Pegasus World Cup thoughts and a couple of wet track horses
North America’s richest race, Saturday’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) features a solid field of 12 at Gulfstream Park. Cigar Mile (G1) winner Patternrecognition will show speed from post 12 and multiple Grade 1 hero City of Light should be forward from post 3. Accelerate (#5) appears likely to receive a favorable stalking trip and brings a 4-3-1-0 record at the 1 1/8-mile distance into his final career start; he’ll take some beating at short odds. Seeking the Soul (#4) looks intriguing to me from a betting perspective (12-1 morning line). Dallas Stewart had his charge primed for a big effort on Breeders’ Cup weekend but the six-year-old was forced to cut back to a one-turn Dirt Mile (G1) after failing to draw into the Classic (G1). There was no catching loose-on-the-lead City of Light that afternoon but Seeking the Soul rallied well to be a clear second, netting a career-best 108 BRIS Speed rating. The November 23 Clark (G1) served as a steppingstone to the Pegasus World Cup and Seeking the Soul offered a solid showing to finish third behind a moderate pace. He’s trained forwardly in the 64-day interim, recording three swift five-furlong moves this month in preparation, and may receive an ideal set-up Saturday. He’s never won on an off track but does show a third from two attempts, and I expect a strong showing from off the pace. I’ll play Seeking the Soul straight and box in the exacta with Accelerate, using both runners on multi-race tickets. It’s wet at Gulfstream, with the first three scheduled turf races (1st, 3rd and 5th) already moved to the sloppy main track, and here are a couple of horses on the undercard who should be well-suited to the off conditions: 4TH race: Bodexpress (#3) will try a wet track following a good runner-up effort in his second start. Sire Bodemeister’s offspring win at a solid 15% clip on tracks rated less than “fast” and the three-year-old colt hails from an unraced mare by City Zip (19% mud). His dam’s half-brother, Stormy Lord, loved turf with give to it (four wins and a second from six attempts) and Bodexpress is from the immediate female family of multiple stakes winner Explosive Kate, who broke her maiden by 12 lengths in the slop. Luis Saez retains the mount and the Gustavo Delgado-trained Bodexpress is listed at 8-1 on the morning line. 7th race: Blamed (#5) brings speed and form to the Hurricane Bertie (G3), registering a career-best 103 BRIS Speed rating for her win in the November 23 Comely (G3) at Aqueduct last out. She’s as consistent as they comes, recording six wins and two seconds from eight starts, but has never raced on a wet track. I like her chances to make a smooth transition. By Blame, who is one of the top wet-track sires (20% win), Blamed’s lone sibling to race over a wet track, Chase the Greatness, recorded his lone win on the slop at Churchill Downs. Blamed could prove impossible to catch if she breaks running as expected with Julien Leparoux.