Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our Picks for the Pegasus

Here are the HorseRacingFLA staff picks for Win, Place, Show for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (Grade 1).

It is the 12th  race at Gulfstream, with scheduled post of 5:40 p.m.-- 1 1/8 miles on dirt

Jim Freer

1 -- Arrogate -- Should take the lead heading to  the far turn, and this time California Chrome will have to catch him.  That is a hard task for Chrome in post 12. Many times I  have seen  the difficulty for outside horses in dealing with the run of just about 100 yards to the start of the first turn.

12 -- California Chrome -- If he runs his race, he will at least finish second. In any case he should be outside, where he likes to be, on the backstrech.

3 -- Keen Ice -- In third race of a cycle in which he closed to finish third in the Breeders' Cup Classic

and second in the Harlan's Holiday.  He should be able to beat all  but the Big 2 today.

Barry Unterbrink

1 -- California Chrome -- If he he gets a clean break, he can be out of traffic on the backstretch with a clear run the rest of the way. He will close his legendary career with a victory.

2 --  Keen Ice -- Ready  for a big effort, and the logical winner if both Arrogate and California Chrome falter.

3 -- Arrogate -- The rail post could prove difficult if he does not get a  good start--the mirror image of the concern about California Chrome.

Monique Welch

1. Arrogate -- number one simply for his speed and class.

2. California Chrome -- He has experience winning a lot of the right races at the right times, and rises up to the challenge.  

3 Shaman Ghost -- Hehas great potential and seems in great condition after having several strong bullet workouts.

Bob Bauer

#1 ARROGATE- Hard to go past this one in here. He owns the two best (huge) recent speed figures in this race and should take some beating for Bob Baffert and Mike Smith. He is 2 for 2 when breaking from post #1 and has shown that he can win without an early lead and run by horses as he did in the Breeders Cup Classic. It appears that there will be several with early lick fighting for the lead, it will be up to Smith to get position going into the first turn and not get caught in a suicidal early pace.

#12 CALIFORNIA CHROME- A champion in his own right, he had rung up a half-dozen stakes scores in a row before losing to Arrogate in the Breeder’s Cup Classic. The six-year-old chestnut has a tough assignment, drawing post 12 with speed to his inside and a short run to the clubhouse turn. He is a multiple Grade 1 winner, if able to pull this one off it will be because of his class. Art Sherman gives Victor Espinoza a leg up one more time.

#7 SHAMAN GHOST- May be sitting on a big race for Jimmy Jerkins.  This stout closer likes to run fresh and he now comes off a 63 day break and shows 5 good workouts. He took Saratoga’s Grade 1 Woodard at 9 to 1 last September after a similar freshening and will benefit if there is a pace melt down.

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