2018 Pegasus World Cup one-liners
The world’s richest race gets the one-liner treatment as I try to sum up each of the contenders in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup (G1).
If there’s not a grudge match on the scale of California Chrome versus Arrogate, the Gulfstream Park show-stopper has more strength in depth than the presence of an odds-on favorite implies.
In post position order, here we go:
#1 Singing Bullet wouldn’t be here if he weren’t a Stronach Stables homebred, and the class-challenged four-year-old must channel parents Hard Spun and Life at Ten in a hurry.
#2 West Coast, two-for-two at the 1 1/8-mile trip, is eligible to improve on his third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) with Javier Castellano riding him back again.
#3 Stellar Wind wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her new Coolmore owners, and her best talking point going into this awfully tough finale versus males is the switch to Chad Brown.
#4 Sharp Azteca has the pedigree to handle the distance in principle, but the speed-heavy race shape will make it more difficult to pull off in practice, especially when the other speed is route-proven.
#5 Collected covered 24 feet more than Gun Runner (per Trakus) when chasing him throughout the Classic from post 11, and the reversal of fortune at the Pegasus draw arguably makes the 8-1 chance the value play.
#6 Gunnevera will receive an abundant pace set-up, but it’s hard to see the deep closer getting enough of a collapse from speed of the highest caliber, especially over this track.
#7 Fear the Cowboy, a heartwarming story as a $1,500 yearling bred by the University of Kentucky, has done well just to make it to this race off a career best in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3).
#8 War Story, beaten 13 lengths when fifth in the 2017 Pegasus, is capable of running a better race this time but end up with a similar result.
#9 Toast of New York has the back class to hit the board if anywhere near his best in this second start off the three-year absence, making the British shipper an exotics wildcard at a price.
#10 Gun Runner, the 4-5 favorite as newly anointed Horse of the Year, boasts a 7-5-1-0 lifetime mark at this trip (with excuses for both losses), and post 10 would enhance his legacy if he overcomes it.
#11 Seeking the Soul is seeking to become the latest Dallas Stewart runner to outperform his odds in a landmark race, but must improve all the more to offset his post – and the eight extra pounds he’s picking up off his Clark (G1) win.
#12 Giant Expectations won’t get the San Antonio (G2) stroll here, and the combination of post concerns and his past two failures on the big stage make him hard to endorse.
The also-eligibles are cross-entered to the Fred W. Hooper (G3) – and they’re double-digit outsiders on the undercard too.
#13 Giuseppe the Great, 12-1 in the Hooper, is an honest type who keeps collecting stakes credits without actually looking like winning one.
#14 Game Over, 10-1 in the Hooper, still has upside with just five starts under his belt so far, but needs to take it one step at a time.
Let the free Brisnet PPs for the Pegasus, including Prime Power rankings and other key stats, help with your handicapping!
Photo of Gun Runner schooling in the Gulfstream paddock, courtesy Lauren King/Coglianese Photography