 with back-to-back stakes victories at Laurel in the 1 1/16-mile Richard W. Small Nov. 28 and 1 1/8-mile Native Dancer Dec. 26.
“He came back really good after the last race, that’s why we try to go to the Pegasus,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a big race. It all depends. If he continues like how he’s doing, we’re going to go.”
The Pegasus will be the third time in graded-stakes company and first against Grade 1 competition for Harpers First Ride, who Gonzalez claimed for $30,000 out of a Sept. 14, 2019 win at Churchill Downs.
“The first time he ran over there he ran good, and he was a Maryland-bred. Why not bring him here?” Gonzalez said of the reason behind claiming the gelded son of Grade 1 winner Paynter. “What’s he doing over there? So, we decide to claim the horse.”
Harpers First Ride won seven of 11 races in 2020 with two seconds, one third and $495,623 in purse earnings, growing his career bankroll to $573,055. He won the 1 1/16-mile Deputed Testamony Sept. 5 at Laurel as a prep for the 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special, where he dueled up front with favored Owendale to win by two lengths.
“He surprises me every day. Every day he goes better,” Gonzalez said. “He comes back from the races like nothing. He’s easy to train. He’s a classy horse. He does everything right.”
Gonzalez said the plans call for Harpers First Ride to breeze at Gulfstream and have regular rider Angel Cruz aboard for the Pegasus. Cruz has been up for each of Harpers First Ride’s last five wins and all four stakes.
“He knows the horse really good. And for me it’s better that he rides, and I think that he will,” Gonzalez said. “The plan is to go 10 days before the race to give him a breeze over there and let him get to know the racetrack and get used to the weather change. Here it’s cold and over there it’s going to be hot. That’s why we plan that. It gives him a couple of days to adjust.”
Claimed by Gonzalez for $30,000 out of a Sept. 14, 2019 win at Churchill Downs, MCA Racing Stable’s Harpers First Ride won for the seventh time in 11 starts in 2020, four of those wins coming in stakes – the Deputed Testamony, Richard W. Small and Native Dancer at Laurel and Pimlico Special at Pimlico Race Course.
A gelded 4-year-old son of Grade 1 winner Paynter, Harpers First Ride has earned $495,623 this year, growing his career bankroll to $573,055. He will figure in the conversation for Maryland-bred Horse of the Year along with Knicks Go, who went three-for-three in the Midwest this year topped by a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
“The horse surprises me every race he runs. Every race he runs better and better. He walked today and he walked like he knows he won. It’s really good when you see that,” Gonzalez said. “He won four stakes, he won the Pimlico Special, and all the stakes he won he won good. It’s the first time I’ve had a horse like that. With Harpers, every day is special. From the day we claimed him, he started doing good.”
Among the early 2021 stakes for 4-year-olds and up going a route of ground at Laurel are the $75,000 Jennings for Maryland-bred/sired horses at one mile Jan. 16, the $100,000 John B. Campbell at about 1 1/16 miles Feb. 13 and $100,000 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at 1 1/8 miles March 13. Gonzalez said the connections will keep all their options open for the soon-to-be 5-year-old.
“He proved that he won his races easy and maybe he has to take the next step and race with the big guys and see how he does,” he said.
January 7, 2021
Math Wizard Being Pointed to $3 million Pegasus World Cup
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The fields for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) will be firmed up on Friday, when the connections of the invitees must confirm their intent to run in the Jan. 23 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational series at Gulfstream Park.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. has every intention to run Grade 1 winner Math Wizard in the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup. The 5-year-old son of Algorithms was listed second in preference on Reserve Invitees list released last week but is expected to draw into the 12-horse field due to the recent retirement of defending champion Mucho Gusto and the likelihood of Anothertwistafate, No. 1 on the Reserve list for the Pegasus, being committed to the Pegasus Turf.
Math Wizard, who captured the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx, came off a three-month layoff to finish fourth in the Dec. 12 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park. The Harlan’s Holiday was won in impressive front-running fashion by Tax, who won by 4 ½ lengths while covering 1 1/16 miles in a sharp 1:41.15.
“If all goes well, he’ll run in the Pegasus,” Joseph said. “He’s doing good. Normally, when he comes off a layoff, it takes a race or two for him to come back to order. We wanted to get him the race in the Harlan’s Holiday. I feel like he’s going to move forward off that race.”
Math Wizard is winless in seven starts since registering a 31-1 upset victory in the Pennsylvania Derby. Heading into Parx’s signature race, he had gone winless in six starts following his 18 ½-length victory at Gulfstream Jan. 31, 2019, when he was claimed by Joseph and owner John Fanelli for $25,000.2
January 2, 2021
Jesus’ Team Tunes Up for Pegasus with Bullet Workout
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Grupo 7C Racing Stable’s Jesus’ Team tuned up for a planned start in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) with a ‘bullet’ five-furlong workout Saturday morning at Palm Meadows Training Center.
The 4-year-old son of Tapiture, who most recently captured the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel Dec. 2 at Gulfstream, was timed in 59.75 seconds for five furlongs at Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.
“He was very sharp. It was an amazing workout and an amazing gallop out too,” trainer Jose D’Angelo said. “I am very happy with the work today. I think we will have a big chance in the Pegasus World Cup.”
The Pegasus World Cup and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) will co-headline the Jan. 23 program at Gulfstream Park.
“He will have two more breezes, six furlongs next week and four furlongs the next week. Then, he will be ready for the Pegasus,” D’Angelo said.
Jesus’ Team, who broke his maiden for a $32,000 claiming price at Gulfstream last March, has been stakes-placed in his last five starts, including a third-place finish in the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) and a second-place finish in the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland.
Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo breezed a half-mile in 47.66 seconds at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning. The son of Uncle Mo finished fourth in the Dec. 5 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct while coming off a seven-month layoff.
About The Stronach Group and 1/ST
2021 PEGASUS WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONAL SERIES ANNOUNCES BACCARAT AS OFFICIAL TROPHY PARTNER AND PREMIERES FASHION FILM – (W)INNER CIRCLE
In advance of the 5th annual Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, 1/ST and Baccarat are pleased to unveil the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series Trophies designed by Baccarat.
The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series Trophies – in clear and black crystal – are ultimate symbols of elegance, mystery, power, and luxury. Inspired by Greek mythology and embodying the expertise of Baccarat, Pegasus’ movement and exceptional size are masterfully captured and originate from a single block of crystal. Cut by a Meilleur Ouvrier de France for 90 hours, this sculpture created by Allison Hawkes represents a real technical feat. Struck by light, the sculpted material reveals the muscles of the prancing Thoroughbred. The Clear Pegasus, valued at $34,500, will be presented to the winner of the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1). The Black Pegasus, valued at $42,500, will be presented to the winner of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).
Also in celebration of the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship is the premiere of (W)Inner Circle, a short film celebrating the fashion and lifestyle of the Pegasus World Cup, shot in the Miami Design District by prominent Miami-born and raised fashion photographer, Alexander Saladrigas. Featuring looks by Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Adeam, and a lavish dinner scene with complete table settings provided by Baccarat, (W)Inner Circle blends the “inner circle” of high fashion and friends with the majesty of horse racing’s “winner’s circle.”
The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be held on January 23 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. This year’s Pegasus World Cup continues to innovate by redefining the guest experience with limited, socially-distanced ticket offerings for race day enthusiasts. Reserved seating tickets and packages are available athttps://www.pegasusworldcup.com/tickets/ or by calling the Pegasus World Cup Box Office at Gulfstream Park at 1-833-464-7924 between 9:00 am – 6:00 pm ET, daily.
Since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, 1/ST has developed and implemented industry-leading COVID-19 safety measures at its tracks and facilities across the United States. The 2021 Pegasus World Cup will implement strict social distancing protocols and new health and safety guidelines for riders and spectators. On-premise attendance for this year’s event has been reduced to 20% to allow all guests to socially distance accordingly. Thermal sensing cameras at all entrances check guest temperatures, and masks are required. Cleaning protocols provide regular sanitizing of public spaces, and cashless wagering via 1/ST BET eliminates handling of currency. For more information on the health and safety measures for the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, please visit www.pegasusworldcup/com/health-safety.
For more information about Pegasus World Cup, please visit www.pegasusworldcup.com and follow the excitement on social media @PegasusWorldCup and #PegasusWorldCup #RunWithUs.
The 12 horses given first preference for the Pegasus World Cup were (in alphabetical order):
- Charlatan – Owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Frederick Hertrich III, John Fielding, Golconda Stables. Trained by Bob Baffert
- Code of Honor – Owned by W.S. Farish. Trained by Shug McGaughey
- Harpers First Ride – Owned by MCA Racing Stable LLC. Trained by Claudio Gonzalez
- Jesus’ Team – Owned by Grupo 7C Racing Stable. Trained by Jose D’Angelo
- Kiss Today Goodbye – Owned by John Sondereker. Trained by J. Eric Kruljac
- Knicks Go – Owned by Korea Racing Authority. Trained by Brad Cox
- Mr Freeze – Owned by Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister. Trained by Dale Romans
- Mucho Gusto – Owned by HRH Prince Faisal Bin Khaled. Trained by Bob Baffert
- Sharp Samurai – Owned by Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Mark Glatt. Trained by Mark Glatt
- Sleepy Eyes Todd – Owned by Thumbs Up Racing, LLC. Trained by Miguel Angel Silva
- Tax – Owned by R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch. Trained by Danny Gargan
- True Timber – Owned by Calumet Farm. Trained by Jack Sisterson.
The also eligibles are (in order of preference)
- Anothertwistafate – Owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd. Trained by Peter Miller
- Math Wizard – Owned by John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash is King LLC, LC Racing LLC, Collarmele Vitelli Stables LLC, Ioannis, Zouas, Bassett Stables. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr.
- King Guillermo – Owned by Victoria’s Ranch. Trained by Juan Carlos Avila
- Idol – Owned by Calvin Nguyen. Trained by Richard Baltas
Baffert, who won the Pegasus last year with Mucho Gusto and the inaugural running with Arrogate, has two chances for a hat trick with his defending champion and Charlatan.
After his victory in the Pegasus last year Mucho Gusto finished fourth Feb. 29 in the Saudi Cup before Baffert gave the 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man time off. He returned Dec. 26 to finish fourth of six in the San Antonio (G2).
Charlatan was regarded as one of the country’s top 3-year-olds after his performance in the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) but he was sidelined with an ankle injury before returning off a seven-month layoff to win the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.
Multiple Grade 1 winner Knicks Go enters the Pegasus off three consecutive victories since being moved to the stable of Brad Cox. The 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Paynter was an impressive winner last time out of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).
Jesus’ Team, second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and beaten less than a length by Knicks Go, sold for $30,000 as a yearling and has earned $508,940. The Jose D’Angelo-trained 4-year-old finished third in the Preakness (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2) last year.
Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus’ Team for the place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and City of Hope (G2). His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf.
W.S. Farish’s homebred Code of Honor will be making his 13th consecutive start in a graded race, his ninth in a Grade 1 event. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor was placed second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) and went on to win the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club (G1). Code of Honor’s 4-year-old season included a victory in the Westchester (G3) and second-place finishes in the Clark (G1) and Kelso (G2).
Tax, claimed for $50,000 out of his second career start by trainer Danny Gargan for co-owner Hugh Lynch, will run in his second consecutive Pegasus. The 5-year-old, an impressive winner of the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 12 off a seven-month layoff, was fourth in the 2019 Belmont (G1) and won that year’s Jim Dandy (G2). The son of Arch finished ninth in last year’s Pegasus after stumbling at the start.
Mr Freeze finished second in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, 4 ½ lengths behind winner Mucho Gusto. Trained by Dale Romans, Mr Freeze went on to win the Fayette Stakes (G2) before wide trips resulted in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and fifth-place finish in the Clark last time out.
Calumet Farm is hoping the third time is the charm for True Timber. Seventh in the 2019 edition of the Pegasus and eighth last year, the 7-year-old enters this year’s $3 million edition off a popular victory in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 5 at Aqueduct. It was his first win in 13 starts, since September of 2018.
Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 19. The 5-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado, who won the Charles Town Classic (G2) in August, has been a model of consistency, winning eight of 15 races while racing at 11 different tracks for trainer Miguel Angel Silva.
John Sondereker’s Kiss Today Goodbye, a lightly-raced 4-year-old, upset Mucho Gusto and four others Dec. 26 in the Malibu when he closed from last. Trained by J. Eric Kruljak, Kiss Today Goodbye had finished fifth in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and fourth in the Twilight Derby (G2) earlier in the year.
Harpers First Ride, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred, enters the Pegasus having won four of his last five starts including a victory in the Pimlico Special (G3). Maryland’s perennial leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez will saddle the son of Paynter.
Anothertwistafate, winner of the Jan. 2 San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and Sept. 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is No. 1 on the also eligible list. The son of Scat Daddy is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf. Locally-based Math Wizard, a Grade 1 winner who finished second last summer to Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) show finisher Global Campaign in the Monmouth Cup, is second on the AE list while King Guillermo, owned by former Major League Baseball all-star Victor Martinez, and Idol, second in the San Antonio, round out the list.