2018 Pegasus World Cup Updated Top 5 Contenders

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D.S. Williamson

January 8th, 2018

With about 19 days away, the field for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup has begun to take shape. The last I heard is that 11 of the 12 spots have been sold. Gun Runner, the 2017 BC Classic winner and top-rated horse in the world, will be a heavy favorite no matter who else joins the fray. Where does Gun Runner rank in my updated Top 5? Keep reading to find out!




1. Sharp Azteca

This guy showed a different dimension in his smashing Cigar Mile victory. Sharp Azteca is usually a speedball. He wasn't a speedball in the Cigar Mile. He rated kindly before destroying a talented field. I think he'll be on his toes again. He rates as my top choice...for now.

2. West Coast

The Breeders' Cup Classic was over after Collected didn't push Gun Runner early. With Giant Expectations probable for the race, things could be much tougher for Gun Runner to cruise on the lead. West Coast could be sitting in the garden spot again. This time, he might run right past the leaders.

3. Toast of New York

The 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic was a long time ago. Still, if Toast of New York's owners were willing to shell out the cash to get him into the Pegasus, it's important that we don't look past his chances. The second place finisher in the 2014 BC Classic prepped for the Pegasus by winning a conditions listed stake race at Lingfield Park in Great Britain on Dec. 6. It's impossible to question his class.

4. Gun Runner

Just to remind all horseplayers how consistent Gun Runner was in 2017, I've added his win in the Stephen Foster Handicap. Before winning the Stephen Foster, he had finished second to Arrogate in the Dubai World Cup. It took one of the most gargantuan efforts by a horse that I've ever seen for Arrogate to win the Dubai World Cup. The effort was so big that I have no doubt that's what caused Arrogate's form to go south the rest of the year.

With all of that being written, I can't put Gun Runner into my Top 3. I don't see any way where he doesn't go off at better odds than 4/5. He's got to be over the top going into the Pegasus World Cup. After so many excellent efforts in 2017? No horse is unbeatable.

5. Collected

Sure, nobody went after Giant Expectations in the San Antonio Stakes on Dec. 26. But, Collected looked like he had absolutely no energy on that day. He seemed disinterested much the way Arrogate seemed disinterested in the San Diego Handicap. I can't put him in my Top 4 after such a bad showing.