Playing Gun Runner and closers in the Pegasus

Profile Picture: James Scully

January 27th, 2018

A hot pace in Saturday’s $16 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) figures to have ramifications. And if Gun Runner can establish favorable positioning just off the speed, he could be the only early runner around at the end. 

I don’t want any part of speedy types Collected and Sharp Azteca.

Collected, a wire-to-wire winner of the Pacific Classic (G1), is virtually guaranteed to be gunning for the early lead after a failed attempt rating. Grade 1-winning miler Sharp Azteca, who has registered E1 BRIS Pace ratings as high as 108 this year, will be applying serious pressure at some point.

They’re eligible to fold when Gun Runner makes his move to the lead and that’s how I will be playing the Pegasus, taking a stand against potentially the second and third choices in the wagering. Collected and Sharp Azteca won’t be on any of my tickets.

I think the following late runners can make at least a minor impact: 

#6 Gunnevera will be bringing it in the latter stages. A smashing winner of the Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream earlier this year, the colt registered consecutive 110 BRIS Late Pace ratings when posting a convincing stakes tally and a runner-up in the Travers (G1) prior to a fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

#3 Stellar Wind was forced to show more speed in short fields out west but the Curlin mare is more than comfortable making one run, generating BRIS Late Pace ratings of 112-111-110 in her last 10 starts. Throw out her last race and look for improved effort from the back of the pack.

#2 West Coast is a versatile sort who can lead wire-to-wire or close from out of it, recording a couple of nice rallying wins in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) and Easy Goer this year. He figures to drop back and save ground from a favorable inside post and the multiple Grade 1-winning colt is eligible to keep improving at age 4.

I may save with the above trio in a multi-race wager, but #10 Gun Runner is the most likely winner and I will key him in vertical exotics.

Here is how I will play the Pegasus on a $100 budget:

$25 exactas: 10 over 2,3,6 ($75)

$4 trifecta: 10 over 2,3,6 over 2,3,6 ($24)

Good luck!