The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Tipsheet

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January 21st, 2021

An excellent field of 12 will travel 1 1/8 miles on the Gulfstream Park dirt in Saturday’s lucrative $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).

Pegasus Picks

  • #10 Code of Honor
  • #5 Jesus’ Team
  • #4 Knicks Go
  • #6 Kiss Today Goodbye

Pegasus Wagers

  • $20 Win 10
  • $3 Exacta Key Box 10 with 4,5,6
  • 50-cent Trifecta 10 with 4,5,6 with all

Pegasus Contenders

#1 SLEEPY EYES TODD prepped for this event with a game tally in the Mr. Prospector (G3) on the oval for Silva. Grade 2 winner showed his versatility in his 7-furlong score most recently, and his best showing puts him in the hunt late if he receives a sensible trip from the rail.

#2 COASTAL DEFENSE has been consistently good since June and comes in off of a solid try when fourth in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. Curlin 5-year-old has tactical speed combined with a fine turn of foot, and he enters off of a bullet morning drill on the surface most recently, as well. Corey Lanerie has the assignment.

#3 INDEPENDENCE HALL makes his third appearance following the long layoff for McCarthy. Grade 3 victor is lightly raced with a lot of room for improvement, and he is training like a colt sitting on a big effort under Flavien Prat.

#4 KNICKS GO has reached new heights since joining the barn of Brad Cox, winning three races in succession led by a triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last time out. Two-time Grade 1 star comes in fresh with fine morning drills and could be the one to catch turning for home beneath regular pilot Rosario.

#5 JESUS’ TEAM is a sneaky upset contender who sports a 6-3-1-1 mark on the oval. The former claimer had a positive prep run for this when bagging a stakes race on the strip in December, and the son of Tapiture has the right running style to get the jump on the deep closers. Irad picking up the mount is a major positive, too.

#6 KISS TODAY GOODBYE continues to improve for conditioner Eric Kruljac. West Coast import rallied for an upset victory in the San Antonio (G2) in his latest endeavor, and the late runner will receive a swift and contested pace to rally into on Saturday. Mike Smith will guide the exotics contender.

#7 TAX looked the part when leading at every call in the recent Harlan’s Holiday (G3) on the course for Gargan. Grade 2 hero is more than capable on his best day, and it might be telling that Saez lands here, when he had other options in the field. The gelding will be stalking the pace from the break.

#8 HARPERS FIRST RIDE takes a shot at the top level after proving to be a dominant presence on the Maryland circuit as of late. Paynter gelding has been first or second in eight of his last nine performances, and the dark bay could be a factor at a price if he thrives on the Gulfstream surface in his local debut.

#9 LAST JUDGMENT led throughout in a powerful Sunshine Classic romp in his second off the claim for Maker. Congrats 5-year-old is a three-time local winner, and he is yet another who could contend late if he runs to his most recent showing. Paco Lopez picks up what could be a live mount.

#10 CODE OF HONOR is the top pick for Shug McGaughey. The consistently very good Grade 1 victor was a smart runner-up in the Clark (G1) in his latest venture, and the chestnut seems poised for a huge performance in his 5-year-old debut. Son of Noble Mission, who is a Grade 2 winner on the oval, will have Tyler Gaffalione in the stirrups.

#11 MR FREEZE gives conditioner Dale Romans a second contender in the cast. Kentucky-bred son of To Honor and Serve was second in the race in 2020 and has run two of his best races to date at Gulfstream Park. The pacey sort will be forwardly placed from the onset beneath John Velazquez.

#12 MATH WIZARD is winless since notching the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and draws widest of all for Joseph. Son of Algorithms is a dual winner on the course, but he will need a career-best effort to upset this field from the outside post. Edgard Zayas will be in the silks.