Pegasus World Cup Win/Place/Show PicksJosh Bailey
The inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is this Saturday, Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park. Scheduled to be the twelfth race on the card, 12 of the best handicap horses in the world will battle it out for their share of a $12 million purse.
— Pegasus World Cup (@PegasusWorldCup) January 23, 2017
Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Arrogate once again faces off against the legendary California Chrome. Will Arrogate beat Chrome for the winner’s share of the purse? Or, will Chrome turn the tables on his rival? Is there a longshot in the race that could break up the Arrogate, California Chrome exacta box?
Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Win/Place/Show Expert Picks
Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Win Pick: Arrogate 7/5
Arrogate worked hard in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to get past the brilliant California Chrome. At the top of the stretch, it didn’t appear as if jockey Mike Smith would get Arrogate past Chrome. But, Smith did. The reason to love Arrogate in the rematch, why it should be easier for Arrogate to win, is due to post-position. The son of Unbridled’s Song breaks from post-position 1. Smith can get Arrogate to relax on the rail. Then, at the top of the stretch, he can either drive Arrogate past the horses in front of him along the rail. Or, Smith can pull Arrogate out and run past the leaders. Either way, the Bob Baffert trainee has the advantage over rival California Chrome in the Pegasus World Cup.
Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Place Pick: Breaking Lucky 25/1
I’ll be looking for a price horse to fill out the exacta in the Pegasus World Cup. To me, the best price horse is Breaking Lucky. The Reade Baker trainee showed his class when finishing second to Gun Runner in the Clark Handicap in his last at 46 to 1 odds. A $100,000 Keeneland November grad from 2012, Breaking Lucky was sired by Lookin At Lucky. He has quality and appears to have put it all together in the Clark. A move forward could land him in the winner’s circle on Saturday. He should get a perfect trip behind the speed.
Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Show Pick: California Chrome 6/5
The Pegasus World Cup is California Chrome’s swan song. He’s easily the most accomplished horse in the field. He could go down as one of the Top 5 greatest race horses to ever run with a win in the Pegasus.
But, I don’t think he’ll win it. I have three issues with Chrome taking home the Pegasus trophy on Jan. 28. First, he’s much better at the classic 1 1/4 mile distance than he is at 1 1/8 miles. Second, he breaks from post-position 12, where jockey Victor Espinoza may have to gun him to the lead, take him back off the lead, or go wide around the first turn. Third, Chrome faces quality other speed in the Pegasus.