Diamond Oops gets tepid nod in wide-open Pegasus

The Grade I, $3 million Pegasus World Cup highlights the Saturday action at Gulfstream Park. Following the defections of Spun to Run and Omaha Beach, a field of 10 will line up for this 1 1/8-mile heat. Post time for the Pegasus, the finale on a 12-race program, is estimated for 5:34 p.m. ET.

#3 DIAMOND OOPS (15-1) loves this course, which makes him hard to ignore even as he stretches out to 1 1/8-miles for the first time. The Patrick Biancone trainee is 6-5-0-0 all-time at Gulfstream, including his December triumph over Imperial Hint in the Mr. Prospector to prep for the Pegasus. DIAMOND OOPS has never won a Grade I but placed twice at the level in four tries last year. Julien Leparoux maintains the assignment.   

#8 MR FREEZE (20-1) will have company up front but should hang around for a share in this prestigious event. Tom’s d’Etat took care of business against this Dale Romans trainee in the Fayette and Clark most recently, but MR FREEZE scored in the Ack Ack three-back, a race that didn’t involve that foe. Luis Saez will be in the irons, trying to ration the son of To Honor and Serve’s speed against #10 MUCHO GUSTO and #12 BODEXPRESS.

MUCHO GUSTO will probably go postward as the favorite in the Pegasus. Despite having Bob Baffert and Irad Ortiz Jr. in his corner, his resume is somewhat uninspiring. MUCHO GUSTO is only a Grade III winner, and his fastest speed figures were run in defeat in the Haskell and Travers. Facing older for the first time, MUCHO GUSTO could prove to be a bad bet.

The play: $5 exacta box 3/8 ($10)