THE BEACH IS FLYING INTO THE PEGASUS
If you are thinking about the Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 25, it may be only natural that the Beach comes to mind. And it has nothing to do with the track being in South Florida.
The fourth running of the year’s first huge race will be the final career start for the ultra-impressive Omaha Beach. A fresh four-year old, this Richard Mandella trained colt is coming into this $3 million event as the likely post-time favorite. Robbed of a run in any of the 2019 Triple Crown races because of injury, this son of War Front was the morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby before having to scratch just days before the 145th Run for the Roses.
Despite missing the three most recognizable races for three-year olds, the Beach had an outstanding year. Five wins and two seconds in seven starts including wins in the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Malibu Stakes, made Mandella’s prized colt one of the best in his division. That combined with some strong works in recent weeks have landed him in the top spot for the Pegasus.
Under the watchful eye of his hall of fame conditioner, Omaha Beach has enjoyed a nice day in the sun. Pleased with how his horse looks, Mandella is ready to see his powerful charge run in this mile and an eighth race over the main track at Gulfstream.
The fact hall of fame rider Mike Smith will once again be aboard is also a major plus. Having won more grade 1 races than anyone, including the inaugural running of the Pegasus (Arrogate), “Big Money Mike” knows how to perform on the biggest of stages.
“Omaha Beach is the Patrick Mahomes of race horses,” says Smith in a timely reference to the reigning NFL MVP and Super Bowl bound Kansas City Chiefs quarterback.
The Beach is a deserving favorite (7-5 on the morning line), but as is the case with most of these type races, there will be plenty of competition. Last year’s Pegasus runner-up, Seeking the Soul will be joined by the speedy Mr Freeze, the accomplished War Story, and Pacific Classic winner Higher Power to name a few. Also in the starting gates and the second choice on the morning (7-2) will be Spun to Run who finished just ahead of Omaha Beach in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile back in November.
The Pegasus will be the culmination of a fantastic day of racing featuring 9 stakes races including the $1 million Pegasus World Turf Cup. First post is set for 10:30 am Central with post time for the Pegasus slated at 4:34.