A couple of stellar fields were assembled for the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational races at Gulfstream Park On Saturday January 26 with two brilliant performances leading to two brand new champions.
Already a pattern may be developing in terms of the type of horse that wins this, so keep in mind the history of the Pegasus in order to help you understand what it takes to win it. Check that out within our main Pegasus page here.
The world’s biggest owners love to flex their muscles in the big races, so even having to stump up a cool half million to get involved in this contest does not put them off. So long as they feel they have a contender they are sure to get the check book out and 2019 was no different. Here's how they all performed:
Accelerate (trainer: John Sadler, owner: Hronis Racing LLC)
The Breeders’ Cup Classic champion went off favorite for this race but the fear that he may need a longer distance to be seen at his best was borne out when he used up a lot of energy early in the contest to get into contention before the stretch. He was upsides and ready to challenge, but was left behind by the winner with 3/16 to go and eventually lost out on second place too, finishing third and beaten 7¼ lengths.
Audible (trainer: Todd Pletcher, owner: China Horse Club)
Having raced so well on a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby there was hope for this four-year-old, but he wasn’t so popular with bettors on the day. Having needed to be dropped out in rear from his wide gate, he made good headway with two furlongs to go but eventually weakened to finish fifth.
Bravazo (trainer: D Wayne Lukas, owner: Calumet Farm)
A long losing run didn’t end in this race for Bravazo and there were no excuses. Luis Saez and his mount broke quickly from an inside gate and got a good position and remained in contention until two furlongs from the wire when the winner broke, Bravazo finishing a fair fourth.
City Of Light (trainer: Michael McCarthy, owner: Mr & Mrs William K Warren Jr)
We commented on these pages that Michael McCarthy’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner would have improved over time and that this extra distance could bring out the best in him should he attempt again to go from the gate to the wire in front.
Javier Castellano got to the front of the field with around a half-mile to go and was going strongly with two furlongs left before the jockey pushed the button and pulled clear in impressive fashion. City of Light was 5¾ lengths on top at the line in recording a stunning victory.
Gunnevera (trainer: Antonio Sano, owner: Margoth)
Despite being runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Gunnevera was not so fancied on the day due to his wide gate. Having not gotten the best of breaks, Irad Ortiz was always at the back of the pack on this guy and he eventually just went through the motions to finish in sixth place.
Imperative (trainer: Anthony Quartarolo, owner: Loooch Racing Stables Inc)
A huge outsider and drawn in a wide gate, unfortunately there were to be no miracles here as he ran 8 th under Tyler Gaffalione.
Kukulkan (trainer: Fausto Gutierrez, owner: Cuadra San Jorge)
Having won the Caribbean Classic round this track there was some hope for Mexico’s best, but under Frankie Dettori the son of Point Determined struggled the whole way in the sloppy going and eventually beat only one horse home.
Patternrecognition (trainer: Chad Brown, owner: Klaravich Stables Inc, William H Lawrence)
A Grade One winner coming into this race, Chad Brown’s runner did not like these conditions one bit and despite leading the pack until a half-mile from home, he eventually finished tailed-off in last place.
Seeking The Soul (trainer: Dallas Stewart, owner: Charles E Fipke)
Having finished second to City of Light in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November, John Velazquez’s mount did the same again. Having been placed in the rear of the field, Seeking the Soul never really had any chance of the win but kept going well to take second from Accelerate near the wire.
Something Awesome (trainer: Jose Corrales, owner: Stronach Stables)
Entered primarily to give the sponsors something to cheer, Something Awesome didn’t really have the form in the book to take this race and so it proved, running into the first three until two furlongs from the wire before weakening very quickly into tenth place.
Tom’s D’Etat (trainer: Albert Stall Jr, owner: GMB Racing)
A very similar story to Imperative; no real form to speak of and his ninth place finish was if anything somewhat of a bonus.
True Timber (trainer: Kiaran McLaughlin, owner: Calumet Farm)
A big outsider and one who had to be ridden quite wide by Joe Bravo, though in the end his 7 th place was no disaster while bringing $250,000 back to the owner.
Aerolithe (trainer: Takanori Kikuzawa, owner: Sunday Racing Co Ltd)
The Japanese contender was here to win, there’s no doubt about that, but as the rain fell and the turf became soft her chances were effectively nullified. Despite a good start, Florent Geroux’s mount quickly spiralled backwards through the pack and finished 9th of ten, beaten 22 lengths.
Bricks and Mortar (trainer: Chad Brown, owner: Klaravich Stables & William H Lawrence)
His claiming race win at Gulfstream had led a few to believe he could win this but many pro’s gave him no chance and how wrong they were. Having stayed in contention all the way around the bends, jockey Irad Ortiz kicked for home over one furlong out and got on top with 150 yards to go before drawing 2½ lengths clear to score a huge win.
Catapult (trainer: John Sadler, owner: Woodford Racing LLC)
Another horse who led this race, in this case from the halfway point to the final two furlongs but he just couldn’t go on from there and was eventually beaten 4½ lengths in fourth place.
Channel Maker (trainer: Bill Mott, owner: Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber et al)
Having won a Grade 1 at Belmont on soft ground there was plenty of hope for a big run from the five-year-old, but having been held-up at the back of the field he didn’t show the sort of finishing kick that perhaps jockey Javier Castellano hoped and as he ran on at one pace for fifth place.
Delta Prince (trainer: James Jerkens, owner: Stronach Stables)
The Stronach’s didn’t appear to have a top contender but made sure they booked Frankie Dettori for the ride on this six-year-old and he did them proud. Under a good ride from a wider than ideal gate, Delta Prince led until the last half-furlong and lost second near the wire, finishing a good third and collecting $575,000.
Dubby Dubbie (trainer: Michelle Lovell, owner: Emmet Jolly, Jack Randall, Mitch Butler)
A big outsider who was never taken seriously by bettors or handicappers; Dubby Dubbie tracked the leaders for a few furlongs but predictably bowed out of contention early and finished eighth.
Fahan Mura (trainer:Vladimir Cerin, owner: Bran Jam Stable & David W Clark)
As a firm ground specialist the weather was no help to this mare and despite having led the field to the halfway point, she surrendered tamely and came home last of the ten runners.
Magic Wand (trainer: Aidan O’Brien, owner: Tabor, Smith, Maginer and Jooste)
Having been known as a mile-and-a-half filly, the softer going perhaps played into her hands a little as despite very little confidence from bettors the Irish filly under a light weight used her stamina well to keep cutting through the field and take second place near the line.
Next Shares (trainer: Richard Baltas, owner: Michael Iavarone, Jules Iavarone et al)
This horse’s record of often throwing in a bad performance immediately after a strong one unfortunately continued. Having won a Grade 2 at Santa Anita, Next Shares raced a little keen this time and dropped out to 7th place in the end.
Yoshida (trainer: Bill Mott, owner: Win Star Farm LLC, China Horse Club)
The plan was to win this and then direct the horse to England for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, but things didn’t quite go to plan for Yoshida. From a good gate position, Jose Ortiz never really got this horse into contention but it’s clear the rain-softened ground didn’t play to his strengths and there will be another day for the 6th place finisher.
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