Knicks Go Never Headed Winning Pegasus World Cup Invitational

Breaking smoothly from the number four post position under Joel Rosario, Knicks Go sped to his fourth consecutive victory for trainer Brad Cox – and his richest to date – taking the Grade 1, $3-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational by 2 3/4 lengths on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Owned by the Korea Racing Authority, the Maryland-bred 5-year-old by Paynter won the Pegasus in wire-to-wire fashion, setting fractions of :22.90, :46.16, 1:09.91 and 1:34.82 en route to a final clocking of 1:47.89 for 1 1/8 miles on a fast track.  He paid $4.60 as the 6-5 favorite.

“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.”

Jesus’ Team, who chased Knicks Go while second to him in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 7, finished second again under Irad Ortiz Jr. Independence Hall finished third, with Sleepy Eyes Todd fourth and Code of Honor fifth in the field 12. Coastal Defense, Kiss Today Goodbye, Last Judgment, Math Wizard, Tax, Mr Freeze and Harpers First Ride completed the order of finish.

Bred in Maryland by Angie Moore, Knicks Go was a $40,000 weanling purchase by Northface Bloodstock at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale and then bought by the Korea Racing Authority for $87,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He was a G1 winner at two when trained by Ben Colebrook, taking the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland before finishing second to Game Winner in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

After going winless in eight starts at three, Knicks Go was turned over to Cox, and the colt responded with a huge win first out, winning an Oaklawn allowance race by 7 1/2 lengths and earning a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. He didn’t return until October, winning a Keeneland allowance race by 10 1/4 lengths as a final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which he won wire to wire in track record time of 1:33.85.

“He is one of the top handicap horses in the country now,” said Cox. “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,” said of the Pegasus’ running. “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.”

Knicks Go trained up to the Pegasus World Cup at Fair Grounds and Cox said he would return to the New Orleans track and let the next 10 days determine whether he will go to the Saudi Cup Feb. 20.

This was the fifth running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which was renamed from the G1 Donn Handicap in 2017 when Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate defeated Shaman Ghost to earn the winner’s share of a $12-million purse that was put up by the owners of each horse competing. Subsequent winners were Steve Asmussen-trained Gun Runner in 2018 when the purse was increased to $16 million; Michael McCarthy-trained City of Light in 2019, when the purse was $9 million; and Mucho Gusto, also trained by Baffert, in 2020, when the purse was $2,944,600.

The post Knicks Go Never Headed Winning Pegasus World Cup Invitational appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.