The Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf brings a full field of 12 to run a mile and an eighth on the grass. The stars have came out for this one as we will see Colonel Liam try to defend this race as last years winner. Haven’t been seen since June of 2021, there are more questions than answers, but no doubt there is talent there. We have 11 other horses that are trying their best to rip the Pegasus Turf title from Colonel Liam.
Space Traveller – 12/1
23: 5-3-2 $557,070
Space Traveller drew the rail and I think it’s a tall task for this horse to make any sort of commotion. He did grab a 2nd place finish in an extremely week Woodbine Turf Mile last year. Last out, Space Traveller lost to Doswell (10/1) and Atone (20/1) from this race, at this distance and on this track in the G2 Ft Lauderdale. I truly think he will be up against it in this race.
Atone – 20/1
14: 5-2-2 $211,521
In only his second graded stakes try last out, Atone managed to grab second place. Prior to that, Atone struggled to remain consistent. I feel that this distance is too far for him and factor in the class of competition, Atone is probably going to have a rough day at the office. The only positive angle I have for Atone is that he should be pretty forwardly placed in a race that should favor the front runners.
Flavius – 15/1
14: 4-3-2 $737,651
I like that Flavius will be forwardly placed in this race and have veteran rider Paco Lopez. This ridgling has not found victory in a stakes race, so it does seem like a tall order for him today to surprise the public and win a grade 1. Flavius does have a certain run style that he doesn’t like for horses to pass him. I’m not sure if the blinkers will help today, but the only way this horse factors is if there is literally zero pace.
March To The Arch – 20/1
30: 8-4-4 $980,789
March To The Arch is one of the longest prices on the morning line today. He does have a couple of graded stakes wins, including a weak grade 2 King Edward at Woodbine. Expect this horse to be sitting near the back of the field, running in true closing fashion. I don’t give this horse any sort of shot at closing, but trainer Mark Casse does love Gulfstream and get his horses ready.
Hit The Road – 8/1
12: 6-0-2 $563,751
Hit the road is interesting and I had trouble deciding where this one would finish. He does have some graded stakes wins, but he has never tried this distance. Other horses in this race have beat him. 8/1 does seem like a little value for a horse that seems classy enough. If you read the notes in his last 5 races or so, it looks like this horse has no where to get through. To me, those sound like excuses, but I also think Hit The Road will be behind at least 6 horses in this race. I’m not trying to put a horse on top that has an excuse every time out, but I would not be surprised if this one gets a piece of it.
Colonel Liam – 3/1
9: 6-0-1 $1,279,565
Colonel Liam is your morning line favorite and defending champion. This horse only ran 4 races in 2021, including the Pegasus, boasting 3 wins. In his last start, the grade 1 Manhattan, he was completely embarrassed. He hasn’t been seen in over 235 days, so at 3/1, you’re hoping Colonel Liam doesn’t need a race to get his legs back. If he doesn’t, you’ll see him at the very least on the board.
Doswell – 10/1
12: 3-5-3 $314,621
I really like Doswell and despite only winning one graded stakes race, this horse always shows up. You can throw out his only start on the sloppy dirt as a three year old where he finished 4th. With that race removed, Doswell has never missed being in the money while racing on turf. This will be the first attempt at a grade 1 race for Doswell and I think this horse is nice enough to be included in the conversation
Sacred Life – 6/1
22: 7-8-1 $666,768
I think Sacred Life is generously gifted a 6/1 morning line. In my opinion, I expect those odds to grow, mainly due to the fact that this horse is going to be too far back. It’s always scary to disregard a Chad Brown horse on the lawn, but I personally like other horses in this race over Sacred Life. Last seen grabbing 2nd to Field Pass in the G2 Seabiscuit, Sacred Life will get a little bit more room to make a closing bid and repeat a victory as he did in the G3 Knickerbocker. I have this horse getting no better than third.
Field Pass – 10/1
23: 8-3-3 $913,143
As I just talked about, Field Pass was last seen winning the G2 Seabiscuit at a mile and a sixteenth. I like that this horse will be forwardly placed, but I’m not sure I like this distance on this surface for Field Pass. He looks unstoppable at this mile and an eighth distance on the synthetic, but rarely puts it together on the grass. Field Pass has attempted grade 1 racing three times prior. In all three of those races, he never hit the board. I think there is better value to be had elsewhere, but would use him on bottom of my tickets.
Channel Cat – 12/1
30: 6-4-5 $1,456,022
It feels like Channel Cat has been around forever. It doesn’t take long to scan over Channel Cat’s PP’s to find out just how decorated this horse is. You can almost always find him running in graded stakes these days. At 7 years old, Channel Cat still seems to have interest in running, as shown by his grade 1 win last year in the Man o’ War. Last time out was in November for grade 2 stakes action where he grabbed second by a neck. My only downside to Channel Cat in this race is that this horse loves distance and we are shortening up quite a bit.
Cross Border – 15/1
39: 11-8-5 $1,087,929
I truly have little interest in Cross Border, even though this horse did grab 3rd in this race a year ago. Since then, this horse has only had a grade 2 win in the Bowling Green on the inner turf at Saratoga. He’s ran into Colonel Liam once after losing in the Pegasus, at Churchill Downs where Cross Border finished a disappointing 7th and Colonel Liam won that race. I think it would be quite some magic for Cross Border to hit the board today.
Never Surprised – 7/2
7: 4-3-0 $378,960
Never Surprised is my pick to win this year’s Pegasus Turf. Even though this horse doesn’t have a graded stakes win, I’m going to chalk that up to him being young. This horse can win stalking or setting the pace, but does much better running while setting the pace. Never Surprised has never finished worse than 2nd, and has only lost to one horse (twice), Public Sector. I don’t see any speed signed onto this race and I think Never Surprised will be very brave in front. Look for this horse to take them the distance and beat out his stablemate, Colonel Liam.
My Order of Finish: Never Surprised / Colonel Liam / Doswell / Sacred Life