With some of racing’s biggest names retiring, the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) was always supposed to be a big affair — and that’s how the race played out on Jan. 28. Gulfstream Park.
In the planes with Junior Alvaro, Bruce Lunsford’s homebred Art collector let it be Forbidden. One of the hot favorites, pressure pacesetter Stiletto boy Through the first wagons. The 6-year-old son of Bernardini then came on strong in the stretch, winning by 4 1/2 lengths at odds of 15-1.
Barred, from California for trainer Bob Baffert, to finish second hanging, trailing 45-1. Stiletto boy and 51-1 The last samurai . Favor Cyber knife Winner of the 2022 Arkansas Derby (G1) and Haskell Stakes (G1), returned to finish sixth in last start.
The tote board was turned up like a poker, and Alvarado and Lunsford won.
“He’s a horse I’ve been following for a while,” said Alvarado, who recently scored his 2,000th win and took over from another longshot, Luis Saez. Get her number , to finish ninth in Pegasus. “I guess it was just time.”
For him, it was finally time. Mott said the art collector’s schedule was a bit chaotic for the first snowbird visit to South Florida.
“He created a leg jam and that set us back,” Mott said, “Then we were going to target Harlan’s Holiday earlier in the meeting but I felt he wasn’t quite ready for that and Bruce said he was fine with waiting. Pegasus: Obviously, the horse was fine with that.”
“The older rider picked another horse,” Mott said, “and Junior rode it the way the script was written.”
“Sometimes,” said Alvarado, “when you open the door, plans change, but today everything is done. It gave me hell from the quarter pole.”
“The horse liked what he[Alvarado]did with him, that he was allowed to calm down and breathe and conserve energy,” Mott said. “It’s all about saving energy. He had something to drive home.”
The art collector was bred by Lunsford out of the black type winning Grade 1. Perverse joke mare A distorted legacy . All-round or nothing, he won for the 11th time in 21 starts with a second and a third place. The winning Pegasus purse share pushed his career earnings north of $4 million. His dam’s three winners are the highest-scoring so far from four starters. The mare is 3 years old to destruction Foal, called Classic heritage He broke his maiden in his third start in December and worked his way to death last time out on January 21 at Payson Park. The mare gave birth to a 2-year-old son. Confirm it The full name of the kingdom comes and has one that is not mentioned Gold medal Annual fill. A distorted legacy is achieved Gun runner For 2023.
Lunsford credited his trainer and friend with a change in the art collector’s strategy that led to Saturday’s victory. Doing it all served him well, though, with wins including the Charlestown Classic (G2) twice, The Woodward (G1) and the Alydar Stakes. Saratoga Race CourseLunsford Mott was heard.
“Bill and I go way back,” said the owner. “A lot of people don’t know that. We talked about it and I give Bill full credit for that. He said, ‘Let’s try something different.’ Let’s work and see what happens,” he said. And now it’s gotten better and better.”
Lunsford said he will pass it on to Mott to decide what happens next for the art collector.
“We have to make that decision and work behind some of the bigger seeds. But I don’t think we’re going to be in a rush to get it back,” Mott said.
The art collector is finally slated to stop at Claiborne Farm in an agreement announced in October 2022. He moved to the $20 million Saudi Cup (G1) in February last year and finished sixth in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup on his first start in February. (G1) completed the 12th grade in the country Logo way Baffert won the trained Country Grammar In the final stages.
After that race, several dead horses were stalled in Saudi Arabia for a month due to transportation failures caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While he was forgiven that mix-up, Mott said a return to Riyadh or a trip to the Dubai World Cup (G1) is probably off the table for the art collector this year.
“I believe those races will come a little too soon for us. We haven’t selected for either race, we’re not going to Saudi Arabia or Dubai. We’ll look at the domestic campaign and work back from those,” he said.
Baffert did not immediately indicate whether Defunded, which has received much attention in its own right, would be a candidate for the Middle East. Pegasus is a 5-year-old Call In gelding for the first time outside of California.
However that played out, Pegasus and his predecessor the Don Handicap (G1) are forever linked to the Dubai collection.
Over the course of its seven runs, Pegasus has evolved from a format requiring a blind buy at the starting gate to a standard invitational format. Along the way, it’s become an attractive target for horses going in both directions – forward on the track or back to the breeding trough.
In the year The 2022 edition, for example, featured a showdown between two free-running horses that emerged victorious in the Breeders’ Cup World Championship. From the sea-Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic Go Knicks and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Life is good . Knicks Go was making his final trip to his owners, the Korean Racing Authority, when Life Is Good jumpstarted his 2022 career.
Life Is Good won the race by a romp and won three more stakes later in the year for Winstar Farm and the China Horse Club. He was a finalist for the 3-year-old Male Eclipse Award. Likewise, Pegasus was his boarding pad for the Dubai World Cup (G1) two months later, where he tired in the lead and finished fourth.
This is the “South Florida to Mid-East Desert” pipeline that opened in 1996. A cigarette He won Pegasus, then known as the Don Handicap, and scored a stunning victory in the inaugural Dubai World Cup. The appearance of the cigar confirms its position in the race for its creator, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Recently, Nix Go won the 2021 Pegasus and finished fourth in the $20 million Saudi Cup. Nice to meet yo. In the year In 2020, he won and finished fourth at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh. Gun runner He turned things around by finishing second in Dubai in 2017, before heading to his second career win at Pegasus in 2018.
The most impressive World Cup – World Cup double, however, came in 2017 Arrogant He beat Pegasus in a romp, then blew a start in Dubai and had to come from dead in the last to win, his trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Mike Smith amazing.
“Just like I rode it Zenyatta ” said Smith, pointing to the star mare who made the famous cloud-gathering feat, and to this day Smith shakes his head in disbelief as he remembers the race.