HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife, Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Defunded and Godolphin LLC’s Proxy top the first invitational list for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Baccarat at Gulfstream Park released Wednesday.
The 7th running of the Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, will be featured on the Jan. 28 program at Gulfstream Park with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, and the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G3), a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older fillies and mares on turf.
The first invitation list includes 12 of North America’s finest older horses, as well as a list of eight reserve invitees.
Cyberknife, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning son of 2018 Pegasus World Cup champion Gun Runner, was among the most prominent 3-year-olds of the 2022 racing season, during which the Kentucky-bred colt won the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, and the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. He most recently finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland, in which he finished a head behind winner Cody’s Wish.
Cyberknife, who is scheduled to make his final career start in the Pegasus before embarking on a stallion career, is trained by Brad Cox, who saddled Knicks Go for a victory in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup prior to 2021 Horse of the Year’s second-place finish last year behind Life Is Good.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who saddled Arrogate for a Pegasus World Cup triumph in 2017, trains Defunded, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dialed In, who closed out the 2022 season with victories in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita and Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar.
Proxy, a 5-year-old son of Tapit, earned Grade 1 credentials in his 2022 finale in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Godolphin homebred is trained by Michael Stidham.
C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio, Gary Barber’s Get Her Number, Bruce Lundsford’s Art Collector, Jet Set Racing Stable’s Super Corinto and Fernando Vine Ode’s O’Connor are other Grade 1 or Group 1 winners on the invitational list for the Pegasus World Cup.
Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained White Abarrio has the distinction of being a Grade 1 winner at 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Gulfstream Park, having captured the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in April. The 4-year-old son of Race Day, who also won the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream, most recently finished third in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, beaten just a half-length by winner Mind Control.
Peter Miller-trained Get Her Number, who captured the 2020 American Pharoah at Santa Anita, was Grade 1 stakes-placed twice in 2022, including a runner-up finish in the Cigar Mile, finishing a half-length ahead of White Abarrio.
Bill Mott-trained Art Collector, who captured the 2021 Woodward (G1) at Belmont, successfully defended his Charles Town Classic (G2) title this year.
Amador Sanchez-trained Super Corinto and Joseph-trained O’Connor were both Group 1 winners in Chile this year who have been victorious at Gulfstream.
Joseph is also represented on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list by Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking, the third-place finisher in the 2022 Belmont Stakes (G1). The 4-year-old son of Exaggerator claimed graded-stakes victories in the West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer Park and last Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
Steve Moger’s Stiletto Boy, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Shackleford who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, made this year’s invitation list after winning the Californian (G2) this season for trainer Ed Moger Jr.
Tami Bobo’s Simplification is another on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list with experience at Gulfstream, having captured the 2022 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained son of Not This Time finished third in Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday.
Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Last Samurai, who captured the Oaklawn Handicap (G2), represents Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on the Pegasus World Cup invitational list.
Eight horses are on the list of reserve invitees, who may be invited to run in the Pegasus World Cup in the event one or more of the 12 invitees do not enter. The list (in alphabetical order): WSS Racing LLC’s Barber Road, the runner-up to Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby (G1); Mark Breen’s Endorsed, who finished fourth in last year’s Pegasus World Cup; Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Hoist the Gold, who finished third in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last time out; Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC’s Law Professor, who finished second behind Life Is Good in the Woodward (G1); David Raim’s Muad’dib, a winner of 12 of 14 career starts and second-place finisher in the Charles Town Classic (G2); Rustlewood Farm Inc.’s Pappacap, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Gun Runner trained by Hall of Famer Mark Casse; Sumaya U. S. Stable’s Pioneer of Medina, a runner-up to Skippylongstocking in the Harlan’s Holiday for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who saddled Life Is Good for a victory in last year’s Pegasus World Cup; Cash Is King LLC and LC Racing LLC’s Ridin With Biden, who won the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx;