The much-anticipated Grade I Pegasus World Cup takes place this Saturday at Gulfstream Park. A field of 12 (with two also-eligibles) will line up at approximately 5:35 p.m. EST for this 1 1/8-mile challenge. The Pegasus goes as the finale on a 12-race program loaded with stakes events. Each entrant was charged $1 million for the right to start, but the winner walks away with over $7 million. Some of the world’s best jockeys will be present, so don’t overlook Gulfstream when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
#10 GUN RUNNER (4-5, morning-line favorite) faces a tough assignment in what’s likely to be his career finale. He drew a disadvantageous post in a race that contains several early speed types. However, he should be up to the task.
GUN RUNNER was nearly flawless in 2017, winning five of six starts, and capped things off with an easy win over several of today’s principle contenders in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He may end up wide on the first turn, but Florent Geroux should position him well on the backstretch. GUN RUNNER is versatile, so he could sit off a pace set by SHARP AZTECA should that rival show aggression. So long as he can save some ground on the far turn, GUN RUNNER looks imposing.
#2 WEST COAST (8-1) won five straight starts at three before settling for third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He’s been working like a monster in the mornings for Bob Baffert, who again names Javier Castellano to ride. If he takes a small step forward in his first start at four, WEST COAST will be hard to beat for second and may even give GUN RUNNER a run for his money.
#5 COLLECTED (8-1) was second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic two starts ago but laid an egg in the San Antonio Stakes when last seen. He may deserve a pass for that effort though, given the strong worktab he’s sporting leading into the Pegasus. Mike Smith sees fit to make the trip for Baffert.
#4 SHARP AZTECA (6-1) and new pilot Irad Ortiz Jr. will likely make the Pegasus pace. He’s plenty fast and was an easy winner of the Grade I Cigar Mile last time out, but he’s unproven going this far. SHARP AZTECA loves Gulfstream (5-3-1-0 record) but it remains to be seen how far the course will carry his speed. GUN RUNNER being in front of him or hot on his heels won’t aid his cause.
#6 GUNNEVERA (15-1) and #11 SEEKING THE SOUL (25-1) will do their best running late. GUNNEVERA gets a rider upgrade to Luis Saez and loves this course (7-3-2-1), while SEEKING THE SOUL has won two straight, including the Grade I Clark Handicap last time out. John Velazquez will be in the irons.
The play: 50 cent trifecta 10/2,4,5,6,11/2,4,5,6,11, $1 trifecta 10/2,5/2,4,5,6,11 ($18)
DFJ analysis: See my Pegasus World Cup undercard column!
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