The Pegasus Late Pick 5 pool, guaranteed at $750,000, is an easy spot—to take the Over on handle. With Aqueduct canceled due to expected blizzard-like conditions, Gulfstream Park betting pools rate to be enormous. The sequence beginning with Race 8:
Grade 2 Inside Information
Always competitive, this renewal is no exception. Favorite Just One Time (3-1) is a must inclusion, making her first start for Brad Cox with Knicks Go’s partner, Joel Rosario. A winner of four of five lifetime, this is her first test in the big time.
But she owns big speed and wins by margins. Purposely pointed to graded company. Dance d’Oro (6-1) a four-time Gulfstream winners, turns back off a comprehensive win in the Rampart; Jaramillo was aboard for three of them.
Four Graces (5-1) just missed in her season’s debut and likes it here in Hallandale and Pacific Gale (6-1) is the defending champion and reunites with winning partner Junior Alvarado.
Spread bettors can include all four; smaller bankrolls could find worse singles than Just One Time.
Grade 3 Pegasus F & M Turf
Regal Glory (2-1), with consistently fastest figures, is a deserving favorite as a Grade 1 winner. Yes, this begins her 2022 campaign but my past performance program indicates she’s a Chad Brown trainee, Jose Ortiz her regular partner.
I, like many, thought Sweet Melania’s (5-1) best races were behind her; wrong. She did have a ground saving trip but the pace was quick and sustained to the end. She chased the leader, wore her down, and held sway. Improvement expected.
It wide open after that: Lady Speightspeare (8-1) regressed off powerhouse 7F Tapeta score at Woodbine but was beaten by 3/4s after racing greenly early and late.
Nicest (6-1) gets class relief and Tyler; Alms (20-1) saved ground at no point in GP debut, gets Rosario; Summer in Saratoga (12-1) is sharp for Sharp; Shifty She (6-1) is a local hard hitter likely to improve.
We left seven of 11 open but likely will stand with Regal Glory and Sweet Melania. Of the five honorable mentions, Lady Speightstown, Nicest and Alms intrigue the most.
Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper
We would be very comfortable including only the two favorites: Fearless (5-2) and Speaker’s Corner (2-1). Fearless peaked at the end of his 2021 season, earning constantly fastest Thoro-Graph figures, but Speaker’s Corner is better posted, owns an excellent one-turn record and gets six pounds from his older rival.
Liam (5-1) clearly has had his issues but was explosive in his first start for Pletcher, who also saddles Fearless, and could be a future star. Girolamo’s Attack (12-1) is sharp, fast, likes the strip and undefeated at the trip. Attractive price shot.
For those with deeper bankrolls, including all four is not excessive. Otherwise the two favorites likely would be enough.
Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf
Yet another event where Pletcher holds a strong hand, with defending champion Colonel Liam (3-1) and the much improved newly turned 4-year-old, Never Surprised (7-2).
Colonel Liam has not been seen since the G1 Manhattan in June but never has lost returning fresh and also undefeated at the trip over this course; reunites with winning partner Irad. Stablemate has won his last two starts by a combined 12-1/2 lengths.
Atone (20-1) would be a square price at half the early line quote. Compromised by moderate pace and a wide draw, mid-moved as the pace was heating, 3-4 wide throughout, took aim but couldn’t sustain as soft-paced winner Doswell (12-1) took the dog for a walk.
Meanwhile, Sacred Life (6-1) is rounding into top form, coming in fresh for Chad; Space Traveller (12-1) appeared short of condition in recent prep and intrigues given pole position with Jamie Spencer crossing the pond, and the aforementioned Doswell, who has never been better.
Weekend warriors may be content using both Todd runners and Atone. Big spenders can spread with the rest of these.
Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational
Try as I might, it’s impossible to look past Affirmed and Alydar, err, Knicks Go (6-5) and Life is Good (7-5). But I can’t say with any certitude which one will go favored at post time.
The protem Horse of the Year is consistently fastest but Life is Good is the buzz horse. Both are training monstrously. As I commented to a reader, now that Knicks Go is not slated for Saudi Arabia, all the stops will be pulled out today. He is the more likely of the two in our view. We’re using both to complete the sequence.
For vertical players, we prefer Stilleto Boy (12-1) with Jose Ortiz subbing for incarcerated Kent Desormeaux, always trying Sir Winston (12-1) and Chess Chief (10-1) for price shot Dallas, in graded order. Super players might consider including Commandeer (30-1).