Pegasus World Cup 2021 - Knicks Go

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Pegasus World Cup Press Release
Updated: January 25, 2021
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Knicks Go Dominates 2021 Pegasus World Cup

The 2021 racing season started the same way last year ended for Korea Racing Authority's Knicks Go Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the winner of the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) unleashed another display of sheer brilliance and class to capture the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).

The Pegasus, a 1 1/8-mile event for 4-year-olds and up, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) co-headlined a 12 -race program that also included five other graded stakes.

Brad Cox-trained Knicks Go, who set a Keeneland track record with a front-running performance in the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, showed his heels to his 11 rivals while capturing the 5th running of the Pegasus by 2 ¾ lengths.

"He is one of the top handicap horses in the country now. He's a top horse. This is what you get up for every day, seven days a week, long days for moments like this," Cox said. "I'm very proud of the horse and my team and thank the Korea Racing Authority for the opportunity with this horse."

Knicks Go broke alertly to round the first turn on top to show the way along the backstretch while pressed briefly by Last Judgment and stalked by Tax. After setting fractions of 22.90 and 46.16 seconds for the first half mile, Knicks Go maintained complete control under a motionless Joel Rosario on the far turn and on the turn into the homestretch. Under just mild encouragement from Rosario, the 5-year-old son of Paynter offered a powerful kick at the top of the stretch and drew clear under wraps.

"He's a very special horse. He just goes faster and faster," Rosario said. "He was really enjoying what he was doing out there, so I was never worried about somebody getting close to me."

Jesus' Team, who finished second behind Knicks Go in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, settled behind the pace in fifth along the backstretch before making a wide move into the stretch and closing steadily in to finish second under Irad Ortiz Jr. Independence Hall saved ground in fourth before making a bid in the stretch, falling just a neck short of holding off Jesus's Team.

Knicks Go was timed in 1:47.89 while carrying his brilliant speed over 1 1/8 miles.

"I felt comfortable. Joel had a hold on him. He had a little pressure on the outside, but he was fresh from the Breeders' Cup, so I was confident he would stay on," Cox said.

Knicks Go, a Grade 1 winner at 2, was winless in eight starts in 2019 before being transferred to Cox for the 2020 season. The Maryland-bred speedster won all three starts last year by a combined 21 ½ lengths, all in front-running fashion.

"It's a very prestigious race. I know it hasn't been around that long, but when you look at past winners, it's a very prestigious list of horses that have won it - world champions, actually, with Gun Runner and Arrogate," Cox said. "They weren't just national horses. They competed and won on the world stage, so it's a big race."

2021 Pegasus World Cup Quotes

Winning trainer Brad Cox (Knicks Go): "He is one of the top handicap horses in the country now. He's a top horse. This is what you get up for every day, seven days a week, long days for moments like this. I'm very proud of the horse and my team and thank the Korea Racing Authority for the opportunity with this horse."

"I felt comfortable. Joel had a hold on him. He had a little pressure on the outside, but he was fresh from the Breeders' Cup, so I was confident he would stay on."

"It's a very prestigious race. I know it hasn't been around that long, but when you look at past winners, it's a very prestigious list of horses that have won it - world champions, actually, with Gun Runner and Arrogate," Cox said. "They weren't just national horses. They competed and won on the world stage, so it's a big race."

Winning Joel Rosario (Knicks Go): ""He's a very special horse. He just goes faster and faster...He was really enjoying what he was doing out there, so I was never worried about somebody getting close to me."

Trainer Jose D'Angelo (Jesus' Team, 2nd): "I am very proud of Jesus, he's a great horse. Today, he didn't have the luck to win, because Knicks Go ran again along in front. I am very soon that Jesus will be on the top in big races. I feel proud of him."

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Jesus' Team, 2nd): "I got a good trip. The horse put me in a nice position. I just waited for my time to go and he responded when I asked. At the 3/8-pole, he started picking it up real good, but the winner was much the best.

Trainer Michael McCarthy (Independence Hall, 3rd): "It was a huge race. I thought he got a fantastic trip. It looked like he was loaded all the way up the backside. Around the turn, obviously coming off a bad race, I was wondering and hoping he had a little bit left, and he was game. To get beat what, a head, for second, he ran huge. He ran hard today. I thought Flavien [Prat] gave him a great ride. The horse has had a tough couple of days here schooling and stuff, he's challenging at times, but it was all worth it today."

Jockey Flavien Prat (Independence Hall, 3rd): "It went well. He broke well and put me in the race without asking him for anything. I was travelling well. To be honest with you, at the quarter pole I though I was going to make a move on Knicks Go but he was too good."

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Pre-Draw News

PEGASUS WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONAL SERIES RETURNS TO GULFSTREAM PARK ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2021

The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is returning to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach on Saturday, January 23, 2021.

Launched in 2017, the $4 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities, and fans from around the world and has cemented itself as a premier event on the racing calendar.

Evolving into a Championship Invitational Series featuring two Grade 1 (G1) stakes races, the Pegasus World Cup in 2021 will feature a combined $4 million purse.

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, offers a $3 million total purse.

The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles, offers a $1 million purse. 1/ST entirely provides the $4 million total purse contribution.

This year's event will provide exciting opportunities in North American Thoroughbred racing for horse owners by showcasing their equine athletes competing free of medications on race day while providing the winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational with an automatic entry into the 2021 $20 million Saudi Cup.

The medication-free format, for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and reflects the commitment that 1/ST, along with other major racing organizations and associations, made in April 2019 to eliminate Lasix in all graded stakes races in 2021.

Independence Hall & Coastal Defense Added To Pegasus World Cup (G1) Invitation List

Gulfstream Park officials announced Sunday (January 10) additional invitations to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), to be held Saturday, Jan. 23.

Independence Hall, a 12 ¼-length winner of the Nashua (G2) at two and runner-up in the Sam F. Davis (G3) at three, and Coastal Defense, fourth Nov. 27 in the Clark (G1), have received invitations for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup and have been added to the also-eligible list.

Moving into the main body of the Pegasus World Cup from the also-eligible list are Grade 1 winner Math Wizard and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner King Guillermo.

Ride a Comet, an impressive winner Saturday of the Tropical Turf (G3), has been invited to the 1 3/16 mile Pegasus World Cup Turf and was placed on the also-eligible list. Moving into the main body of the Pegasus Turf is Next Shares and Field Pass.

Mucho Gusto & Charlatan Top Pegasus World Cup (G1) Invitation List

Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto and Charlatan are among a dozen Grade 1 and Grade 2 winners on a list of 16 horses invited Sunday (January 3) to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

The fifth running of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, won previously by Longines World's Best Racehorse Arrogate (2017), Horse of the Year Gun Runner (2018), Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner City of Light and Mucho Gusto (2020), will be run Saturday, Jan. 23 along with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).

Horse Racing fans can watch and wager on the Pegasus World Cup at OffTrackBetting.com.

The Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf will be part of an extraordinary program featuring seven graded stakes, four contested on the turf. Stakes on Pegasus Day will also include the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), $125,000 William L. McKnight (G3), $125,000 Marshua's River (G3), $125,000 La Prevoyante (G3) and $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3).

12 Horses Given First Preference For The Pegasus World Cup:

Mucho Gusto

Baffert, who won the Pegasus last year with Mucho Gusto and the inaugural running with Arrogate, has two chances for a hat trick with his defending champion andCharlatan.

After his victory in the Pegasus last year Mucho Gusto finished fourth Feb. 29 in the Saudi Cup before Baffert gave the 5-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man time off. He returned Dec. 26 to finish fourth of six in the San Antonio (G2).

Charlatan

Charlatan was regarded as one of the country's top 3-year-olds after his performance in the May 2 Arkansas Derby (G1) but he was sidelined with an ankle injury before returning off a seven-month layoff to win the Dec. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.

Knicks Go

Multiple Grade 1 winner Knicks Go enters the Pegasus off three consecutive victories since being moved to the stable of Brad Cox. The 5-year-old Maryland-bred son of Paynter was an impressive winner last time out of the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1).

Jesus' Team

Jesus' Team, second in the Breeders' Cup Mile and beaten less than a length by Knicks Go, sold for $30,000 as a yearling and has earned $508,940. The Jose D'Angelo-trained 4-year-old finished third in the Preakness (G1) and Jim Dandy (G2) last year.

Sharp Samurai

Sharp Samurai was beaten a nose by Jesus' Team for the place in the Breeders' Cup Mile. The 7-year-old gelding, based at Santa Anita with trainer Mark Glatt, was second last year in the Pacific Classic (G1), Eddie Read (G2) and City of Hope (G2).

His last victory was the 2018 City of Hope. Sharp Samurai is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf.

Code of Honor

W.S. Farish's homebred Code of Honor will be making his 13th consecutive start in a graded race, his ninth in a Grade 1 event. Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor was placed second in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) and went on to win the Travers (G1) and Jockey Club (G1).

Code of Honor's 4-year-old season included a victory in the Westchester (G3) and second-place finishes in the Clark (G1) and Kelso (G2).

Tax

Tax, claimed for $50,000 out of his second career start by trainer Danny Gargan for co-owner Hugh Lynch, will run in his second consecutive Pegasus. The 5-year-old, an impressive winner of the Harlan's Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 12 off a seven-month layoff, was fourth in the 2019 Belmont (G1) and won that year's Jim Dandy (G2).

The son of Arch finished ninth in last year's Pegasus after stumbling at the start.

Mr Freeze

Mr Freeze finished second in last year's Pegasus World Cup, 4 ½ lengths behind winner Mucho Gusto. Trained by Dale Romans, Mr Freeze went on to win the Fayette Stakes (G2) before wide trips resulted in a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile and fifth-place finish in the Clark last time out.

True Timber

Calumet Farm is hoping the third time is the charm for True Timber. Seventh in the 2019 edition of the Pegasus and eighth last year, the 7-year-old enters this year's $3 million edition off a popular victory in the Cigar Mile (G1) Dec. 5 at Aqueduct. It was his first win in 13 starts, since September of 2018.

Sleepy Eyes Todd

Sleepy Eyes Todd won the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 19. The 5-year-old son of Paddy O'Prado, who won the Charles Town Classic (G2) in August, has been a model of consistency, winning eight of 15 races while racing at 11 different tracks for trainer Miguel Angel Silva.

Kiss Today Goodbye

John Sondereker's Kiss Today Goodbye, a lightly-raced 4-year-old, upset Mucho Gusto and four others Dec. 26 in the Malibu when he closed from last. Trained by J. Eric Kruljak, Kiss Today Goodbye had finished fifth in the Del Mar Derby (G2) and fourth in the Twilight Derby (G2) earlier in the year.

Harpers First Ride

Harpers First Ride, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred, enters the Pegasus having won four of his last five starts including a victory in the Pimlico Special (G3). Maryland's perennial leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez will saddle the son of Paynter.

Anothertwistafate, winner of the Jan. 2 San Gabriel (G2) at Santa Anita and Sept. 10 Longacres Mile (G3), is No. 1 on the also eligible list. The son of Scat Daddy is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus Turf. Locally-based Math Wizard, a Grade 1 winner who finished second last summer to Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) show finisher Global Campaign in the Monmouth Cup, is second on the AE list while King Guillermo, owned by former Major League Baseball all-star Victor Martinez, and Idol, second in the San Antonio, round out the list.

2021 PEGASUS WORLD CUP RACE DAY SCHEDULE

Stakes Grade Restrictions Distance/Surface Purse
Fred W. Hooper Stakes III 4YO & Up 1 Mile Dirt $125,000 USD
La Prevoyante Handicap III F&M 4YO & Up 1 1/2 Miles Turf $125,000 USD
Marshua's River III F&M 4YO & Up 1 Miles Turf $125,000 USD
W.L. McKnight Handicap III F&M 4YO & Up 1 1/2 Miles Turf $150,000 USD
Inside Information II F&M 4YO & Up 7 Furlongs Dirt $200,000 USD
Pegasus World Cup Turf I 4YO & Up 1 3/16 Mile Turf $1,000,000 USD
Pegasus World Cup I 4YO & Up 1 1/8 Miles Dirt $3,000,000 USD

OffTrackBetting.com is proud to be an online betting OTB for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.

    Pegasus World Cup Quick Facts

  • The Pegasus World Cup Invitational, first run in January 2017, is the vision of The Stronach Group founder, Frank Stronach.
  • The 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Championship Series will offer a $16 million purse split between two Grade 1 stakes races.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Invitational is contested at 1 1/8 mile on the dirt and will offer at $9 million purse with $4 million awarded to the winner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational is run at 1 3/16 miles on the turf and will offer a $7 million purse with $3 million awarded to the winner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will replace the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
  • The cost to secure an entry spot for both the Pegasus World Cup and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational are $500,000 per race.
  • A $1 million bonus will be awarded to any horse owner who takes first place in both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.
  • Past winners include Arrogate, the 2016 Eclipse Award Winning Champion Three Year Old Male and the top earning Thoroughbred of all time, and 2017 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Championship Rings, are awarded to the winning owner, trainer and jockey for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and are valued at over $50,000 a piece!

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