March 28, 2015: Scenes from Gulfstream Park on Florida Derby Day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Liz Lamont/ESW/CSM

The 2018 Pegasus World Cup takes place on January 27, 2018. That’s some time from now. It’s not so far away that it’s too early for me to come up with my Top 4. When it comes to the Pegasus World Cup, it should be hard for any horse to break the Top 4.

The four listed here have proven their mettle on dirt. They’ve also shown that they can navigate 1 1/8 miles. Check out my Top 4 contenders for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup!


1. Collected

It looked like he was going to run right by Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic stretch. He didn’t. Right now, I rank him slightly above Gun Runner just because the best horse in the world had a difficult 2017 campaign.

I also don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Collected. He should have a much stronger kick at 1 1/8 miles than what he showed at 1 1/4 miles. If he can stick close to Gun Runner again, then kick it in earlier and with more power, I think he passes his rival in the Pegasus World Cup.


2. Gun Runner

He’s the best horse in the world. However, it’s hard to imagine he didn’t peak in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. That’s what happened to California Chrome last year. He just wasn’t the same horse in the Pegasus World Cup.

The same might not happen to Gun Runner. There’s a chance it might, though. 5 of Gun Runner’s 6 races in 2017 were Grade 1 events. He finished second in the Dubai World Cup, came back, and won 3 Grade 1 races before his BC Classic victory. That’s a lot of racing against top notch competition.


3. Sharp Azteca

There’s a chance he preps in the Cigar Mile on Dec. 2 for the Pegasus World Cup. I say, why not? If anything, the Cigar Mile should keep him sharp. He ran wickedly fast fractions in the BC Dirt Mile only to lose to Battle of Midway. He buried his competition in that race.

Could he get 1 1/8 miles? I think he could. He’s a lengthy horse, meaning that he could stretch his legs, and save some oomph for the stretch. He has won at a mile and a sixteenth. He deserves a shot. Also, if Collected and Gun Runner get involved early, he could sit in the garden spot. If they want to lay off, he could take the lead.


4. West Coast

West Coast is a good racehorse. He should challenge in the Pegasus World Cup. The issue I have with backing him to win, at this point at least, is figuring out where he fits in the race shape. On one hand, he should be closer at 1 1/8 miles than he was at 1 1/4 miles in the BC Classic. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine him being much closer as that might compromise his closing kick.

If Sharp Azteca doesn’t go, he’ll get the garden spot. If Sharp Azteca does go, Collected and Gun Runner might lie 2 lengths off in the garden spot, putting West Coast in a tough position.