OTB Race Previews & Odds
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OffTrackBetting.com - The richest thoroughbred race on the planet - the G1 Pegasus World Cup comes our way this Saturday, January 28 from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A purse of $12 million will be on the line for horses four years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles on Gulfstream's dirt track.
A full field of 12 plus three Alternate Entries have been confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup - race 12 on Gulfstream's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:40 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances for all 15 possible entries for this intriguing and lucrative G1 stakes - a much anticipated rematch between the sensational California Chrome and up-and-coming Arrogate.
California Chrome 6-5 - four-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 and newly named 2016 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early in 2014 and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the G1 Santa Anita Derby, the G2 San Felipe Stakes and two minor stakes scores. He also had a fourth in the Belmont Stakes that year - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just one start in 2015 - a runner-up finish in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan. He had eight starts in 2016 with seven wins - the only blemish being a runner-up finish behind Arrogate in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The wins came last time out in the minor Winter Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos December 17, in the G1 Awesome Again Stakes October 1, in wire-to-wire fashion in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 (a race he registered a 112 Beyer Speed Figure), in the G2 San Diego Handicap July 23, by 3 3/4 lengths in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March, a Handicap score also at Meydan February 25 and in the G2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 26 career starts with 16 wins, four seconds and a third place - as dominant as any horse in any division the last few years. He will have regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard looking to make a little more noise in his final career race - from the outside gate 12 as a familiar morning line favorite.
Arrogate 7-5 - impressive Bob Baffert trained colt has six career starts with five wins and a third place finish wins - he was just named winner of the Eclipse Award for 3-year-old male and was second in Horse of the Year voting. He enters on a terrific four race win streak - the Breeders' Cup Classic last time out over the legendary California Chrome, the G1 Travers August 27 in his stakes debut, an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar August 4, another Allowance Optional Claiming June 24 and a maiden score at Santa Anita June 5. Arrogate has looked terrific in his last five starts and is expected to be in the mix again Saturday from the rail. Mike Smith will be in the saddle of what could be the next big thing in North American Thoroughbred racing as they try to become perhaps the next California Chrome.
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Neolithic 10-1 - Todd Pletcher trained colt has placed in five of his seven career starts - two wins and three runner-up finishes. He arrives on the heels of an Allowance score on this track December 14, a second in his only graded stakes action to date - the G3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 12 and another second in an Allowance at Belmont Park October 10. Neolithic has been trending upward and will be hoping for a first stakes score from post 3 Saturday. John Velazquez rides.
Keen Ice 12-1 - posted a win over American Pharoah (the only horse to beat Pharoah so far) in the G1 Travers Stakes at 16-1 August 29, 2016 but has been just OK since - mostly because he had been racing with a cannon bone fracture. Last time out was an OK second in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 17 which followed a respectable but distant third behind Arrogate and American Pharoah in the Breeders' Cup Classic November 5, another third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Belmont Park October 7, an eighth in the Group 1 $10 million Dubai World Cup March 26, a seventh in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 March 5, a sixth in the G1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream February 6 and consecutive fourth place finishes - the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last November 27 and the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic. Other good results include a second behind American Pharoah in the G1 Haskell Invitational August 2, 2015 and a respectable third in the 2015 Belmont Stakes. He also had a seventh in the 2015 Kentucky Derby and a fourth in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. He tries to snap an eight race losing streak and enters having placed in three straight. Javier Castellano has been tabbed with changing Keen Ice's fortunes around from post 9.
Shaman Ghost 20-1 - Canada's Sovereign Award winner for 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Colt won his country's biggest race that year - the Queen's Plate and also posted a nice win in the G3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine in May, 2015. His last race of 2015 was second in the second jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown - the Prince of Wales Stakes in July before being sent to the sidelines for 10 months. He returned to action May 21 and finished an OK third in an Allowance Optional Claiming and followed that with an easy win in the G2 Brooklyn Invitational June 11. Last time out was a decent third in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 after a good win in the G1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga September 3 and a bit of a step back - a fifth in the G2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park July 9. Shaman Ghost now has six wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts. Javier Castellano will try to guide him to a second G1 score in three starts from post 7.
Noble Bird 25-1 - Mark Casse pupil looked great at the beginning of summer 2015 - he won two Allowance Optional Claiming races, finished second in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs in May, 2015 and went on to win the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs in June. He wasn't great after that before a terrific 11 length win six starts back in the G3 Pimlico Special May 20 with a career-best 117 Beyer Speed Figure - a result that was followed by a disappointing sixth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park June 11 and a fifth in the G1 Whitney Stakes August 6 at Saratoga. He has continued to be a tad up and down - a seventh last time out in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 followed consecutive wins - the G2 Haygard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 29 and in front running fashion in the minor Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs October 1. Last year he also had a last of eight, as favorite in the G2 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs May 6, an OK second in the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 14 and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. Noble Bird has been tough to figure out but has won two of his last three starts overall (both stakes). He tries to avenge a seventh last time out from gate 4 with Julien Leparoux guiding him.
Breaking Lucky 25-1 - raced all three legs of the 2015 Canadian Triple Crown with mixed results. He won the Prince of Wales Stakes at 13-1 odds at Fort Erie but also had a ninth in the Breeders' Stakes in August and a fifth in the Queen's Plate July 5. He enters off a respectable second in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 which followed an eighth in the minor Lukas Classic on that track in October and a fourth in the G1 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga in September. He had a nice in on the G3 Seagram Cup Stakes at Woodbine August 1 and another pair of respectable seconds - in the G3 Dominion Day Stakes July 1 and in the G2 Eclipse Stakes May 28 also at Woodbine. Before that were three straight third place finishes including the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 16 and the G3 Ontario Derby September 20 of 2015. Breaking Lucky has quietly placed in seven of his last nine starts overall and enters this week in decent form. Luis Contreras gets the call from gate 10.
Prayer for Relief 50-1 - raced 11 straight graded stakes races in 2014/2015 for trainer Dale Romans with a second in the G3 Pimlico Special in 2014, a third in the G2 Suburban Handicap that year and a third in the 2015 G3 Hal's Hope Stakes in January, 2015 being the best results. He hasn't been all that impressive lately however failing to place in four straight ahead of this weekend. Last time out was a ninth in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25 after a fifth in the G2 Haygard Fayette Stakes at Keeneland October 29, a sixth in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile March 25 in the UAE and a fourth in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta March 5. Before that was a third in a Handicap February 18, a fifth in a Group 2 and a fifth in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge in January - all at Meydan. He looks for his first win in three years Saturday and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Florent Geroux will be in the saddle from gate 2.
War Story 50-1 - has placed in his nine of 17 career starts - four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and enters off a good win in the minor Queens County Stakes at Aqueduct December 17. Before that was a fourth in the G1 Cigar Mile on that track November 26, an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, an OK second in the minor Pa Derby Champion Stakes at Parx September 24, a seventh in the G1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 20 and an Allowance score at Thistletown July. He also finished eighth in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. War Story has quietly placed in two of his last four starts but still has yet to produce a graded stakes score. He shoots for his second stakes score overall from post 5 with Antionio Gallardo guiding him.
War Envoy 50-1 - Craig Dollase trainee has just two wins in 21 career starts to go along with three seconds and four third place finishes - in Europe and in North America. He enters in a bit of a funk having failed to place in his last four starts overall - a sixth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Del Mar November 26 followed an eighth in the G3 Eddie D Stakes at Santa Anita in September and consecutive fifths including the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar in August. He had a third in the Group 1 Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup overseas before that. War Envoy has participated in two Breeders' Cup races finishing eleventh in the 2015 Dirt Mile and a twelfth in the 2014 Juvenile Turf. War Envoy has been in there with some tough competition but has yet to show he belongs. He tries to change all of that Saturday with Luis Saez in the irons from gate 6.
Semper Fortis 50-1 - won a couple of races last winter for trainer Doug O'Neill - the best of which was an Allowance Optional Claiming in December. Since then he's been OK - a sixth in the G3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in January was followed by a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February, a decent second behind Accelerate in the minor Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar August 26, a good second in the G2 Los Alamitos Derby in September, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming here October 30, a second in the minor Zia Park Derby November 23 and a sixth last time out in the G1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita December 26. Semper Fortis has placed in five of his last six starts overall ahead of this weekend but will be after a strong bounce back from gate 8. Tyler Gaffalione will be in the saddle.
Eragon 50-1 - Argentinean bred Laura Wohlers trainee makes his North American debut Saturday having posted 10 wins, a second and two third place finishes in 20 starts at home. He arrives off a good win in the Group 1 Gran Premio Hipodromo De Palermo November 12 which followed a second in the Group 1 San Isidro October 8 and a seventh in a Group 2 race in July. He also posted a win in the Group 1 Estrellas Mile in June and in the Group 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena in December, 2015. Eragon has been in there with the best his country has to offer and has fared very well. He hopes the momentum carries over Saturday when he leaves from post 11 with Edgar Prado guiding him.
Stanford - Alternate Entry Todd Pletcher trained colt has five wins and four runner-up finishes in 13 career starts. He was last seen winning the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes here December 17 which followed troubled eighth in the G1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in June, a terrific gate-to-wire win in the G2 $1.25 million Charles Town Classic April 23 and consecutive runner-up finishes - the G2 Gulfstream Park Handicap March 5 and the G3 Fred W Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park February 6. Before that were a fifth in the minor Curlin Stakes at Saratoga July 31 and a nice win in the minor Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park July 11. He also had a respectable second in the G2 Louisiana Derby in March, 2015. Stanford has placed in seven of his last nine starts.
Sea Raven - Alternate Entry Kelly Rubley trained Ringling has four wins, five seconds and three third place finishes in 22 career starts. He has yet to race in graded stakes company but was last seen running an OK second in an Allowance at Laurel Park January 13. Before that were a sixth in the minor Richard W. Small Stakes on that track November 19 and another sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming in October. He has placed in just two of his last five starts overall.
Madefromlucky - Alternate Entry won the G2 Peter Pan Stakes and G2 West Virginia Stakes in 2015 for trainer Todd Pletcher and has been decent since. Last time out was a fourth in the G3 Harlan's Holiday Stakes on this track December 17 after a second in the G3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct way back on April 9, a third in the minor Stymie Stakes on that track in March and an eighth in the G1 Donn Handicap here February 6. He ended 2015 with consecutive runner-up finishes - in the 2015 Harlan's Holiday Stakes and in the G3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct November 11, 2015. Madefromlucky now has four wins, five seconds and two third place finishes in 17 career starts and has placed in four of his last six starts overall.
Race 12 on Gulfstream Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:40 PM.
|1||Arrogate||7-5||Mike Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2||Prayer for Relief||50-1||Florent Geroux||Dale Romans|
|3||Neolithic||10-1||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|4||Noble Bird||25-1||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse|
|5||War Story||50-1||Antonio Gallardo||Jorge Navarro|
|6||War Envoy||50-1||Luis Saez||Mick Ruis|
|7||Shaman Ghost||20-1||Jose Ortiz||James Jerkens|
|8||Semper Fortis||50-1||Tyler Gaffalione||Doug O'Neill|
|9||Keen Ice||12-1||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
|10||Breaking Lucky||25-1||Luis Contreras||Reade Baker|
|11||Eragon (ARG)||50-1||Edgar Prado||Laura Wohlers|
|12||California Chrome||6-5||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman|
|13||Stanford||A/E||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|14||Sea Raven||A/E||Luis Contreras||Kelly Rubley|
|15||Madefromlucky||A/E||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher|
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