POST POSITION DRAW – PEGASUS WORLD CUP
Post positions for the richest horse race in the world – the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) – will be drawn Monday, Jan. 23 at Pegasus Park at Gulfstream Park.
The park will open at 4:30 p.m. and the post position draw will take place at 5 p.m.
The inaugural running of the innovative Pegasus World Cup Invitational, to be contested at nine furlongs, will feature one of the most highly anticipated match-ups in Thoroughbred racing history between Arrogate and California Chrome.
Others expected to try and upset the two Horse of the Year candidates include Keen Ice, the only horse to beat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah during his 3-year-old season, Woodward (G1) winner Shaman Ghost, Clark Handicap (G1) runner-up Breaking Lucky, Stephen Foster (G1) winner Noble Bird, and South American import Eragon.
The post position draw will be streamed on http://www.gulfstreampark.com/racing/xbtv-live and http://www.xbtv.com/.
First race post time for Pegasus World Cup Invitational Day is 11:30 a.m. The race will be televised on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. For more information and tickets, go to PegasusWorldCup.com.
What: Post position draw for Pegasus World Cup Invitational
Where: Pegasus Park, Gulfstream Park
When: 4:30-7 p.m., Monday, Jan. 23
Draw: 5 p.m.
The last career workout of one of the greatest of all time – California Chrome..
CALIFORNIA CHROME sped through 5 furlongs in 58.91 at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning for his final prep for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup next Saturday… Gulfstream Park photo
KEEN ICE works strongly at Palm Beach Downs for Pegasus – Saturday morning
BREAKING LUCKY TAKES ON THE PEGASUS
by Woodbine Entertainment
Breaking Lucky, winner of the 2015 Prince of Wales Stakes, will be one of two Canadian-bred contenders, the other being 2015 Queen’s Plate champ Shaman Ghost, in the upcoming Grade 1 $12-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational set for January 28 at Gulfstream Park, in Florida.
Trained by Reade Baker, Breaking Lucky ran fifth in the 2015 Queen’s Plate, defeated just four lengths by Shaman Ghost, but turned the tables on his rival on the Fort Erie dirt taking the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown by a neck.
The chestnut son of Lookin at Lucky, bred in Ontario by Christine Hayden, improved by leaps and bounds as a four-year-old making the grade in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup at Woodbine while also taking his show on the road with solid placings in a number of top flight U.S. events.
Following his Seagram Cup score in August, Breaking Lucky traveled to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes where he finished a game fourth, defeated a neck, by Shaman Ghost. Although he came up empty as the favourite in his next start, when eighth in the Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, a re-invigorated Breaking Lucky came through with a strong second to Gun Runner in the Grade 1 Clark, while keeping Shaman Ghost 3 1/2-lengths back in third.
The Clark effort may have done enough to convince Sovereign Award voters to select Breaking Lucky as both champion older horse and Horse of the Year.
“In my opinion he certainly ran better than any other horse that’s up for a Sovereign Award that went to the U.S. this year,” said Baker.
Luis Contreras, a fixture near the top of the Woodbine jockey standings, has been aboard Breaking Lucky since the Seagram Cup win and will again be the pilot at Gulfstream.
Breaking Lucky has trained towards the Pegasus World Cup from his winter base at Palm Beach Downs in Florida where he breezed a smart five furlongs in 1:00.40 on Jan. 18.
“He came the last quarter in :23.3 and galloped out three quarters in 1:13 and change. It was perfect,” said Baker.
Baker credits a combination of maturity and a change in training schedule to the recent improved efforts of the stout chestnut.
“I didn’t really learn how to train him until the fall,” explained Baker. “He started to get good in the fall when we’d give him more than a week off between his last work and the race. I don’t know which kicked in more, but the spacing really seemed to be a good thing.”
Baker was quick to acknowledge Gunpowder Farms owner Tom Keithley for allowing the time required to coax the very best out of Breaking Lucky.
“I’ve been very lucky as every time I’ve asked the owner to slow down or stop on him he’s been nothing but obliging. That’s what has made the horse,” said Baker.
As a Grade 3 winner on Tapeta and Grade 1 placed on dirt, Baker is convinced his horse can handle any surface.
“I don’t think its dirt or synthetic (that improves him). I think he’s equally as good on either surface and he’s just a big sound horse that’s older and more mature now,” said Baker.
Breaking Lucky made his debut on the Gulfstream Park main back in March of 2015 when a well-beaten fourth, but this is a much different horse now and the veteran conditioner has no concerns ahead of the Pegasus World Cup. Breaking Lucky will gallop again on Wednesday at Palm Beach Downs before shipping to Gulfstream Park where he will jog on Thursday and Friday ahead of the big event.
To win the Pegasus World Cup, Breaking Lucky will have to topple two giants of the sport in California Chrome and Arrogate.
California Chrome, with purse earnings in excess of $14-million, has won 16 of 26 starts including Grade 1 wins in the Kentucky Derby (2014), Preakness (2014), Hollywood Derby (2014), Dubai World Cup (2016), Pacific Classic (2016) and the Awesome Again Stakes (2016).
The lightly raced Arrogate has won five of six career starts. He burst into the national spotlight in August with a romping 13 1/2-length score in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga and then proved it was no fluke by collaring California Chrome with a final surge to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“We’re in pretty deep waters here,” admitted Baker. “But, there are a lot of factors.”
One key factor is the recent addition of the pacey Noble Bird, trained by Mark Casse for John Oxley, to the Pegasus field. The added speed could prove a challenge for the often prominent headliners and help set up an opportunity for Breaking Lucky to have first run should the speed collapse.
“He (Breaking Lucky) can sit anywhere you want him to. The game has changed now because Noble Bird is a lead only horse,” offered Baker. “When he goes to the lead how far will he advance them? He might have changed the pace from a :47 and change first half-mile to a :46. But, I’m not going to try and ride him. I’ve got a very good professional rider and I’ll let him make the judgment.”
Breaking Lucky is expected to be listed at 25-1 on the morning line for the Pegasus World Cup but local punters are well aware of Baker’s ability to pull off the unexpected.
In 2015, Baker captured the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks with 66-1 shot Academic; he sent out 21-1 River Rush to take the 2012 running of the Plate Trial; and one would need to look no further than Breaking Lucky’s own running lines to find powerful efforts at inflated odds including a runner-up run in the Clark at 46-1.
Baker has no qualms about taking a shot in the world’s richest race.
“It’s what you’re supposed to do,” said Baker. “You’re supposed to aim right for the top level and that’s what we’re going to do. This is a dream come true for me. I love the pressure. A good horse going two turns with real good horses. This is what I want to do.”
And the fact that the Toronto native is doing it with a Canadian-bred makes it that much sweeter.
“It sure does. You hear the knock all the time that you can’t raise a good horse up there. It’s too cold,” said Baker. “Well, we’ve already proven he’s a good horse raised in Ontario. Let’s hope he’s a real special horse.”
Breaking Lucky will represent Gunpowder Farms, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, R.A. Hill Stable and West Point Thoroughbreds, the latter syndicate which includes racecaller Tom Durkin.
ECLIPSE AWARDS – Chrome, Arrogate, Tepin and more
The Eclipse Awards will be streamed live from Gulfstream’s Sport of Kings Theater on TVG and online at gulfstreampark.com and NBCsport.com starting at 8:00p.m. EST
Malcolm Pierce sent out NOBLE THOUGHT to win an allowance/optional claiming race on the grass at Tampa Bay Downs on friday by 1 1/2 lengths 1 mile and 40 yards on dirt as the 2 to 1 favourite. Noble Thought is a Pin Oak Stud homebred 4yo by Harland’s Holiday.
TUESDAY RACING AT OCALA BREEDERS’ SALES
Ontario-bred SAILING HOME, by Mast Track, is cross entered in two Ocala sales graduates events on Tuesday, a day of racing that is held before the Winter Mixed Sale.
RACE 9 – POST TIME – 3:20 PM OBS Sprint (Colts and Geldings Division) S.
Ocala Training Center STAKES
Purse $50,000. For Three-Year-Old Colts And Geldings That Went Through An Obs Sales Ring. Weight 122 Lbs. Sustaining payments of $100 due August 31, 2016 and $250 due December 1, 2016; or $500 due December 1, 2016 if the first sustaining payment was not made. Six Furlongs. (All Weather Track)
1 Silver Defense (KY) 3/C L J Bravo 122 T S Wismer
2 Mizzen Lynx (KY) 3/G L O Bocachica 122 M Dini
3 Made to Fit (LA) 3/G J L Ortiz 122 K Rice
4 My Friend (KY) 3/G L J Lezcano 122 L Pilotti
5 Simply Tizway (PA) 3/C L S Uske 122 G S Bush
6 Front Loaded (FL) 3/G L E Jaramillo 122 J Pinchin
7 Sailing Home (ON) 3/C L J R Leparoux 122 M E Casse
8 Storming My Way (FL) 3/C L P Lopez 122 E Plesa, Jr.
9 Uncle B (KY) 3/C L L Saez 122 N Gonzalez
Owners: 1 – Breeze Easy, LLC; 2 – Ballybrit Stable, LLC; 3 – Clyde D. Rice; 4 – Debra Posgai; 5 – Dale Hagedorn; 6 – Rousseau, Stephen and Calypso Stable; 7 – Conrad Farms; 8 – Mensh, Donald H. and Paikoff, Mel; 9 – Tucci, Lucio and Gonzalez, Martha K.
Breeders: 1 – Grade I Bloodstock & Halcyon Farm; 2 – Circle Sid Farms; 3 – Terry Gabriel & Lisa Meaux; 4 – Hart Farm; 5 – Xanthus Farms, Inc.; 6 – Arboritanza Racing LLC, Jolane Weeks; 7 – Andy Stronach; 8 – Marion G. Montanari; 9 – Andy Reynolds
RACE 11 – POST TIME – 4:10 PM OBS Championship (Colts and Geldings Division) S.
Purse $100,000. For Three-Year-Old Colts And Geldings That Went Through An Obs Sales Ring. Weight 122 Lbs. Sustaining payments of $100 due August 31, 2016 and $250 due December 1, 2016; or $500 due December 1, 2016 if the first sustaining payment was not made. One And One Sixteenth Miles. (All Weather Track)
1 Adonis Creed (KY) 3/G L J Lezcano 122 K P McLaughlin
2 Harlan’s Quest (KY) 3/C L P Lopez 122 T S Wismer
3 Major Key (FL) 3/C L E Trujillo 122 L M Ramirez
4 Convict Pike (KY) 3/C L A Cruz 122 G R Arnold, II
5 Sailing Home (ON) 3/C L J R Leparoux 122 M E Casse (cross entered)
6 Manifest Destiny (NY) 3/G L E J Zayas 122 B R Brown
7 Master Plan (KY) 3/C L J R Velazquez 122 T A Pletcher
8 My Friend (KY) 3/G L 122 L Pilotti
9 Shiraz (NY) 3/C L J L Ortiz 122 M J Maker
Owners: 1 – Zilla Racing Stables; 2 – Breeze Easy, LLC; 3 – Altamira Stable LLC; 4 – Ashbrook Farm; 5 – Conrad Farms; 6 – Chalk Racing and Our Sugar Bear Stable LLC; 7 – Al Shaqab Racing, WinStar Farm LLC and China Horse Club; 8 – Debra Posgai; 9 – Three Diamonds Farm
Breeders: 1 – Mr. & Mrs. Broussard Hundley Jr.; 2 – Santa Rosa Partners; 3 – Altamira Stable LLC & Armando Elias; 4 – Rosemont Farm LLC; 5 – Andy Stronach; 6 – Barry R. Ostrager; 7 – Ernest C. Frohboese; 8 – Hart Farm; 9 – Lambholm