Pegasus World Cup post positions
Here are the post positions with morning-line odds (and jockeys in parentheses):
1. Arrogate (Mike Smith), 7-5 – good post for speed colt, perhaps the most valuable horse in the world
2. Prayer for Relief (Florent Geroux), 50-1 – 9-year-old has not won in a race in 4 years
3. Neolithic (John Velazquez), 30-1 – youngsters won an allowance race on the lead last time out
4. Noble Bird (Julien Leparoux), 25-1 – very fast and needs the lead to have a chance to win
5. War Story (Antonio Gallardo), 50-1 just ran the race of his life in a race-long battle
6. War Envoy (Luis Saez), 50-1 –
7. Shaman Ghost (Jose Oritz), 20-1 – Queen’s Plate winner, Ontario bred, owned by Stronach
8. Semper Fortis (Tyler Gaffalione), 50-1 –
9. Keen Ice (Javier Castellano), 12-1 – good stretch runner comes off big workout
10. Breaking Lucky (Luis Contreras), 25-1 – Ontario-bred is on even terms with Shaman Ghost
11. Eragon (Edgar Prado), 50-1 – Mystery horse from Argentina
12. California Chrome (Victor Espinoza), 6-5 – Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Dubai World Cup…what else do you need to know?
MIAMI HERALD STORY
from Gulfstream Park media..
– The $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) will be inaugurated Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the distinction of providing a stage for the most highly anticipated high-stakes showdown in Thoroughbred racing history.
The world’s richest horse race, for which 12 stakeholders each put up $1 million to participate, will provide two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome the opportunity to go out a winner while avenging the most resounding loss of an enduring career that is scheduled to come to a close Saturday. The Pegasus World Cup will also give Arrogate the chance to launch his highly anticipated 2017 campaign by proving that his half-length upset victory over California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 5 was hardly a fluke.
At Monday’s post position draw at Frankey’s Sports Bar in the Village at Gulfstream Park, California Chrome LLC’s California Chrome was installed as the 6-5 favorite in the morning line after being assigned Post 12.
“We can’t make any excuses. The only good thing I thought about this is that he doesn’t have to be in the starting gate long,” Sherman said of the No. 12 post.” Chrome is Chrome. He’s got tactical speed. I was hoping that we would get closer inside. He will overcome all this, believe me.
Juddmonte Farm’s Arrogate was rated second at 7-5 after drawing Post 1 for the 1 1/8-mile spectacular that may be more accurately billed as a rubber match than a rematch.
Although Arrogate prevailed over California Chrome in their only meeting on the track, he was soundly defeated in the voting for the 2016 Horse of the Year title that was awarded to California Chrome at Saturday evening’s Eclipse Award Dinner at Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings theater.
“It will be emotional. I’d love to see him go out a winner,” California Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman said. “I know it’s going to be a tough race, but I’ll tell you I’ve never seen a horse train like him in a long time. It seems like each time I work him he gets a little bit stronger. I would have loved to have one more year with him. This year would have been a fabulous year for this horse. He amazes me on the way he’s just getting better. At 6 years old, you look at him and you say, ‘Wow, he hasn’t reached his peak yet.’”
While California Chrome’s exploits were the talk of the racing world throughout the 2016 racing season, the late-developing Arrogate made a sudden surge from relative obscurity to conclude his 3-year-old campaign with a record-setting triumph in the Travers (G1) and his stunning win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Trainer Bob Baffert relishes the opportunity for Arrogate and California Chrome to meet again less than three months after their first clash, thanks to the Stronach Group’s role in establishing the innovative Pegasus World Cup, which is carded as the last of 12 races on Saturday’s program (First Post: 11:30 a.m.) and will be broadcast by NBC (4:30-6 p.m.).
“I think it’s thinking out of the box. It couldn’t have come at a better year when you’ve got the No.1 and No. 2 horses hooked up together,” Baffert said. “It’s very rare that you’ll get that type of a matchup. It’s like a Breeders’ Cup all over again. At this time of the year it’s usually really quiet, usually we’re just getting our horses ready for the spring and summer. I think everybody is going to be watching. The $12 million catches a lot of people’s attention. This is Frank Stronach’s dream and I’m proud of being part of it.”
California Chrome will attempt to become the world’s richest horse by adding Saturday’s record $7 million first prize to his long list of accomplishments that includes victories in the 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1), the 2014 Preakness Stakes (G1) and the 2016 Dubai World Cup (G1). The California-bred veteran, who is already the top earner outside Japan with more than $14.5 million in purses, will be ridden by Victor Espinoza.
“It’s hard to give Victor any instructions. He has ridden the horse so many times, so many graded races,” said Sherman, whose star tuned up for the Pegasus World Cup with a 12-length romp in the Winter Challenge at Los Alamitos Dec. 17. “I don’t think he will be looking around as much as he did in the Breeders’ Cup. I told him, ‘This is The Last of the Mohicans.’”
After witnessing the power of Arrogate’s stretch run of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Espinoza isn’t at all likely to ride California Chrome with overconfidence. Arrogate’s impressive narrow decision over California Chrome followed a monumental stakes-debut triumph in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August. The son of Unbridled’s Song devastated more battle-tested rivals, including Belmont Stakes winner Creator and Preakness victor Exaggerator, during a 13 ½-length victory, breaking General Assembly’s 1979 track record with a 1 ¼-mile clocking in 1:59.36 with Mike Smith aboard for the first time.
The Santa Anita-based Arrogate is scheduled to arrive at Gulfstream Park Tuesday in advance of his second clash with California Chrome, who long ago won over Baffert as a fan.
“I always have total respect for the Derby winner. Everyone likes watching a Derby winner run, and he has been solid. That horse has run so many races and stayed healthy and sound. He’s a freak of nature,” Baffert said. “For him to show up in this race is what makes it – him and Arrogate.”
Although California Chrome and Arrogate are being geared up for another head-to-head clash in the Pegasus, thoroughbred racing’s brightest stars will be joined in the starting gate by a field of 10 rivals on an upset quest.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle two, Keen Ice and Neolithic, while acknowledging the imposing challenge of facing both California Chrome and Arrogate.
“They’re two awfully good horses we’re competing against. I’ve been watching how they’ve been training on video or whatever and it looks like they’re on cue,” Pletcher said. “It will be a challenge for sure, but we’re awfully happy with the way our two horses are coming into it.”
Donegal Racing’s Keen Ice, who finished second in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 17, pulled off a huge upset of Triple Crown champion American Pharoah in the 2015 Travers. Starlight Racing’s Neolithic, a late-developing 4-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday, romped to a nine-length allowance victory at Gulfstream Dec. 14.
“I feel really good about where we are with our two. They have both had steady preparations for the race and they’ve both had races over the track here. Everything’s gone according to plan,” Pletcher said. “We’ve been able to work them when we wanted them to. We haven’t had to interrupt their schedules. It’s fun to be able to run at your home track without shipping for a change.”
Keen Ice, who is rated third in the morning line at 12-1, will be ridden by Javier Castellano, while John Velazquez is named to ride 30-1 Neolithic.
John C. Oxley’s Noble Bird (25-1) and Stronach Stables’ Shaman Ghost (20-1) are also set to bring Grade 1 credentials into the Pegasus World Cup.
Noble Bird, a 6-year-old with more than $1 million in earnings, won the 2015 Stephen Foster (G1) at Churchill Downs, as well as three stakes in 2016.
“I have the utmost respect for both horses [California Chrome and Arrogate] and their connections. I would say we are one of the outside contenders, it there really are any contenders outside Arrogate and California Chrome,” trainer Mark Casse said. “It’s a tall task, but we feel if they stub their toes and we run the race of our lives…. He holds a track record going a mile and an eighth. He’s never run here but I think this racetrack will suit him.”
Shaman Ghost, a 5-year-old homebred who has earned $1.3 million, was saddled by James Jerkens for a triumph in last year’s Whitney (G1) at Saratoga.
James McIngvale’s Eragon (50-1) will make his U.S. debut in the Pegasus World Cup as a multiple Group 1 winner in Argentina.
Multiple-stakes winners Breaking Lucky (25-1) and Prayer for Relief (50-1) are Grade 1-placed entrants in the Pegasus. Owned by Gunpowder Farms, West Point Thoroughbreds, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Randy Hill and Eric Young, Breaking Lucky finished second ahead of Shaman Ghost in the Clark Handicap (G1) at Churchill Downs Nov. 25. Zayat Stables’ Prayer For Relief was third in the 2014 Woodward at Saratoga.
Rounding out the Pegasus World Cup field are: Reddam Racing’s Semper Fortis (50-1), who finished second in the 2016 Los Alamitos Derby (G2); War Story (50-1), a multiple graded stakes-placed 5-year-old gelding owned by Loooch Racing, Glen Ellis, Imaginary Stables and Daybreak Racing; and Ruis Racing’s War Envoy (50-1), a Group 2-placed runner in Europe who finished third in the 2016 Barbados Gold Cup (G1).
ONTARIO BRED MARES – HORSES OF RACING AGE IN OBS MIXED SALE
Following a racing day today at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company, the Mixed Sale starts Jan 25 and will be held for 2 days. The Mare Purchase Program is still in effect for Ontario residents who buy an in foal mare 12-years-old age or younger..find out all the info on the sale at:
Here are the Ontario bred horses in the sale –
32 10 M Bristol Road Harlington Black Rock Road Line of David Ontario Kayleen Holstein, Agent 11
185 10 M Rocket Ninety Nine Medaglia d’Oro Tango Prospect Star Guitar Ontario Big Easy, Agent 6
200 14 G Super Saver American Armada Ontario Niall Brennan Stables, Agent V 13
210 13 C Gotta Get Away Candy Ride (ARG) Catch the Flag Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
213 13 F Run the World Strut the Stage Classic Reign Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
214 14 F Tell the Duchess Smart Strike Classira (IRE) Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
215 14 C Cleopatra’s Honor To Honor and Serve Cleopatra’s Finest Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
216 12 G Sea to Sea Tiznow Dance to the Sea Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
228 13 G Last Class to Go Strut the Stage Go First Class Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
273 12 G Strut the Ring Strut the Stage Torreadora Ontario Sam – Son Farm 14
464 04 M Opera Smart Strike Capdiva Shackleford Ontario Summerfield (Francis & Barbara Vanlangendonck), Agent CXIII 9
468 10 M Laynes Road Harlington Chancery Lane First Dude Ontario Perrone Sales, Ltd., Agent I 8
528 14 F Spring in the Wind Spring At Last First With Class Ontario Abbie Road Farm (Lisa McGreevy), Agent I 1
558 09 M Ragtime Road Dixieland Band High Arch Ontario Select Sales, Agent I 6
578 06 M Dash It Dreamer Kiridashi Itstartswithadream Danza Ontario Ends Well, Agent I 7
709 09 M Wicked Great Greatness Slightly Wicked Field Commission Ontario Kim Harrison (Top Speed Farm), Agent VI 3
OBS WINTER MIXED SALE UNDER-TACK SHOW RESULTS
Fastest Three-Furlong Works
Time Hip Name
:33 4/5 297 Hill Croome (g, 3, American Lion–Sauternes)
Consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XI
:34 flat 233 Voo Dude (c, 3, First Dude–Itsgetineardawn)
Consigned by All Dreams Equine, agent
:34 flat 262 River of Love(c, 3, Majesticperfection–Singour Song)
Consigned by RiceHorse Stables (Brandon & Ali Rice)
Fastest Four-Furlong Work
:47 2/5 253 Dubai Princess(f, 3, Overdriven–Poitrine)
Consigned by Corona Leaders Cup, Agent I
ONTARIO BRED SAILING HOME and UNCLE B in OCALA SPRINT STAKES
There are Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred races at the Ocala sales grounds today including the non wagering six furlong $50,000 OBS Sprint Stakes for 3-year-old colts and geldings.
Lucio Tucci and Martha Gonzalez’ Uncle B and Conrad Farms’ Sailing Home (Mast Track) renew acquaintances after running second and third respectively in Woodbine’s Swynford Stakes last November. Sailing Home, trained by Mark Casse, will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. Luis Saez will ride Uncle B for trainer Nick Gonzalez.