Pegasus World Cup undercard analysis, jockey selections

The Pegasus World Cup will take center stage at Gulfstream this Saturday, but the Hallandale Beach oval boasts several other appealing stakes races on their 12-race program. We’ll dive into a couple of them here. Don’t forget to apply this information toward FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

 

The Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes (Gulfstream Race 7, post time: 2:32 p.m. EST)

#1 TALE OF SILENCE and #5 FIRST GROWTH will likely take the bulk of the action here. However, TALE OF SILENCE is 0-for-6 vs. stakes company and FIRST GROWTH will be stretching out to a mile against much tougher than he faced in Ohio when he routed last year.

#2 EIGHT TOWN (9-2) looks like the right horse to try for an upset with. He’s reeled off three straight victories since his troubled debut, including a high-level allowance win at Gulfstream last time out. That heat was seven furlongs; he’ll be asked to go just one furlong further on Saturday. EIGHT TOWN’s steady AM works say he’ll be just fine. Nik Juarez has the assignment.

The play: $10 win 2

 

The Grade III W. L. McKnight Handicap (Gulfstream Race 8, post time: 3:04 p.m. EST)

#5 BULLARDS ALLEY seems like an uninspiring favorite here. He was denied by a huge longshot in the two-mile Allen Jerkens in his first Gulfstream try when last seen. Now that there’s some distance from his freakishly-good win in the Grade I Canadian International, it’s becoming more apparent that his effort in that heat was a fluke.

#9 INFINITE WISDOM (9-2) has to negotiate a short run to the first turn and drew widest of all but doesn’t have many serious pace rivals in this field. It would appear only #8 MR. CUB might go out with him and Frankie Dettori early on.

INFINITE WISDOM had a solid summer campaign last year, his crowning achievement being the 1 5/8-mile John’s Call at Saratoga. His fourth-place finish in the Allen Jerkens got him back on track after a dismal effort in Keeneland’s Grade III Sycamore two starts ago. He should appreciate turning back to 1 1/2-miles today.

The play: $10 win 9

 

DFJ analysis: You’ll want to scoop up several riders at Gulfstream this Saturday, but Luis Saez stands out as the most appealing option. He has several live stakes mounts, including Beauly (La Prevoyante), Curlin’s Approval (Hurricane Bertie, 2-1 favorite), Conquest Enforcer (Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint) and Storm the Hill (South Beach). Those all come before he gets a leg up on Gunnevera in the Pegasus World Cup.

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