Homeracing

Most Interesting Horses in Pegasus World Cup

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D.S. Williamson

January 23rd, 2017

The Pegasus World Cup is scheduled for this Saturday, January 28. We horseplayers know a lot about California Chrome and Arrogate, the two favorites in the Pegasus World Cup. But, what about the other horses in the race? Are there any contenders that we should consider? Take a look at the five most interesting horses in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup.

 

Keen Ice



After a nice third place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Keen Ice went into the Harlan's Holiday as the 8/5 favorite. He produced a decent run. But, he couldn't get to fellow Todd Pletcher trainee Stanford. No worries. With any more improvement, Keen Ice could shock the world on Jan. 28 in the Pegasus World Cup. This is especially true if, as to be expected, the pace to the half-mile pole is much faster in the Pegasus than it was in the BC Classic.

 

Shaman Ghost



Shaman Ghost's ability to track closer if he needs to may come in handy on Jan. 28. Trained by James Jerkens, the son of Ghostzapper was last seen finishing third to Gun Runner in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap. Shaman Ghost chased a :48 half-mile. There was no way that he could run down Gun Runner and Breaking Lucky after such a slow pace. The half-mile in the Pegasus should be much quicker than that. Shaman Ghost, with any improvement, could be hard to keep from the finish line first depending on how the pace plays out.

Breaking Lucky

Wow. Breaking Lucky was ultra-impressive in the Clark Handicap, wasn't he? Breaking Lucky should be in the catbird seat throughout the Pegasus World Cup. If neither Chrome nor Arrogate are at the top of their games, who knows? Maybe, Breaking Lucky takes home the top prize. He was the only one making up ground on Gun Runner in the Clark Handicap.

 

Noble Bird



Trained by Mark E. Casse, Noble Bird failed miserably in the Clark Handicap due to a terrible start. His win in the Lukas Classic Stakes is more of how he likes to run, near the front. One thing to remember is that the Pegasus World Cup distance is 1 1/8 miles. It's not 1 1/4 miles. What that means is that horses like Noble Bird have a shot to go toe-to-toe with California Chrome and Arrogate early. Bird can run a :46 and change half-mile. If he does that, he may not win the race, but he might soften up Chrome and Arrogate...if Mike Smith puts Arrogate right on the lead in the Pegasus World Cup.

 

Eragon

James McIngvale purchased Eragon after not finding a horse in his current stable that's worth entering in the Pegasus World Cup. How good is Eragon?  There's no way to tell. That's what makes him such an intriguing Pegasus World Cup prospect. The way that he closed to win his last race was breathtaking. That doesn't mean that he's good enough to beat California Chrome, or Arrogate. Then again, he's lightly raced, built like a tank, and should have no trouble with the distance. His sire, Offlee Wild, won the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap at 1 1/8 miles, beating Funny Cide, in 2004.

Make no mistake, beating both California Chrome and Arrogate is going to be tough. With that being written, every horse in the Pegasus World Cup might have a shot because the race is going to be run at 1 1/8 miles instead of 1 1/4 miles. Think about it. Chrome was all in versus Dortmund in two 1 1/8 mile races in 2016. Arrogate's two best races were at 1 1/4 miles.

Don't be surprised if both Chrome and Arrogate are in the fight of their lives with one or two other equines in the stretch of the Pegasus World Cup.