City of Light (outside) battles to victory over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Handicap - Coady Photography

City of Light (outside) battles to victory over Accelerate in the Oaklawn Handicap – Coady Photography

The Pegasus World Cup takes place this Saturday on January 26. Horseplayers have already started their handicapping. The way to play the Pegasus is to either go chalky with Accelerate and City of Light, or to go the opposite way, use one of the chalks on top with some price horses in the second, third, and maybe, even fourth slot in the superfecta.

I’m taking the second approach. If Accelerate beats me, like he did when he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so be it. There’s nothing I can do about it. Based on my handicapping, City of Light’s a stand out. I’ll put him on a few dogs that I think could add major value to my exotic tickets.

Hoping City of Light Keys Massive Exacta and Tri

1. City of Light 5/2

He ran them off their feet in the BC Dirt Mile. It wasn’t even close. Could he bounce off the best race of his life. Maybe. More likely, he improves. I recently published a blog on BetAmerica Extra about trainer Mike McCarthy. Check it out when you get a chance because it has some words about City of Light.

The Quality Road 5-year-old has faced Accelerate a couple of times. Accelerate beat him in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita while City of Light took down the champ in the Oaklawn Park Handicap. Before jumping on Accelerate as the horse to use, realize that the Gold Cup was at 1 1/4 miles while the Oaklawn Park Handicap is at 1 1/8 miles, just like the Pegasus World Cup.

The McCarthy trainee should take the lead and not look back.

2. Patternrecognition 10/1

The 6-year-old trained by Chad Brown had been running in allowance and optional claiming races before taking the Grade 2 Kelso. He followed that up with a huge win in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. The way he won the Cigar suggests he can stick close to City of Light until the end. He doesn’t appear suited to run 1 1/8 miles, but this is Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables.

If anybody can get this guy to out run his pedigree, it’s Chad. Not only that, but sometimes it takes a while for thoroughbreds to put it all together. If Patternrecognition has, he could win the Pegasus World Cup. The only horse entered faster than he is before the half-mile is City of Light.

3. Kukulkan 30/1

Sure, he didn’t run nearly as fast winning the Caribbean Classic as he must run on Saturday to win the Pegasus World Cup. That’s okay because all he did was cruise to the lead and pull away to win by 10 lengths.

The undefeated superstar horse of Mexico’s got some serious breeding. His sire, Point Determined, was sired by the great Point Given. On his broodmare’s side is Bernardini. More important than breeding? He might be a freak. Freaks don’t lose races. It doesn’t matter how far, at what track, and or who they run against. I’m not worrying about his speed ratings because he’s won his last 3 races by a combined 32 lengths and jogged in every one of them.

4. Tom’s d’Etat 20/1

New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson is part of the ownership group that campaigns Tom’s d’Etat. Sired by Smart Strike and from a Giant’s Causeway broodmare, Tom’s d’Etat can run all day. His best race was at 1 1/8 miles in an optional claimer at Saratoga back in July, 2017. He’s got decent early speed and with Albert Stall training, we know he’ll be ready.

Accelerate can definitely win the Pegasus World Cup. I’m leaving him off my tickets for a couple of reasons, though. First, I think he peaked in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Second, the BC Classic was his first victory outside of California. Also, although the BC Classic field seemed deep, none of the other horses on this blog ran against him in the Classic. This is a good time to go against the champ.