By Emily Shields
A field of ten runners will line up for the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a $7 million contest at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
The 1 3/16thmile race boasts an international cast, with the filly #1 Magic Wand (Ire) arriving from Ireland and the gray mare #4 Aerolithe (Jpn) joining the group from Japan. The will face one other mare and seven males led by #2 Yoshida (Jpn), also Japanese-bred but based in the United States.
Yoshida is coming off a fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in November for trainer Bill Mott. Already a grade 1 winner on the grass, the flashy son of Heart’s Cry showed his versatility when winning the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga in September. He is four for ten with three second place efforts on the grass, but has never run over the Gulfstream strip. He figures to be running late.
#9 Catapult was second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) last out, missing by a half-length to the victorious Expert Eye. Six for 16 lifetime, this son of Kitten’s Joy is the stablemate of Accelerate, the expected favorite for the sister race on the main track, the Pegasus World Cup. Catapult typically runs the shorter distance of a mile, but won the Eddie Read (G2) at Del Mar three starts back, and that was over nine furlongs.
Magic Wand was multiple group 1 placed in Europe before coming over for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1), where the daughter of Galileo finished fourth, beaten less than three lengths. Legendary trainer Aidan O’Brien is at the helm.
#7 Bricks and Mortar had a 14-month layoff after starting his career going four for six. He has already won twice over this course, including his comeback event at a mile here on Decemebr 22. The Chad Brown-trainee showed no rust that day, winning with a swift 102 Beyer Speed Figure. He is already a grade 2-winner in his short career.
Aerolithe won a grade 2 in Tokyo two starts back, and in May of 2017 won the Mile Cup (G1) over 17 rivals, mostly males, in a sublime performance.
Other starters include #3 Channel Maker, Mott’s other starter who was a grade 1 winner at Belmont two back, #5 Next Shares, who has won three of his last four including a grade 1 at Keeneland and a grade 2 at Santa Anita, the mare #6 Fahan Mura who is coming off a grade 3 win at Santa Anita on December 29, and #8 Delta Prince, a royally-bred runner for Jimmy Jerkens who is two for three over the course and will have blinkers off today.
The field for the first Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), with morning line and riders:
- Magic Wand (9-2) Wayne Lordan
- Yoshida (5-2) Jose Ortiz
- Channel Maker (12-1) Javier Castellano
- Aerolithe (8-1) Florent Geroux
- Next Shares (15-1) Tyler Gaffalione
- Fahan Mura (30-1) Edwin Maldonado
- Bricks and Mortar (5-1) Irad Ortiz, Jr.
- Delta Prince (15-1) Frankie Dettori
- Catapult (7-2) Joel Rosario
- Dubby Dubbie (30-1) Luca Panici
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