by Jeremy Plonk
January 6, 2020
We’re less than 3 weeks away from Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream Park, where 9 stakes – 6 of the graded variety – will be featured January 25. For the first time, an invitation process will be utilized to comprise the field for the Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf. Those invites went out this past weekend to a star-studded group of runners. A follow-up list of invitees will be published Sunday, January 12 and Sunday, January 19.
The fields for the Pegasus World Cup Day program will be set Wednesday, January 22, at the regular time of entry. This year the PWC main event will be contested without raceday medications for the first time.
Invitees to the Pegasus World Cup, a dozen runners with five alternates, include:
Gift Box -- Back-to-back winner of the San Antonio, as well as last year’s Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup at Santa Anita;
Higher Power – 2019 Pacific Classic victor and Breeders’ Cup Classic third-place finisher;
Magic Wand – Star mare runner-up in last year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf and Arlington Million;
Math Wizard – Gulfstream-based upset winner of the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby;
Maximum Security – Xpressbet Florida Derby winner a year ago and favorite for 2019 Champion 3-Year-Old honors;
McKinzie – Winner of the 2019 Whitney and runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic;
Mr Freeze – Third-place finisher last out in the Clark Handicap;
Omaha Beach – Three-time Grade 1 winner in 2019 and Eclipse Award finalist for Champion 3-Year-Old;
Roadster – 2019 Santa Anita Derby winner;
Seeking the Soul – Second and fifth in the past 2 editions of the Pegasus World Cup;
Spun to Run – Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner;
Tax – Victor in the 2019 Jim Dandy and Belmont Stakes fourth-place finisher;
(Alt-1) Mucho Gusto – Stakes-placed in the 2019 Travers and Haskell;
(Alt-2) War Story – 8-year-old veteran earner of nearly $3 million, including the recent Harlan’s Holiday;
(Alt-3) Bravazo – 2019 Pegasus World Cup fourth-place finisher and 2018 Preakness runner-up;
(Alt-4) Diamond Oops – Four-time local Gulfstream Park stakes winner;
(Alt-5) True Timber – Seventh-place finisher in 2019 Pegasus World Cup and twice-placed in Cigar Mile.
The invitees to the Pegasus World Cup Turf also have been announced. Among those are the aforementioned mare Magic Wand, Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up United, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic winner Arklow, recent Fort Lauderdale Stakes winner and 2018 Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Instilled Regard, Breeders’ Cup Mile third-place finisher Without Parole, and the red-hot Mo Forza , a winner in 3 straight.