The Pegasus World Cup is the jewel of Gulfstream Park and will have all eyes on the defending champ, Knicks Go. Running on the dirt at a mile and an eighth and a field of 9, this will be Knicks Go final race of his career. The path to victory does not look as clear cut as 2021 with Life Is Good likely to try and wear him down. Also, StableDuel is holding its biggest contest ever that coincides with the Pegasus race. We will have you covered with race analysis, cores and strategy for their $40,000 contest. Make sure you click the StableDuel link and sign up for it. You won’t want to miss it. So now, let’s dive in and take a look at the horses that will be running.
Knicks Go – 6/5
24: 10-3-1 $8,673,135
Knicks Go had an absolutely electric 2021 campaign. He started the year off by winning this race and capped it off by winning the 2021 Breeder’s Cup Classic. Returning in 2022, this will be Knicks Go final race before starting his next job studding. It would be absolutely poetic for Knicks Go to defend his title in the Pegasus World Cup. Winning his last 4 starts against the best of the best, this race could shape up to do just that.
Chess Chief – 10/1
30: 5-4-4 $810,338
It will be very hard to make a case for this horse. The stats just stack up agaist him. Gulfstream Park has favors speed on the main track and Chess Chief may be the furthest back of all the competitors in this race. So at this point, you are hoping for a blistering pace and to overtake other late runners. Factor in that hes 1-for-14 in graded stakes and has never won a race outside of Fair Grounds… Maybe a lucky 4th or 5th would be the best case scenario for this horse.
Stilleto Boy – 20/1
12: 2-3-4 $540,675
Stilleto Boy is an interesting entry. Being only four years old, this horse still has plenty of life to come into his own. Stilleto Boy has had some very impressive losses too. Finishes behind Medina Spirit twice and new superstar Flightline last time out, this horse has always ran well and in the money against some of the top horses. Don’t forget this horse also ran in the Breeders Cup Classic against the best horses of the year and managed 5th place. Expect to see Stilleto Boy forwardly placed. As long as he doesn’t get caught in trying to keep up with LiG and Knicks Go, Stilleto Boy could get a piece of the pie if those two wear each other down.
Life Is Good – 7/5
6: 5-1-0 $1,059,200
Life Is Good was always billed as one of the best 3 year olds and the public agreed, making him the individual favorite in four pools of last year’s Kentucky Derby Future wager pools before being injured. LiG came back after his injury to lose by a neck to Jackie’s Warrior. He found redemption when winning his final two races of 2021, the G2 Kelso and G1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. This is Knicks Go stiffest competitor, but this horse has never raced at Gulfstream and has never went this distance of 1 1/8 miles. With a couple of unknowns and the way Knicks Go has been training up to this, I would prefer to play against LiG.
Empty Tomb – 20/1
24: 5-5-5 $358,306
Empty Tomb is trained by Robert Falcone Jr and will be trying Gulfstream Park for the first time in his career. Empty Tomb’s biggest knock is the inconsistency. There are races where this horse looks like it can run with the best horses and then flip side, wonder why the horse was in the race with average horses. Empty Tomb is likely going to try and run next to Life Is Good. MAYBE having Paco Lopez, king of Gulfstream Park, aboard will help and he can rate and hope for a pace meltdown.
Sir Winston – 12/1
19: 6-4-1 $1,189,873
Way back in 2019, I was just joining Karma and my bold prediction that Sir Winston would upset at 12/1 odds in the Belmont Stakes, paid massive returns to Karma readers. Sir Winston will always hold a spot in my heart as the horse that gave me my street cred around these parts. Whenever I see him, I always remember that huge run and throw a few bucks down. Sir Winston is in incredible form and is crossing his horseshoes for a speed duel between Knicks Go and Life Is Good. If that happens, you can expect to see Sir Winston motoring past them late. Despite winning four of his six career victories on the synthetic track, the other two were on dirt and he loves a bit of distance.
Title Ready – 20/1
28: 5-6-5 $673,480
I truly think this 7 year old is overmatched in this spot. Heavily raced, this horse usually looks out of place in grade 1 and 2 races. He did win the grade 3 Louisiana Stakes at Fair Grounds about a year ago for older horses, but I don’t think you can trust this horse here. Again, this horse will be coming from the back and will need a pace meltdown to get a piece of the action.
Endorsed – 20/1
23: 4-6-4 $474,975
This Michael Maker trainee is 0-12 in stakes races, which makes him hard to back. I also believe that Maker has his focus over on the Pegasus World Cup Turf, since he tried to get four of his horses into a 12 horse field. Nonetheless, Endorsed drew into the field here and does have a small case to be heard. Since being claimed, Endorsed has ran four times. His last was in December on this track in a one turn sprint. Endorsed finished second in that seven furlong grade 3 race and looked like he wanted more room. For a price, I think this horse may be able to complete some exotic wagers but do not expect him to cross the wire first.
Commandeer – 30/1
10: 3-2-2 $142,114
When it comes to Commandeer, the distance will not be the problem. It will be the class hike. Never has this horse attempted graded stakes company and to be thrown into a Knicks Go race will be a gigantic wake up call to this horse. As a bright side, this horse will be coming in off a win at Churchill Downs, beating a horse that he lost to in his debut race as a two-year-old. That shows me this horse has taken a step forward as a three-year-old. Let’s see if this horse can shock the world as the longest shot on the board.
My Order of Finish: Knicks Go / Sir Winston / Stilleto Boy / Life Is Good