Hronis Racing LLC’s potential 2018 Horse of the Year Accelerate heads a deep field in the Grade 1, $9-million Pegasus World Cup at one-and-one-eighth miles from Gulfstream Park on Saturday.
Full simulcasting of the stakes-dominated program will be held at Billy’s Race Book adjacent to Ruidoso Downs.
The doors open at Billy’s Sports Book at 10 a.m.
Accelerate rides a four-race winning streak and each of those wins was a major Grade 1 race. The son of Lookin At Lucky won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. He earned more than $5-million last year.
Joel Rosario, who was aboard for his latest three wins, has the mount with the fifth post position.
Accelerate’s primary threat could be Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s City of Light. He impressed with a gate-to-wire two-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his most recent start. In his only meeting with Accelerate, City of Light finished third behind Accelerate in the Gold Cup. City of Light was the 6-5 favorite.
Trainer Michael McCarthy will have regular rider Javier Castellano on City of Light with the third post position.
Accelerate and City of Light will each be retired for breeding duties following the Pegasus World Cup.
The first running of the Grade 1, $7-million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational precedes the Pegasus World Cup. The Turf Invitational is contested over one-and-three-sixteenths mile.
WinStar Farm and China Horse Club’s Yoshida, a Japanese-bred, returns to the turf for the Turf Invitational. The Bill Mott-trained horse won the Grade 1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs last May and then went to Royal Ascot in England to finish a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Two starts ago, he won the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes on the dirt at Saratoga.
Jose Ortiz, who was aboard for the Turf Classic win, has the mount with the second post position.
Renowned international trainer Aidan O’Brien is always respected in a Grade 1 race and he has brought Michael Tabor and Mr. and Mrs. John Magnier’s Magic Wand from Ireland. The daughter of super sire Galileo was a close second in the Grade 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille over one-and-one-half miles at Longchamp near Paris in September.
Wayne Lordan was the jockey for the Prix Vermielle and regains the mount for the Turf Invitational. They start from the first post position.
Seven other stakes races support Saturday’s Gulfstream program.