Omaha Beach out of Pegasus World Cup Invitational

No medication allowed for World Cup or Turf on Gulfstream's stakes-laden card that perks up the winter for horse racing lovers

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By: Jennifer Morrison |

LATEST – OMAHA BEACH is out and SPUN TO RUN, who defeated Omaha Beach in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last fall has been scratched from the Pegasus due to skin disease.


It’s time to fly for the horses in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf, races that highlight a big card of racing at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 25.

First race post time is 11:30 a.m. EST. Post time for the Pegasus Turf is 4:51 p.m. EST. The World Cup goes at 5:34 p.m. The race will be shown during NBC’s live national telecast from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

For the first time, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf will be run free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards.

OMAHA BEACH, by War Front, was to be the big favourite in the 1 1/8 mile World Cup but was scratched owing to a potential fracture in his right-hind leg

With so much early speed entered in the 12-horse field, horses such as HIGHER POWER and SEEKING THE SOUL, owned by Canadian Charles Fipke could be considered upsetters in a good field.

Look for Gulfstream Park race handicapping on on Saturday.


SEEKING THE SOUL, owned by Canadian Charles Fipke, will take on Omaha Beach and others in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 25 – VANESSA NG PHOTO –



Hronis Racing LLC and trainer John Sadler, who will send out Higher Power for a run in the Pegasus, got a third-place finish in last year’s Pegasus World Cup from 2018 champion older horse Accelerate, the 3-2 favorite who encountered bumping at the start of the race that was run over a sloppy track and won by City of Light.

“We got a deluge. I think Accelerate handled a muddy track OK, but City of Light adored it,” Sadler said. “He ran a good race. It was a step back for him, but circumstances worked against us.”

Higher Power has blossomed into a Grade 1 winner since being purchased for $250,000 in April at Keeneland’s horses of racing age sale. In his fourth start for his new connections, the 5-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro offered a commanding 5 ¼-length victory in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, defeating Pegasus World Cup contenders Tenfold (4th), War Story (6th) and Seeking the Soul (7th).

“We ran him on turf the first time at Del Mar and he was an unlucky second and should have won. He was training so well over the Del Mar dirt we decided to try the Pacific Classic,” Sadler said. “We were just delighted. He got a good trip and won it. He has a lot of stamina and he’s improving. To my mind, he’s probably second choice in the Pegasus.”

Higher Power was rated fourth in the morning line at 6-1.

Higher Power finished third after poor starts in his two subsequent starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Nov. 2. After starting slowly, he raced wide and could get no closer than 8 ½ lengths to victorious Vino Rosso.

“In the Breeders’ Cup Classic he got away slowly and was third. I think with a good break in the Breeders’ Cup he’d probably have been right there close for second,” Sadler said. “Vino Rosso was going to be the winner that day. But all things considered, it wasn’t a bad race.”

Flavien Prat has the return mount aboard Higher Power.

Trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled Arrogate for his Pegasus World Cup victory has sent His Royal Highness Prince Faisal bin Khalid’s Mucho Gusto to Gulfstream for Saturday’s race. The 4-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man will be seeking his first Grade 1 victory, but the multiple graded-stakes winner has fared well in top-class company, finishing second behind Maximum Security in the Haskell (G1) at Monmouth Park, eight lengths ahead of Pegasus entrant Spun to Run, and third in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga.

“He always shows up. He runs well. He’s got a lot of heart. And he’s speed,” Baffert said. “Might as well go for it and see how he does.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., who is expected to be honored at Thursday evening’s Eclipse Award dinner in Gulfstream’s Sport of King’s theater for the second straight year, will ride Mucho Gusto, who is rated third at 9-2 in the morning line, for the first time Saturday.

Trainer Steve Asmussen, like Baffert, will be seeking his second Pegasus World Cup victory Saturday. The Hall of Fame trainer saddled 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner for victory in 2018. This year, he will saddle Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Tenfold, the third-place finisher in the 2018 Preakness Stakes (G1) who is winless in five starts since winning the Pimlico Special (G3).

“He’s run some very big races. His third in the Preakness by three-quarters of a length to Justify, his Pimlico Special and the Jim Dandy. On his best day, he’s obviously capable of very good things, but he has not been as consistent as we would have hoped and don’t feel he’s completely taken advantage of all the chances he’s been given,” Asmussen said. “But he’s also a horse that’s an extremely good ‘doer,’ a very sound horse that’s doing really well right now. With the invitation to the Pegasus in a very wide-open year, excluding possibly one horse, here we go.”

Tyler Gaffalione has the mount aboard the 5-year-old son of Curlin.

Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul is scheduled to make his third start in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), in which the son of Perfect Soul finished second behind City of Light last year after checking in fifth in 2018. The Dallas Stewart-trained 7-year-old son of Perfect Soul has been winless in four starts since capturing the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs June 15.

Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez, who was aboard for the Foster score and last year’s runner-up finish in the Pegasus, will be back aboard.

R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbreds Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stable’s Tax will seek his first Grade 1 victory in the Pegasus. The 4-year-old gelded son of Arch was claimed for $50,000 at Keeneland in October 2018 and went on to win the Withers (G3) and finish second in the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct to earn a berth in the Kentucky Derby (G1), in which he finished well back in the field. The Danny Gargan-trained gelding captured the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga before weakening to seventh in the Travers.

Jose Ortiz will ride Tax for the first time Saturday.

Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing Stable LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC’s Diamond Oops, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed 5-year-old gelding, enters the Pegasus off a swift victory in the seven-furlong Mr. Prospector (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 21. The son of Lookin At Lucky finished second back-to-back in the Alfred .G, Vanderbilt (G1) at Saratoga and the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland, before finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile following a troubled start.

Julien Leparoux has the return mount on the Patrick Biancone-trained gelding.

Calumet Farm’s True Timber, who finished third in the Cigar Mile last time out, will attempt to better last year’s seventh-place Pegasus finish. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin named Joe Bravo to ride the 6-year-old gelded son of Mineshaft.

Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis’ War Story, who finished 10th in the 2018 Pegasus, will try to add to his $2.9 million career bankroll Saturday. The Elizabeth Dobles-trained 8-year-old gelding, who captured the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream in his most recent start, will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s Mr Freeze, a multiple graded-stakes winner, enters the Pegasus off a third-place finish in the Nov. 19 Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. Trainer Dale Romans award the mount to Luis Saez.

Top Racing LLC and Global Thoroughbreds and GDS Racing’s Bodexpress, the runner-up in the Florida Derby (G1) behind Maximum Security before finishing off the board in the Kentucky Derby and unseating his rider at the start in the Preakness, brings a record of two wins from three subsequent starts into the Pegasus. Emisael Jaramillo has the return call.

Saturday, Gulfstream, post time: 5:34 p.m. EST

1 True Timber  Mineshaft Calumet Farm McLaughlin Bravo 124

2 Tax Arch R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing,Lynch, Hugh and Corms Racing Stable Gargan Ortiz 124

3 Diamond Oops  Lookin At Lucky Diamond 100 Racing Club, LLC, Dunne, Amy E., D PRacing LLCand Patrick L. Biancone Racing LLC Biancone Leparoux 124

4 Seeking the Soul Perfect Soul (Ire) Charles E. Fipke Stewart Velazquez 124

5 Omaha Beach  War Front Fox Hill Farms, Inc. Mandella Smith 124

6 Higher Power  Medaglia d’Oro Hronis Racing LLC Sadler Prat 124

7 War Story  Northern Afleet Imaginary Stables and Ellis, Glenn Dobles Rosario 124

8 Mr Freeze  To Honor and Serve Bakke, Jim and Isbister, Gerald Romans Saez 124

9 Spun to Run Hard Spun Robert P. Donaldson Guerrero Castellano 124

10 Mucho Gusto  Mucho Macho Man HRH Prince Faisal Bin Khaled Baffert Ortiz, Jr. 124

11 Tenfold Curlin Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC Asmussen Gaffalione 124

12 Bodexpress  Bodemeister Top Racing, LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Delgado Jaramillo 124

Breeders: 1-Mr. & Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell, 2-Claiborne Farm & Adele B. Dilschneider, 3-Kin Hui Racing Stables LLC, 4-Charles Fipke, 5-Charming
Syndicate, 6-Pin Oak Stud, LLC, 7-Jack Swain III, 8-Siena Farms LLC, 9-Sabana Farm, 10-Teneri Farm Inc. &Bernardo Alvarez Calderon,
11-Winchell Thoroughbreds, LLC, 12-Martha Jane Mulholland


The PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF, off at 4;49, has a big field as well with Canadian-owned Without Parole (GB) in the field.

Well-traveled Irish import Magic Wand, second only to a subsequently undefeated rival expected to be crowned Horse of the Year later this week, returns to South Florida as the program favorite in Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

During Wednesday’s post-position draw in Frankey’s Sports Bar at Gulfstream, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Mrs. John Magnier’s Magic Wand was made the 7-2 top choice for the Pegasus Turf and drew the far outside post in a field of 12 that includes fellow Grade 1 winners Arklow, Henley’s Joy, Mo Forza, Next Shares, Sadler’s Joy and Without Parole as well as graded-stakes winners Channel Cat, Instilled Regard and Sacred Life.

Magic Wand had never faced males and raced only once in North America prior to last year’s Pegasus Turf, where she was sent off at 9-1 and ran second over a yielding course by 2 ¼ lengths behind Bricks and Mortar, who would go on to win his next five races, four of them Grade 1, making him the favorite to take home top honors during the 49th Eclipse Awards ceremony Thursday at Gulfstream.

Since the Pegasus Turf, Magic Wand has raced almost exclusively against males with one victory, becoming a Group 1 winner in the MacKinnon Stakes Nov. 9 at Flemington in Australia, just four days after finishing 10th in the Melbourne Cup (G1). In all, Magic Wand ran three times in two weeks Down Under, also running fourth in the Cox Plate (G1).

Following the MacKinnon, Magic Wand went to Sha Tin where she capped a busy 2019 campaign finishing second by a nose in the Hong Kong Cup (G1) Dec. 8. Though she went just 1-for-12 during the year, she earned nearly $3.5 million to push her career bankroll over $4.1 million.

The 2019 Pegasus Turf was Magic Wand’s only race at 1 3/16 miles, though she has never been worse than fourth with one win, six seconds and a third in nine tries at 1 ¼ miles. She is still seeking her first stateside win, having finished fourth in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Last year she was third in the Man o’ War (G1) at Belmont Park and second in the Arlington Million (G1), both by three-quarters of a length.

A 5-year-old daughter of three-time Group 1-winner Galileo, Magic Wand will have regular rider Ryan Moore aboard.

Woodslane Farm’s multi-millionaire homebred Sadler’s Joy is set to make his 7-year-old debut in the Pegasus Turf. Trained by Tom Albertrani, the son of champion racehorse and stallion Kitten’s Joy snapped a 10-race losing streak by winning the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith (G3) Nov. 23 at Aqueduct.

During his drought, the late-running 2017 Sword Dancer (G1) winner was second or third seven times, five of those by less than a length.

“He actually had a really good campaign last year. We were just really beaten necks and heads again,” Albertrani said. “His only big defeat was in the Bowling Green his first start back where he encountered quite a bit of traffic when he made his late run and still didn’t get beat that far [1 ¼ lengths].

“But he came back and put up two good races in the Sword Dancer and Joe Hirsch and came back and won the Red Smith impressively,” he added. “He’s absolutely strong, as strong as he’s been from what I can see from last year to now, so I’m anticipating another good season with him.”

Sadler’s Joy owns two wins and a second in four career tries at Gulfstream, taking the Pan American (G2) after losing the W. L. McKnight (G3) by a head in 2017. In 2018, he rallied to win the Mac Diarmida (G2) and was fourth in the Pan American. Overall, he has seven wins and nearly $2.5 million in purse earnings from 26 starts.

Hall of Famer Javier Castellano rides Sadler’s Joy (8-1) from Post 4.

“It’s going to be a good, challenging race for us but I think he’s got the ability to get it done if he runs any one of his big races,” Albertrani said. “He’s got it in him. If he comes back and puts in one of those big efforts, I don’t see why he couldn’t get the job done.”

Saturday, Gulfstream, post time: 4:49 p.m. EST

1 Zulu Alpha Street Cry (Ire) Michael M. Hui Maker Gaffalione 124
2 Arklow Arch Donegal Racing, Bulger, Joseph and Coneway, Peter Cox Saez 124
3 Without Parole (GB) Frankel (GB) Gunther, John D. and Gunther, Tanya Brown Dettori 124
4 Sadler’s Joy Kitten’s Joy Woodslane Farm Albertrani Castellano 124
5 Channel Cat English Channel Calumet Farm Pletcher Velazquez 124
6 Instilled Regard  Arch OXO Equine LLC Brown Ortiz, Jr. 124
7 Admission Office Point of Entry Amerman Racing LLC Lynch Prat 124
8 Henley’s Joy Kitten’s Joy Bloom Racing Stable LLC Maker Leparoux 124
9 Next Shares  Archarcharch Baltas, Debby, Baltas, Richard, Dunn, Christopher, Iavarone et al Baltas Valdivia, Jr. 124
10 Mo Forza Uncle Mo Bardy Farm and OG Boss Miller Rosario 124
11 Sacred Life (Fr) Siyouni (Fr) Dubb, Michael, Madaket Stables LLC, Wonder and Bethlehem Brown Ortiz 124
12 Magic Wand (Ire) Galileo (Ire) Tabor,MichaelB.,Magnier,Mrs. John, andSmith,Derrick O’Brien Moore 119
13AE  Tusk  Tapit Jordan V. Wycoff Joseph, Jr. Lopez 124

Breeders: 1-Calumet Farm, 2-John R. Penn & Frank Penn, 3-Mr John Gunther, 4-Woodslane Farm, LLC., 5-Calumet Farm, 6-KatieRich Farms,
7-Mrs. Jerry Amerman, 8-Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey, 9-Buck Pond Farm, Inc., 10-Bardy Farm, 11-Mr. Viktor Timoshenko & Mr.
AndriyMilovanov, 12-Ecurie Des Monceaux & Skymarc Farm Inc, 13-Flaxman Holdings Limited