The $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) will be run for the fourth time on Saturday at Gulfstream Park for 4-year-olds and upwards going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. A full field of 12 has been entered and there are only four, single-digit morning line entrants. Without the hefty starting fee this race used to have, some are in over their heads.

Top Picks for the Pegasus World Cup DIRT

  • 6 Higher Power
  • 2 Tax
  • 5 Omaha Beach
  • 8 Mr Freeze
  • $20 Win: 6
  • $5 Exactas: 6 with 2,5,8 ($10)
  • $5 Exactas: 2,5,8 with 6 ($10)

Pegasus World Cup contenders and morning line odds

#1 True Timber (20-1) stretches out to two turns but he has done his best racing around one turn. Joe Bravo should be able to get a good position once the outside speed settles in, but I can’t see him making a move and then repelling the expected charges in the stretch.

#2 Tax (12-1) has won two graded stakes races going this distance and should be able to work out a trip from post 2 with Jose Ortiz. He ran better than it looked from post 12 in the Travers (G1) going longer then came back three months later with a good second. Son of Arch continues to train well and Danny Gargan is a New York trainer that flies under the radar against this class level.

#3 Diamond Oops (20-1) is a horse for the course that lost all chance in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) when he broke awkwardly from a wide post. I like that he bounced back here with a fast win going 7 furlongs. This a major test going longer, but he could be dangerous if Julien Leparoux places him in the first tier.

#4 Seeking the Soul (30-1) was second here last year on a sloppy track then won a Grade 2 going this distance at Churchill Downs. His last four starts were out of the money but if the pace falls apart, he will be there to pick up a piece.

#5 Omaha Beach (SCRATCHED) – Withdrawn due to lameness. Omaha Beach won a Grade 1 at Oaklawn Park and looked like he would be the favorite in the Kentucky Derby (G1) before having breathing problems. Hall of Fame trainer Dick Mandella turned him back in distance and he responded with a Grade 1 win going 6 furlongs in fast time. After running second in the Dirt Mile, he bounced back with a win in another sprint stakes race. I thought he was walking short in his right front when schooled in the paddock and even though he appears to have worked well since then, I am taking a stand against him.

#6 Higher Power (6-1) prospered since switching to John Sadler and upset the Pacific Classic (G1) at 9-1. He raced evenly in the Awesome Again (G1) going this distance then made up some ground on the deepish Santa Anita main track in the Breeder’s Cup (G1). I look for a big effort for him stalking the early speed.

#7 War Story (30-1) switched to the barn of Elizabeth Dobles and promptly won a Grade 3 here going two turns on the dirt. He has won here before but don’t see an upside for him at the age of 8.

#8 Mr. Freeze (30-1) could not handle the red-hot Tom’s d’Etat in his last two starts, but he should be a pace factor with the hyper aggressive Luis Saez picking up the mount.

#9 Spun to Run (SCRATCHED) has been withdrawn due to a skin rash.

#10 Mucho Gusto (9-2) ships in for Bob Baffert but draws way outside. His best race last year was a second against Maximum Security in the Haskell (G1) going this distance then had the lead in the Travers before being run down. Last out, the son of Hard Spun was a dull fourth in the Oklahoma Derby (G3), but he’s training bullets coming in here.

#11 Tenfold (30-1) won the Pimlico Special (G3) last year but did little else since. He caught sloppy tracks the past two starts and would need a pace meltdown to have a chance in here.

#12 Bodexpress (30-1) went gate to wire to win two in a row than held well for third here last out after setting a demanding pace. He will be on the lead as Jaramillo has no choice but to go to the front, but I can’t see him holding on.