Pegasus World Cup Preview

Well, we recorded a solid 90 minutes of video and of course not even 24 hours after we had some really important scratches. Such is life when trying to get content out fast! I tasked the guys to do a write up on one of the big races on Saturday and to update their picks/strategy on scratches. Meanwhile, I’ve come up with a few bombs I want to play on Saturday.

Longshot Plays for PWC Day
By Josh @CherryDrank

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 7, G3 Fred Hooper, 1 mile Dirt

Looking at this race, I see a huge potential for upsets due to the chance of a pace meltdown. Both #5 Phat Man and #12 Gran Omero are going to be on my tickets and will figure prominently in my plays. #11 Epic Dreamer could make some noise here if the jocks are passive from the get go, however, #4 Rare Form is probably the forwardly placed horse I’d most want.

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 8, G3 La Prevoyante, 1 1/2 mile Turf

#4 Mean Mary may not a be a huge bomb here, but she is listed as E8 in Bris Pace and is lone speed in a race full of off the pace types. Luis Saez is always a threat to steal a race on the front end. #7 War Cabinet is coming into this race with a Bris Speed Figure over 10 points higher than the next horse at the distance.

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 9, G2 Inside Information, 7f Dirt

#11 Pink Sands will probably be my top pick in here coming from off the pace, but watch out for #1 Liza Star and #5 Blamed on the front end.

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 10, G3 W McKnight, 1 1/2 mile Turf

#12 American Tattoo figures to be lone speed here, but taking a shot at the turf for the first time at such a short ML of 7/2 means I’m, going to look elsewhere. I like the other logicals here, #1 Red Knight, #7 Cross Border, and #8 Pumpkin Rumble in that order.

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 11, 1mil Pegasus Turf 
by Caleb @CalebWVU

The 1 million-dollar Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitation Stakes is arguably the strongest race of the card due to the unfortunate late scratches of Omaha Beach and Spun to Run in the Pegasus Classic. There are 4 horses who I’m interested in using in this race, including one at an enormous price. 

  • #10 Mo Forza – This horse has gotten very good, very fast. Incredibly versatile run style, this colt has won just off the pace as well as closing from the very back. That versatility will prove key today in a race that lacks a true front-runner, as Rosario will likely elect to use some tactical speed to get Mo Forza on or near the pace. I think the pace sets up well for him, and he’s been improving at an incredible rate in the back half of his 3-year-old campaign. The top pick. 
  • #3 Without Parole – I was all over this horse in the Breeders Cup Mile, and he ran an honest race to get up for third against the top two turf milers in the country. Many of the horses he’s faced in Europe would be overwhelming favorites in today’s race if they made the trip over, so this is a deceptive class drop despite it being a Grade 1 stakes. Frankie Dettori comes over to ride, and Chad Brown is always lethal on the grass in graded stakes races. If he improves at all in his second start off the layoff or on the stretch-out, he could be incredibly tough to beat.
  • #12 Magic Wand – Magic Wand has racked up enough frequent flier miles throughout 2019 to ship over the entire O’Brien clan if she wanted. Hard-knocking mare is as honest as they come, and she has truly had some bad racing luck to run into the likes of Magical, Bricks and Mortar, and Enable in a few of her starts. She banked nearly $3.5 million dollars last year despite only finding the winner’s circle once. She’s a deserving favorite, and she is one of the few runners entered today who have run effectively without Lasix, but it’s tough to love a horse who settles for minor awards as often as her. The draw did her no favors, and O’Brien has not had much luck with his shippers lately. 
  • #7 Admission Office – Many people will dismiss Admission Office based on his 30-1 morning line, but I think that would be a mistake. It’s true, the pace scenario is murky at best and this late runner will be spotting the field a number of lengths at the start, but he owns one of the best late kicks in the entire field. He was stuck behind a slow pace in his last race and forced to swing very wide into the turn, whereas the winner that day, Instilled Regard, got a perfect ground-saving trip along the rail. Admission Office always seemed best right between 9 and 10 furlongs, so this distance should hit him square between the eyes. He’ll need some help up front, but don’t discount this one, especially underneath. 

If you’re wondering where Zulu Alpha, Arklow, Sadler’s Joy, and Channel Cat are on this list, you likely aren’t alone. That entire group of underachieving, over-bet win-traders won’t be on a single one of my tickets. These horses are maddeningly inconsistent, unable to back up one strong effort with another, and they simply take turns beating each other. The only graded stakes they can win are the ones conducted amongst each other. Whenever they face legitimate competition from serious grade 1 horses, they fold faster than Superman on laundry day. They’re usable underneath for exotic bets, but I can’t see how you pick one of them on top without using them all.  

The play: Use Mo Forza and Without Parole most prominently in horizontal wagers.
Win bet Admission Office at 15/1 or better.
Key Admission Office underneath of Mo Forza, Magic Wand, and Without Parole in exacta/trifecta

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 12, 3mil Pegasus
by Mark @Two_turns

With both Omaha Beach and Spun to Run out of the Pegasus, the complexion of this race changed drastically, and it lost much of its luster. What felt like the redemption race of Omaha Beach’s entire career now turns into a glorified G3 with a gigantic purse. On first pass with those two entries both in, I had wanted to fade Omaha Beach and use a lot of Spun to Run. Now odds will wash out a lot and I think in horizontals, you may see a lot of value to a couple of entries in here.

The Logicals – Both Mucho Gusto and Higher Power both must be used on most tickets and are probably the most likely winners. Depending on how the track is playing, I would expect both to be in that 3-1 range which is OK from a value proposition. Both have just been facing better all season and with none of that talent appearing here, it should be ripe for an easy score.

Value Plays – Both True Timber and Diamond Oops are horses that have done their best work at shorter but have pedigree that says they can stretch out. I prefer Diamond Oops personally and will be making him my selection as Gulfstream loves to juice the track on big days which should help him carry his speed and he’s 5-6 over the track, it’s the only one he’s ever actually won at. My big concern is that both of these two seem to be the “wise guy” horses right now and with some major players out, I think you’re going to see in the 6-1 to 8-1 range on them which is hard to win wager on.

How I’ll Play – I’ll be slamming DD’s from the 11th into this field, trying to get Without Parole and Magic Wand over the top of the four mentioned before. I’ll stagger wager size (Dutch) to equalize payout and be aiming for that 6x ROI type range. I’ll also hopefully have a P5 live to Mucho Gusto and Higher Power as A’s with Diamond Oops and True Timber as B’s. If either of my value plays end up 12-1 or higher, I’ll be making some large win wagers on them as well.

Gulfstream Park 1/25/2020 – Race 12, 3mil Pegasus
by Chase @OfOaklawn

There was genuine excitement on my part for Omaha Beach in this race, however, now I’m glad that he scratched. It forced me to take a much deeper look into this race where you now don’t have a clear cut front runner and I ended up landing on a price horse I’m excited about.

I was able to use my handicapping fundamentals to trim to a contender list with Class, Speed, and Works. With races of this caliber all of the horses usually fit the class mold and are worked routinely, so it usually comes down to average speed figures. After applying those (in order of post) my contenders were Tax, Diamond Oops, Higher Power, War Story, Mr. Freeze, and Mucho Gusto. Then after shortening my list to those 6 entries I started doing some pace evaluations with Brisnet Pace figures, and with my new handicapping tool crush, Optix. A color coded bris pace actually really made this pace picture pop out to me.

Sure, there’s a lot of early speed drawn into this one, but it’s the E2 figures that are the tell tale figure, because almost all of these contenders are going to increase velocity from E1 to E2 but then drop off at LSpd. It opens the door for a horse like War Story who has that stready build in Bris Pace Figures from E1 through LSpd to be close enough to make a run in the stretch and moving at their highest velocity of the race at that point. A peek at Optix confirmed my thinking and reaffirmed my choice of War Story. I also did some replay work and like what I saw for his last race and have legitimate excuses for why he didn’t perform in others. What may be a factor, and also may just be me dreaming up hidden factors, might be the shape of the course with with another track War Story has performed well at, FG, having the same tight turns.

WPS War Story

Trifecta 1: 7/6,10,11/2,3,4,6,7,8,10,11

Trifecta 2: 7,10/6,7,10/2,3,6,7,10

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