The headline race- the $3 million dollar Pegasus World Cup will feature some of the country’s top older horses.
The field is headlined by last year’s Winner, KNICKS GO, who then went on to Win the Breeders‘ Cup Classic in November. His chief rival Saturday is LIFE IS GOOD, who is coming off an impressive Win in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
But Pegasus Day features tons of great action beyond the signature race. There are six Stakes races on the undercard, including a pair of major grass races: the Pegasus World Cup Turf and the Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
So let’s take a look those two big turf races.
PEGASUS WORLD CUP FILLY & MARE TURF: This is the inaugural running of the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf, which carries a purse of $500,000 and will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. This field has eleven scheduled starters.
The country’s top grass trainer, Chad Brown, saddles REGAL GLORY [2-1], a recent Grade 1 Winner. She won the Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar in her last start in a gate-to-wire performance. She’s very likely to be on or near the pace once again.
The top three finishers in the Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream on December 18th are also set to go; SWEET MELANIA [5-1] finished well to Win by a half-length for trainer Todd Pletcher after rating off the pace. Pace-setting SHIFTY SHE [6-1] led most of the way but was caught late and finished 2nd, as she narrowly missed her fourth Stakes Win of 2021. 3rd-place finisher IN A HURRY [12-1] closed well late and is in improving form for legendary trainer Shug McGaughey.
PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF: This race was conducted as the World Cup Turf for the first time in 2019. The first Winner, BRICKS AND MORTAR, used this race as a springboard to a Horse Of The Year campaign.
A field of 12 top grass horses will travel 1 ⅛ miles.
Trainer Mike Maker has a strong hand in this race, training three of the 12 runners. He’ll send out ATONE [20-1], who finished 2nd in the Fort Lauderdale Stakes last out; CROSS BORDER [15-1], who was a two-time Stakes Winner last year; and FIELD PASS [10-1], coming off a Win in the Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar. Maker Won this race in 2020 with ZULU ALPHA.
Last year’s Winner, COLONEL LIAM [3-1], looks to become the first two-time Winner of the Pegasus Turf. He rallied to Win by a neck last year but has not raced since a disappointing performance in the Manhattan Stakes at Belmont last June.
On Friday the Daily Racing Blog will take a look at the feature race Saturday- the Pegasus World Cup. So stop back and see who we like.