More quality performers win Pegasus invitations

Third time lucky? War Story, pictured winning the G3 at Gulfstream in December, has been moved up from the Pegasus reserve list to the main list for the $3m dirt contest. He has been unplaced in each of the last two runnings. Photo: Gulfstream Park

Graded-stakes winners Tenfold and Midcourt and G1-placed Bodexpress, a popular local favorite, have been added to the formal list of horses invited to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on Saturday, January 25 on the dirt track at Gulfstream Park.

The nine-furlong Pegasus for 4-year-olds and up is part of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, along with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf for 4-year-olds and up at 9½ furlongs on the grass, which also saw changes to its list of invitees.

Overall, the Pegasus World Cup Day program will serve up nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million in purses.

The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced the equine athletes in both races would compete free of any medications on race day. The medication-free policy is consistent with International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.

C R K Stable’s Midcourt, based in California with trainer John Shirreffs, was placed among a dozen horses on the main list. A 5-year-old son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute, Midcourt put together four straight wins last summer and fall, capped by the G3 Native Diver on November 23 Del Mar. Most recently, he finished third in the G2 San Antonio on December 28 at Santa Anita.

Also new to the Pegasus lineup are Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Tenfold and Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbreds LLC and GDS Racing Stable’s Bodexpress, each added to the list of reserve invitees.

The winner of the 2018 G2 Jim Dandy and 2019 G3 Pimlico Special and third by a half-length to eventual Triple Crown champion Justify in the 2018 Preakness, Tenfold is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who won the second renewal of the Pegasus in 2018 with 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner.

Bodexpress, trained by Gulfstream Park West-based Gustavo Delgado, ran second behind Maximum Security in the G1 Florida Derby last spring and made headlines after losing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez at the start of the Preakness. After some time off, he returned with back-to-back victories in maiden special weight and allowance company prior to a third-place finish in the G3 Harlan’s Holiday on December 14 at Gulfstream.

Maximum Security, Gift Box, Roadster and Bravazo are no longer on the list of invitees.

Three horses that had been on the reserve list were moved up to the main body of the race – Diamond Oops, True Timber and War Story. Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, a multiple Graded-stakes winner of nearly $3 million, ran fifth and tenth, respectively, in the 2017 and 2018 Pegasus.

Calumet Farm’s True Timber has placed in seven career Graded-stakes, including the G1 Cigar Mile, where he ran second in 2018 and third behind Maximum Security last December 7 in his most recent start.

In 2019, Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC’s Diamond Oops won the G3 Smile Sprint and G3 Mr Prospector at Gulfstream, the latter over Imperial Hint, and was second in the G1 A.G. Vanderbilt and G1 Shadwell Turf Mile.

In the Pegasus Turf, Amerman Racing’s Admission Office and Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder Stables and Bethlehem Stables LLC’s Sacred Life were moved up from the also-eligible list to the main list of invitees.

Admission Office is five-time stakes-placed, four in Graded company, most recently in the December 14 G2 Fort Lauderdale at Gulfstream. Sacred Life won the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon as a 2-year-old in his native France and owns one win from four starts in the U.S., finishing second in the G2 Bernard Baruch and Seabiscuit handicaps last year.

New to the list of Turf invitees are Pin Oak Stable’s Synchrony, Jordan Wycoff’s Tusk and Calumet Farm and John Anthony Stables LLC’s American Tattoo.

Synchrony is a career nine-time winner of nearly $1 million in purses, taking the G2 King Edward and G3 Fair Grounds Handicap last year. Tusk, by Tapit, earned his eighth lifetime win and first in Graded-stakes company in the one-mile G3 Tropical Turf on January 11 at Gulfstream. A G1 winner in his native Argentina, American Tattoo most recently won the two-mile H. Allen Jerkens Stakes on December 28 at Gulfstream.

United, Starship Jubilee, A Thread of Blue and Lucullan are no longer on the list of Turf invitees.

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