Homeracing

My Pegasus World Cup Top 4

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D.S. Williamson

November 13th, 2016

mediaThe next huge (or should I write "yuge"?) race in the United States is the $12 million Pegasus World Cup. The Pegasus is scheduled to take place on January 28, 2017. Although it's difficult to know exactly what horses will end up in the Pegasus starting gate, I'm confident that the 4 below are going to be considered for sure. The Top 2 on my list are all but in the Pegasus World Cup.

 

 

1. California Chrome - He ran the best race of his life in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Sometimes, a racehorse comes up against a rival that's just better than he is on that given day. Arrogate was just better than Chrome in the Classic on Nov. 5, 2016. No worries.

Chrome could easily be better than Arrogate on Jan. 28. One of the greatest racehorses to ever step onto a racetrack anywhere in the world, California Chrome gets the chance to run against Arrogate at 1 1/8 miles. He's already proven how awesome he is carrying his speed at 9 furlongs. Jockey Victor Espinoza could turn the tables on Mike Smith in the Pegasus World Cup by tracking Baffert's superstar instead of allowing that one to track him. Or, at 1 1/8 miles, he could bound away to an even bigger lead over Smith and Arrogate.

2. Arrogate - There's no telling how great of a racehorse this son of Unbridled's Song is. The win in the Travers was breathtaking. The win in the Breeders' Cup Classic was as awesome as it gets. The best racehorse in the world deserves to run in the highest-pursed horse race in history. No doubt, he'll enjoy running over Gulfstream's dirt surface. There's also no doubt that Juddmonte Farms, his owners, will want to win every major dirt race in the world with him. Here's something interesting, the word arrogate means to "claim or take without justification". His name suits this guy, right?

3. Highland Reel - Coolmore connections have already bought a spot in the Pegasus World Cup. According to the Paulick Report, trainer Aidan O'Brien has refused to "rule out" Highland Reel from running in the Pegasus in January. The way that he comfortably won the Breeders' Cup Turf while on the lead implies that he has the style to be competitive against the likes of Arrogate and California Chrome. The problem, as always with Aidan's horses, is his breeding. Galileo tried the 2001 Breeders' Cup Classic. He finished 6th. Then again, if you go back further in Highland Reel's pedigree, you do see Northern Dancer on Galileo's side and Danzig on his dam's side.

Plus, let's be honest, did any horse sniff Tiznow and Sakhee in the 2001 BC Classic?

4. A Shin Hikari - This 5-year-old son of Deep Impact has seen his form turn south since winning the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan in May. He finished 6th in the Group 1 Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot in June. He finished 12th in the Group 1 Tenno Sho on October 30. But his connections have to be considering the Pegasus World Cup.

There's no way to get past this horse's excellent dirt pedigree. He was sired by Deep Impact, one of the greatest racehorses to ever run in Japan. Deep Impact is a son of the legendary Sunday Silence, winner of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic. His mother was sired by the great Storm Cat. Not only that, but he has the type of style, close to the pace, that would serve him well over Gulfstream Park's dirt.

I think that A Shin Hikari's connections are seriously considering buying a spot from one of the other ownership groups, Paul Reddam or Jim McIngvale as examples, whose top racehorse has been retired. I know that this is more hope than actual facts, but I can dream, can't I?