Pegasus World Cup (Grade 1)- $500.000 Purse
GP- For Four Year Olds and Upward
One Mile and One Eighth on the Dirt
January 25, 2020
Our version of the Pegasus World Cup took place on Saturday, and although this stake continues to not replicate its real world companion like many of the other stakes offered by the game, we still had a star-studded field. It would have been a field worthy of competing for a $3,000.000 purse, but instead, we continue to have the Donn Handicap with a more fancy name, and just a $500.000 purse was offered. You could make the case for picking many of these, though we went with Tactical in the preview and so did many others as he would be the post-time favorite. With other key names starting on the outside, Tactical had a much more desirable post. After nine furlongs, this Cherokee Sunset colt took care of business and picked up the win. I’d call it his signature win if we had the purse the race should have, but that distinction probably sitll belongs to the Woodward. Anyway, a great win for a horse to watch this season. His winning trainer is Mb Stables, and he wins the Donn Handicap 2.0 for the first time, as does jockey A Beschizza. Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:47.96, a middle of the road winning time for the race. Let’s take a look!
(½ Mile- :47.01)- Out of the gate and not surprisingly, we see several from outside posts jumping out and clearing the rest of the field. The two on the far outside, two former BC Classic champions, John Henry’s Splash Mountain and Smokey Stover’s Twin Towers are quick early, and are joined by TwinTowersRacing’s Dauzac. Also taking part in the initial run to the front would be Eclipse My Knowledge, from Nakamura Stables. These four lead the way into the opening turn. Sitting just behind them, about two lengths back was the eventual winner, Tactical, from Mb Stables. By the time the field approached the backstretch, Eclipse My Knowledge would be held back just a little bit, and his stablemate, Hindenburg Tour, would be pushed forward on the outside. Now, after half a mile Hindenburg Tour took over the second spot with Splash Mountain still showing the way with Dauzac and Twin Towers still third and fourth. Gunpowder Choice, from Night Rider Stables, had a steady start and was now fifth on the rail, with both Eclipse My Knowledge, and Tactical running to his outside a little less then three lengths back. There was then a gap of almost two lengths to the rest of the field. The second back was headed by Unfold (Fractious), who ran in the middle of three wide between Marx On The Moon (Court Jester Racing) and For The Boys (D J C Racing Stables). Behind them, another group of three consisting of Charlemagnes Command (Serenity Stables), Achilles (Diablo Diablo) and Phooeys Queen Blue (Estero Farms). At the back was Apples To Oranges (Mb Stables).
(3/4 Mile- 1:10.54)- At the front, Splash Mountain was perfectly content to remain on the lead, and he did so by a length and a half while not being pressured all that much. It seemed as Hindenburg Tour was going to do that, but he settled in to his stalking position for the stretch. Dauzac and Gunpowder Choice each ran well together on the rail, while Twin Towers and Tactical ran side by side in the outer lanes. Their distance to the front remained the same, being a little less then three lengths. Further back, nothing new to report, so let’s move on.
(Top OF Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- Completing the run around the turn, Splash Mountain was still in the lead and did not have to be bothered by those behind him looking to find the perfect lane. For a moment, it was five wide behind him, but moving into the stretch, Tactical looked to be the most ambitious of that group. He was now running second with Gunpowder Choice for the second position and the deficit was now just a length and a half. Hindenburg Tour was running decently still, but not able to keep up with those running near the front here. Both Dauzac and Twin Towers were trying to stay with the leaders as well but there were new contenders emerging, and one of them was For The Boys, who made a great outside move and seemed poised to make a great run in the money lane. Achilles was running just to his inside as well and also looking to advance more. On the rail Marx On The Moon hoped for room to run and seemed to have it, while Eclipse My Knowledge seemed to be dropping back. Charlemagnes Command and Phooeys Queen Blue were looking for their lanes. Unfold, at this point, had not made his push forward, but a lane was developing for him to split both Marx On The Moon and Eclipse My Knowledge. Apples To Oranges moved to the rail and hoped for the best.
(Finish- 1:47.96)- With 0.7F to go, Tactical was making his run on Splash Mountain, who was still holding on to the lead, and Gunpowder Choice looked like a very strong threat as well. Everyone else you could pretty much throw a blanket over in a pretty hefty traffic jam. Pushing forward with every stride, Tactical got closer and closer, and at the wire in a tight four way photo for the top spot, it would be him getting the win in the Donn Handicap 2.0 by a nose. Somehow getting the headbob in for second was Splash Mountain, and dead heating for third would be Unfold and Gunpowder Choice. A great run for Unfold in the stretch, and I thought he actually got second when I first looked at it. Achilles came on for fifth, a length ahead a group of them finishing closely for sixth. Dauzac gets that spot over For The Boys and Twin Towers. The rest of the finishing order is Marx On The Moon, Hindenburg Tour, Eclipse My Knowledge, Charlemagnes Command, Apples To Oranges, and Phooeys Queen Blue.
About The Winner- Tactical, trained by Mb Stables and ridden to victory by A Beschizza, is a four year old colt by Cherokee Sunset and is out of Unnatural. He was bred as a third quarter two year old in California by Team 7 Illusions, and acquired by Mb Stables via a $75.000 claim in October 2018. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his sixth in 12 starts, his fourth stake win, and third graded win. His career earnings are now $2,524.010.
Time: :47 1:102 1:35 1:474
$2 Mutuel Prices:
$1 Exacta: 7 – 14 Paid 69.80
$1 Trifecta: 7 – 14 – 3 Paid 400.50, 7 – 14 – 5 Paid 800.10
Categories: Grade I, STAKES ARTICLES