Pegasus World Cup Profile: Higher Power

By Margaret Ransom

Higher Power – Photo courtesy of

Hronis Racing owns and John Sadler trains Higher Power, a talented son of Medaglia d’Oro who stepped up to the highest level and won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar by 5 ¼ lengths for his first graded stakes score. He then finished third after a troubled start in the Awesome Again (G1) before ending 2019 with a strong closing third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), again after some trouble out of the gate.

Last year, Sadler brought Hronis Racing’s BC Classic winner Accelerate to Gulfstream Park, where he finished third in the Pegasus World Cup (G3) before being retired to stud at Lane’s End Farm.

With another strong contender for big races in southern California moving forward, Sadler decided the place to start the 2020 season for the 5-year-old Higher Power is in South Florida for a shot at the $3 million World Cup purse.

After a winter freshening, Higher Power has been back on the worktab since late November and represents one of the stronger California-based participants in the 1 1/8-mile World Cup.

Trainer: John Sadler

Owners: Hronis Racing (Kosta and Pete Hronis)

Career record: 15-5-1-6

Career earnings: $1,376,648

Pedigree: Medaglia d’Oro-Alternate, by Seattle Slew

Age: 5

Running style: Front-runner/Stalker

Handicapping Insights:

“Only Grade I win in weak Pacific Classic; in over his head.” — Ed McNamara

“No slouch despite never threatening in finishing third in Breeders’ Cup Classic; will need repeat of his best outing to win this but certainly fits in all of the exotics.” — Noel Michaels.

Notes: Known by fans for his nearly all white nose … bred in Kentucky by Pin Oak Stud and purchased for $250,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Horses of Racing Age sale last April on the advice of Hronis Racing’s bloodstock advisor, David Ingordo … dam is a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year Peaks and Valleys … started career in the care of Donnie Von Hemel in the fall of 2017 and was transferred to Michael Stidham late last year before passing through the auction ring.

 Pegasus World Cup 2020 Contenders (Invitees)
Horse Owner Trainer
Diamond Oops Diamond 100 Racing Club, Amy E. Dunne, D P Racing, Patrick Biancone Racing Patrick Biancone
Higher Power Hronis Racing John Sadler
Math Wizard John Fanelli, Khalid Mishref, Cash Is King, LC Racing, Collarmele Vitelli Stables, Ioannis Zoumas, Bassett Stables Michael Maker
McKinzie Karl Watson, Michael Pegram, Paul Weitman Bob Baffert
Midcourt CRK Stable John Shirreffs
Mr Freeze Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister Dale Romans
Omaha Beach Fox Hill Farms Richard Mandella
Seeking the Soul Charles Fipke Dallas Stewart
Spun to Run Robert Donaldson Juan Carlos Guerrero
Tax R.A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch, Corms Racing Stable Danny Gargan
True Timber Calumet Farm Kiaran McLaughlin
War Story Imaginary Stables, Glenn K. Ellis Elizabeth Dobles


Reserve invitees in order of preference
Horse Owner Trainer
Mucho Gusto Michael Lund Petersen Bob Baffert
Magic Wand Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Mr. M.J. Jooste Aidan O’Brien
Tenfold Winchell Thoroughbreds Steve Asmussen
Bodexpress Top Racing, Global Thoroughbreds, GDS Racing Stable Gustavo Delgado
Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters, Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager. She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several race horse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull as her favorite horse of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, three Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.