One of the biggest days on the horse racing calendar takes place on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Gulfstream Park. The fifth running of the Grade I Pegasus World Cup Invitational and this year’s $3 million purse drew a field of 12 runners.
Six other graded stakes races including the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf provide many betting opportunities. NBC televises the races from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET along with TVG. Post time for Race 12 and the Pegasus World Cup is at 5:44 p.m. ET from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Knicks Go (5-2) is the favorite, and he won the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in front of longshot runner-up and 2021 Pegasus rival Jesus’ Team (8-1). Kentucky Derby winner Authentic finished a distant 8th in the BC Dirt Mile.
Best Pegasus World Cup betting site
Pegasus World Cup odds
|1||Sleepy Eyes Todd||8-1||J. Ortiz||M. Silva|
|2||Coastal Defense||15-1||C. Lanerie||D. Romans|
|3||Independence Hall||20-1||F. Prat||M. McCarthy|
|4||Knicks Go||5-2||J. Rosario||B. Cox|
|5||Jesus' Team||8-1||I. Ortiz, Jr.||J. D'Angelo|
|6||Kiss Today Goodbye||10-1||M. Smith||J. Kruiljac|
|7||Tax||5-1||L. Saez||D. Gargan|
|8||Harpers First Ride||10-1||A. Cruz||C. Gonzalez|
|9||Last Judgment||20-1||P. Lopez||M. Maker|
|10||Code of Honor||10-1||T. Gaffalione||S. McGaughey|
|11||Mr Freeze||15-1||J. Velazquez||D. Romans|
|12||Math Wizard||20-1||E. Zayas||S. Joseph, Jr.|
Analysis of the field
The Pegasus favorite off his dazzling and record-breaking performance in winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He’ll go to the lead and no other horse comes close to the kind of fractions this horse can lay out in the early going. Can the lightly-framed Knicks Go repeat his remarkable effort in the Breeders’ Cup and carry his speed the added distance?
Code of Honor
Code of Honor is a reliable board hitter and top contender off his back-to-back runner-up finishes to close 2020. That includes his last race when rallying from off the pace to finish second as the favorite and passing 2021 Pegasus rivals Coastal Defense (4th) and Mr Freeze (5th). Code of Honor finished second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, and went on to win the Travers Stakes.
Tax was never a factor in the 2019 Kentucky Derby or the 2020 Pegasus World Cup. He returns as one who can press the pace off his runner-up finish in the Grade III Harlan’s Holiday last month over this track. He wired the field going 1 1/16 miles and posted a career-best 115 Equibase Speed Figure. Pegasus longshot Math Wizard (20-1) finished a distant fourth behind Tax.
Lightly-raced Coastal Defense makes his 10th career start and is the top longshot in the Pegasus. Coastal Defense finished fourth in his two recent graded stakes starts, including just behind runner-up favorite Code of Honor in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs. He had some traffic trouble at the top of the lane, but galloped out strong past the wire. His form cycle analysis projects a major move forward. Trainer Dale Romans has Coastal Defense and Mr Freeze ready as live longshots.
Mr. Freeze will be pressing Knicks Go and give him a better challenge than when he finished sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He offers value and a solid chance to hit the board as well. Mr. Freeze finished runner-up in the 2020 Pegasus World Cup and followed it up with a win over the Gulfstream surface and his best-ever speed figure. He won a Grade II race last fall and then finished six in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and fifth in the Clark Stakes after getting the lead at the three eights pole and then faltering to the finish. He was less than 10-1 that day and showed he can run right with Code of Honor, Coastal Defense and By My Standards.
Longshot Math Wizard has some surprise potential and offers bettors big return potential when adding underneath or betting a Trifecta or Superfecta. The 2019 Pennsylvania Derby winner beat highly regarded favorite Improbable that day. Math Wizard tuned up for this race off rest when finishing fourth in last months Harlan’s Holiday (G3) over this track. He has big surprise potential as an overlooked runner in the Pegasus.
Jesus’ Team has a jockey change to top rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. with Luis Saez deciding to ride Tax. Jesus’ Team rallied into hot fractions and finished second behind Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. He won a minor stakes last month at Gulfstream with his second-best speed figure in a 13-race career.
Sleepy Eyes Todd
Sleepy Eyes Todd will try to rally from off the pace and hope it’s a fast one. He’s won 8-of-15 starts and posted six straight triple digit Equibase speed figures. That includes 109 when winning the Grade III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream last month.