Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational

The first (hopefully, annual) Pegasus World Cup Invitational horse race will be run on Saturday, 28 January at Gulfstream Park in Florida.  The race will be run at a distance of 1 1/8 miles on the main dirt track.  The starting time is listed as 5:40 p.m.  EST.  NBC will have live coverage.
    The Pegasus has several unique features.  The race is for four-year-olds and up - handicap horses, in other words.  Each entrant has paid a $1 million entry fee; to ensure a full gate, and good race, if a horse becomes ill or lame and must scratch, another horse may be named to race in its place.  The winner of this race will receive $7 million; second place receives $1,750,000; third place receives $1 million; all others will receive a payment of $250,000 each.
    Frank Stronach, who decided upon the rules for the race, would like to have the race be free of any race-day drugs.  As an incentive, any horse that does not use Lasix gets a 5 pound allowance in weight.  Only one horse will do so, Eragon, the four-year-old Argentinian colt.  All of the other entrants will carry 124 pounds, while Eragon will carry 119.
    Most handicappers believe that it will be a "two horse race" between California Chrome and Arrogate.  I'm assuming that the betting odds will reflect that.
    Following is a list of the entries - post position, name, where bred, jockey, assigned weight, and trainer:
1.     Arrogate    (Ky)             Mike Smith        124#       Bob Baffert
2.     Prayer for Relief (Ky)   F. Geroux            124#      Dale Romans
3.     Neolithic (Ky)               J. Velesquez        124#      Todd Pletcher
4.     Noble Bird (Ky)            J. Leparoux         124#      Mark Casse
5.     War Story (Ky)             A. Gallardo         124#      Jorge Navarro
6.     War Envoy (Ky)            Luis Saez            124#      Mick Ruis
7.     Shaman Ghost (On)       Jose Ortiz           124#      James Jerkens
8.     Semper Fortis (Ky)       T. Gaffalione       124#      Doug O'Neill
9.     Keen Ice (Ky)                J. Castellano       124#      Todd Pletcher
10.   Breaking Lucky (On)    L. Contreras        124#      Reade Baker
11.   Eragon (Arg)                  E. Prado              119#      Laura Wohlers
12.   California Chrome (Ca)  V. Espinoza        124#      Art Sherman

  The following three horses have been designated as alternates:  Stanford will take the place of Arrogate, should Arrogate scratch;  Sea Raven  will replace Breaking Lucky, if scratched; and if California Chrome is scratched, Madefromlucky will run in his place.
   Wishing great racing luck to all of the participants!!

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