The Pegasus World Cup Turf: Colonel Liam’s Bid for History
Gulfstream Park hosts the fourth edition of the prestigious Pegasus World Cup Turf, a race that offers a whopping $1 million purse and showcases some of the finest turf horses in the world. One horse, in particular, stands out as the favorite: Colonel Liam. Trained by Todd Pletcher and with a morning-line odds of 3/1, Colonel Liam aims to make history by becoming the first repeat winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf. However, the challenge that lies ahead is not an easy one.
A Highly Competitive Field
The Pegasus World Cup Turf features a twelve-horse field comprising eleven stakes winners, with nine of them holding graded stakes victories. Unlike its counterpart, the Pegasus World Cup which seems to be a showdown between two favorites, Knicks Go and Life Is Good, the turf edition is an open contest with a wide range of contenders.
Among the top contenders challenging Colonel Liam are stablemate Never Surprised, who sits at 7/2 odds and has shown impressive form, and Sacred Life and Hit the Road, with odds of 6/1 and 8/1 respectively. These horses have the talent and potential to upset the favorite and make a strong bid for victory.
Colonel Liam’s Journey to Defend His Title
Colonel Liam’s journey to the Pegasus World Cup Turf title defense has not been a straightforward one. After a 239-day layoff, the question looms: can he return to his winning form? The horse showed immense promise in the early part of 2021, capturing the Pegasus World Cup Turf in impressive fashion. However, his last outing in June’s Grade 1 Manhattan resulted in an unexpected eighth-place finish. Trainer Todd Pletcher remains cautiously optimistic, having put in the necessary work and training to ensure Colonel Liam is ready for this challenge.
Pletcher commented, “Over the years, we’ve had success in overcoming layoff situations. We’ve carefully planned and executed his workouts, and he has shown all indications of being in top form for this race. While there’s always a level of uncertainty after a layoff, Colonel Liam has trained exceptionally well, and we hope to witness the same level of effort he has shown us before.”
Never Surprised: A Worthy Challenger
Within the same stable as Colonel Liam, Never Surprised emerges as a potential contender. The 4-year-old has displayed impressive speed and consistency, with two consecutive victories and never finishing outside the exacta in his seven-race career. Although a front-running horse with natural speed, settling and relaxation become key factors in his success. Trainer Todd Pletcher acknowledged Never Surprised’s potential, stating, “If he can settle in and dictate a decent pace, he could pose a serious threat in the race.”
Contenders with Demanding Rivalries
Another noteworthy rivalry unfolds in the Pegasus World Cup Turf between Sacred Life and Field Pass. The two horses have exchanged victories in past encounters. Sacred Life emerged victorious in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Belmont Park, narrowly defeating Field Pass by a half-length. However, Field Pass found redemption in the Grade 2 Seabiscuit at Del Mar. The French ridgling, Sacred Life, possesses significant experience, hitting the board 15 times in 22 starts, while Field Pass brings an impressive record of seven stakes wins, more than any other horse in the field.
Trainer Mike Maker fields a quartet of entrants in the Pegasus World Cup Turf. Apart from Field Pass, his runners include Cross Border, Atone, and Flavius. Cross Border, an experienced 8-year-old with 39 starts, finished third in last year’s edition behind Colonel Liam and Largent. Though skilled, Cross Border has yet to find victory on Gulfstream Park’s turf course.
Rounding out the field are Hit the Road, a California-based horse seeking his first win outside his home state, Space Traveller, March To The Arch, Doswell, and Channel Cat.
The Pegasus World Cup Turf promises an exhilarating showdown on the turf, with a competitive field vying for victory. Colonel Liam aims to etch his name in history with a repeat win, but he faces fierce opposition from talented contenders, including his stablemate Never Surprised, the persistent Sacred Life, and the formidable Field Pass. With skill, strategy, and a touch of luck, any of these contenders could emerge victorious.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How much is the purse for the Pegasus World Cup Turf?
The Pegasus World Cup Turf offers an impressive purse of $1 million, making it one of the most lucrative turf races in the world.
2. Can Colonel Liam defend his title after a 239-day layoff?
While a 239-day layoff is a considerable rest period, Colonel Liam’s trainer, Todd Pletcher, believes that his horse is ready for the challenge. The team has carefully prepared Colonel Liam for this race, giving him the necessary workouts and training to perform at his best.
3. Who are the other top contenders in the Pegasus World Cup Turf?
Aside from Colonel Liam, other notable contenders in the Pegasus World Cup Turf include Never Surprised, Sacred Life, Field Pass, Cross Border, and Hit the Road. These horses have demonstrated their talent and potential, making the race highly competitive.
4. How many stakes wins does Field Pass have?
Field Pass boasts an impressive record of seven stakes wins, making him one of the most accomplished horses in the field. His experience and success in stakes races make him a formidable competitor.
5. Has any horse ever won the Pegasus World Cup Turf more than once?
No horse has yet won the Pegasus World Cup Turf more than once. Colonel Liam aims to make history as the first repeat winner of this prestigious turf race.