January 23rd 2019 – Updated January 26th 2019
Coming up this Saturday, the 2019 Pegasus World Cup which sadly seems to be losing some of its original appeal and luster. In what used to be the richest horse race in the world, the Pegasus World Cup purse was reduced from $16 Million in 2018 down to $9 Million for 2019. The inaugural 2017 Pegasus World Cup carried a $12 Million purse surpassing the $10 Million purse offered by the Dubai World Cup.
Why the reduced purse? I am uncertain. Perhaps the purse was spread over to the turf race to give the Pegasus World Cup a better support race. Unfortunately, the Pegasus World Cup was a brilliant idea by Frank Stronach to help keep the stars of the sport in active training but few followed his lead.
Below are the official entries, post-positions, jockey assignments and morning line odds for this year’s Pegasus World Cup scheduled for Saturday January 26th at Gulfstream Park. Post time is 4:36 PM CST. The race will be televised on NBC with coverage beginning at 3:30 PM CST. All horses will carry 124 lbs weight.
2019 Pegasus World Cup 1 1/8th mile – Purse: $9 Million
Post Position/ Horse/Jockey/Trainer/Odds
1. Bravazo- Saez/Lukas – 12-1
2. Something Awesome – Prado/Corrales – 20-1
3. City of Light – Castellano/McCarthy – 5-2
4. Seeking the Soul – Velazquez/Stewart – 12-1
5. Accelerate – Rosario/Sadler – 9-5
6. Tom’s d’Etat – Bridgmohan/Stall Jr – 20-1
7. True Timber – Bravo/McLaughlin 30-1
8. Gunnevera – Ortiz Jr/Sano – 8-1
9. Kukulkan – Dettori/Guiterrez – 30-1
10. Audible – Prat/Pletcher – 10-1
11. Imperative – Gaffliaone/Quarterolo – 30-1
12. Patternrecognition – Ortiz/Brown – 10-1
Race Analysis: I have been watching the rumored entries for this race over the past month. My level of excitement dwindled by the day as I saw no real challenger to the John Sadler-trained Accelerate. Accelerate’s only serious threat is the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Champion City of Light.
The 2019 Florida Derby Winner Audible is a name-horse starting from post #10. You may remember that he finished 3rd in the Kentucky Derby. He has run well at Gulfstream Park. However, he wasn’t that impressive in his last start at the track, the Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, where he finished 2nd behind the 25-1 longshot Sir Anthony.
Overall, I was hoping for a better field considering the $9 Million Purse. But “you get what you get” as they say. I’ll take Straight Win bets on Accelerate. Maybe an Accelerate over City of Light Straight Exacta. For Superfecta betting, I’ll will key Accelerate over City of Light, Gunnevera, Bravazo and Audible (#5 over 1,3,8,10 over 1,3,8,10 over 1,3,8,10).
Update: Overnight rain at Gulfstream Park may even up this field. However, note that Accelerate won the sloppy Santa Anita Handicap last year. He is still my pick to win. Bravazo runs well in the slop, so expect his live odds to lower from 12-1.