Mucho Gusto Airs in Impressive Pegasus Win

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By Emily Shields

Saturday’s 2020 Pegasus World Cup (G1) went to second-choice Mucho Gusto, who aired in the $3 million race to win by 4 ½ lengths. The son of Mucho Macho Man, who is trained by Bob Baffert and was ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr, joined the likes of previous Pegasus winners Arrogate, Gun Runner, and City of Light. He was the first non-favorite to win the race.

Mucho Gusto inherited the role of being second choice when favorite Omaha Beach and second choice Spun to Run both scratched days before the 1 1/8-mile contest. $1 million TVG Pacific Classic winner Higher Power went favored, but ultimately finished last in a 10-horse field. 7-1 shot Mr Freeze ran second, with 15-1 shot War Story third. The rest followed with Diamond Oops, Bodexpress, Tenfold, Seeking the Soul, True Timber, and Tax completing the field.

Mucho Gusto was coming off a disappointing sophomore campaign where he won the Robert B. Lewis (G3), Lazaro Barrera (G3), and Affirmed Stakes (G3) but didn’t make it to the Kentucky Derby (G1) or the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). His last 2018 start was a fourth-place effort in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) as the heavy favorite.

In the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf, which was also shown on TVG, 11-1 shot Zulu Alpha upset the globetrotting mare Magic Wand to win by two lengths. Mike Maker trains the son of Street Cry (Ire) for Michael Hui, and Tyler Gaffalione was up. Instilled Regard finished third, with favored Without Parole (GB) running second last in a 12-horse field. California shipper Mo Forza, the third choice, was ninth.

The undercard races included Spooky Channel upsetting the W. L. McKnight (G3) at 36-1. Pink Sands took the Inside Information Stakes under Jose Ortiz, Mean Mary won the La Prevoyante (G3), and Phat Man won the Fred W. Hooper (G3). Earlier on the card, Atomic Blonde defeated favored Mitchell Road in the South Beach Stakes, and popular Jean Elizabeth won the Ladies’ Turf Sprint Stakes.

Todd Pletcher’s classy maidens Market Analysis, by Honor Code, and Candy Tycoon, by Twirling Candy, both won maiden special weight races for sophomores.

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