The $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) will be run Saturday at Gulfstream Park for 4-year-olds and upward going a 1 3/16 miles on the turf. The start will be at the top of the stretch with a long run into the first turn and the rail is supposed to be set at 96 feet. Much of the little speed in the field drew outside so the run into the first turn should be a trip-watcher’s paradise. The field is a mix of three-turn turf runners meeting two-turn turf runners going a long two turns so it should be fair; traffic notwithstanding.
Top Picks for the Pegasus World Cup TURF
- 3 Without Parole
- 10 Mo Forza
- 1 Zulu Alpha
- 2 Arklow
- $30 Win: 3
- $1 Trifecta: 3 with 10 with All ($10)
- 1 Trifecta: 10 with 3 with All ($10)
Pegasus World Cup contenders and morning line odds
#1 Zulu Alpha (12-1) will be hard to tell if he can handle the turn back in distance but he was a terrific fourth last out in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) behind this race’s defending champion, Bricks and Mortar. His late kick is devastating so the dream trip would be to save ground for the first half of the race and then either try to sneak up the inside or circle wide.
#2 Arklow (6-1) won going 1 1/2 miles two starts back against top company at Belmont Park then raced evenly behind a dawdling pace last time out in the Turf. His marathon races rarely had a true pace so he might be better suited to the turn back in distance for the cagey Brad Cox – 26% with his shippers.
#3 Without Parole (4-1) was a Group 1 stakes winner at Royal Ascot two years ago but hasn’t done much since then. Off a long layoff this year after two dull efforts, he switched to Chad Brown and was a sensational third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) in fast time despite a wide trip. The son of Frankel is a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tamarkuz and it looks like he is training well at Palm Meadows. The extra distance should be no problem on ground that is firm and Frankie Dettori picks up the mount.
#4 Sadler’s Joy (8-1) raced at longer distances in all four starts this year as he was off for almost nine months before resuming. His last two starts have been solid and shows two wins here on the turf over the years. At the age of 7, not sure if he will be able to handle the lack of Lasix in here.
#5 Channel Cat (10-1) danced many dances and ducked no one. He was part of the blanket finish in the Turf then came back here and just missed going 1 1/8 miles in fast time. Son of English Channel likes to go longer so Johnny Velazquez will have to have him cranked up early since he tends to be a bit of a grinder.
#6 Instilled Regard (10-1) only has one turf win but it came here last out in a Grade 2 stakes race in fast time. He can run up near the pace so Irad Ortiz Jr. should be able to keep him out of trouble. Son of Arch did just enough on the dirt to keep racing on it, but he could have a better career on the turf at the age of 5.
#7 Admission Office (30-1) has a big late kick going similar distances and picks up Flavien Prat – 23% turf winners. He was a good second here last out and Brian Lynch is always a threat at long odds on the turf.
#8 Henley’s Joy (30-1) won going 1 1/4 miles in fast time against this class level at Belmont Park last year but has been inconsistent since then. That was his best race by far and will have to improve even more to get a piece of this.
#9 Next Shares could not overcome post 13 in the Mile but bounced back with a sharp win last out at Del Mar in a Grade 2. At the age of 7, he has some back class and is always dangerous with the right trip.
#10 Mo Forza (5-1) won the Hollywood Derby (G1) two starts back on good turf as the lukewarm favorite then came back and won a Grade 2 at Santa Anita. He now takes on older rivals but has the look of an improving colt that can handle it. Son of Uncle Mo should be able to get position going into the clubhouse turn, but you will hear me screaming if Joel Rosario takes him back.
#11 Sacred Life (12-1) is a French-bred that has adapted nicely to Firm ground over here. I don’t like the post, but at least he gets Jose Ortiz and is training bullets on the turf at Palm Meadows. Chad Brown has three entered and this horse is as good as the others if he gets a decent trip.
#12 Magic Wand (7-2) is a relentless mare by Galileo that is always finishing strong no matter what the circumstances. She has been around the world after running well in the two-mile Melbourne Cup (G1) and winning the MacKinnon (G1) four days later. Last out, she just missed in a major race at Hong Kong, but post 12 will probably deny her a farewell victory.