With the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park just three days away, the twelve contenders have pretty much wrapped up their major training for the world’s richest horse race.
From Santa Anita to Gulfstream Park and at tracks and training centers seemingly everywhere in between, the mornings have been busy with news of workouts and pre-race preparations. Let’s catch up on the final workouts posted by each of the expected Pegasus World Cup entrants….
The Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up got closer to Gun Runner than most horses last year and wrapped up his training for the Pegasus World Cup with a bullet half-mile in :46.20 on January 21st at Santa Anita, the fastest of 87 morning workouts at that distance. Collected started off about five lengths behind a workmate, then rallied to the lead in the homestretch and galloped out with authority.
Fear the Cowboy
Couldn’t have gone any easier in his final pre-race workout, clocking five furlongs in 1:04.30 at the Oakridge Training Center on January 20th. However, it’s important to keep in mind that fast workouts aren’t typically a part of Fear the Cowboy’s training regimen—he races often and hasn’t worked five furlongs in under 1:02 flat since last May.
He’s burned up the track in his last two works at Santa Anita, culminating with five furlongs in a bullet :58 flat on January 19th. His rider hardly asked him for any run, and Giant Expectations seems to be getting good at the right time.
He’s been busy since the Breeders’ Cup Classic, posting nine workouts at Gulfstream Park West, including five furlongs in a solid 1:01 flat on January 20th. With three Gulfstream Park stakes wins under his belt, he could be a track specialist to keep an eye on.
Gun Runner was nearly unstoppable in 2017 and has seemed as sharp as ever during his training for the Pegasus World Cup. After completing the majority of his training at Fair Grounds, the son of Candy Ride shipped to Gulfstream and breezed a half-mile in an easy-as-can-be :49 flat on January 22nd.
Seeking the Soul
This up-and-coming five-year-old has kept a low profile since scoring his signature victory in the Clark Handicap (gr. I) in November, wrapping up his training out of the spotlight at Fair Grounds. Following a fast five furlongs in 1:00.40 on January 13th, he went a bit easier this week, clocking a half-mile in :48.60 on January 21st.
Sharp Azteca is a brilliant miler with some serious speed, and he showcased that speed on January 20th when he worked five furlongs in a blazing :58.40 at Gulfstream Park West, the fastest time of the morning by a full second. His rider hardly moved a muscle.
The final horse to secure a starting berth in the Pegasus World Cup, the graded stakes-placed Singing Bullet worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.83 on January 13th at Gulfstream, then came back with an easier move in 1:01.77 on January 20th.
The champion three-year-old filly of 2015 was trained by John Sadler for years, but has been placed under the care of Chad Brown as she prepares for her career finale. Her workouts at Palm Meadows have been steady, peaking with a bullet five furlongs in 1:00.60 on January 14th and wrapping up with an easy half-mile in :49.75 on January 20th.
Toast of New York
The only horse that hasn’t posted an official timed workout in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup is Toast of New York, but that’s because he trains in Europe under the care of Jamie Osborne. Incredibly, Toast of New York has only run once since finishing second in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic, but that one run was a win over the all-weather track at Lingfield in England, making him a major wildcard in the Pegasus World Cup.
Following a productive 2017 that saw him run fifth in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup and fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, War Story has been training up a storm at Gulfstream Park West, breezing like clockwork once a week and throwing down a bullet five furlongs in :59.60 on January 13th. He went the same distance in 1:01.80 on January 20th to complete his preparations.
He seems to be the forgotten horse, but his third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic was a solid debut against older horses and his workouts since then have been sharp, including three straight bullet works going six furlongs and a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 flat on January 21st.