Meet the Contenders: Pegasus World Cup Invitees Announced

Officials for the $3 million Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup extended invitations to 20 horses this week, including 8 reserves, for the January 27 showcase race at Gulfstream Park. The 2023 Preakness winner National Treasure (pictured above) headlines the hopefuls, looking to become the first Triple Crown race winner to add the Pegasus World Cup in the event’s eight-year history.

Previous Triple Crown race winners to compete in the Pegasus World Cup include 2022 fifth-place finisher and Belmont hero Sir Winston and 2017 ninth-place finisher California Chrome, a few seasons removed from his 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness scores.

Five reigning Breeders’ Cup champions have won the prestigious Pegasus in seven previous runnings, including Life Is Good (2022), Knicks Go (2021), City of Light (2019), Gun Runner (2018) and Arrogate (2017). Last year’s field included White Abarrio, who would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita later in the ’23 campaign.

National Treasure exits a runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, a race that has springboarded three winners of the Pegasus World Cup.

Other invitees to the 1-1/8 miles PWC are:

First Mission: Last year’s Grade 3 Lexington Stakes winner at Keeneland and nose runner-up in Churchill’s Grade 2 Clark Handicap;

Grand Aspen: Runner-up in Gulfstream’s Dec. 30 Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, the local Pegasus prep;

Hoist the Gold: Millionaire earner and winner of 2023’s Grade 2 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct and Grade 2 Phoenix at Keeneland;

Il Miracolo: 2023 Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 1 Belmont Stakes alum with consecutive placings in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx, Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland and Grade 2 Clark at Churchill Downs;

Newgrange: Santa Anita’s Grade 2 San Antonio winner on Dec. 26;

O’Connor: Consecutive winner of the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland and Gulfstream’s Dec. 30 Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes, the local Pegasus Prep;

Saudi Crown: Last year’s Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby at Parx winner and alum of the Breeders’ Cup Classic;

Senor Buscador: The 2023 Grade 2 San Diego winner at Del Mar, runner-up in the Grade 2 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct and alum of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Classic the past two years;

Skippylongstocking: Grade 2 Charles Town Classic winner and third-place finisher in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in 2023, he’s earned more than 1.5 million. Alumnus of the 2022 Preakness and Belmont Stakes as well as the 2023 Pegasus World Cup;

Subsanador: Three-time Group 1 winner on dirt in his native Argentina, he finished fourth as the favorite in Santa Anita’s Dec. 26 Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes in his US debut;

Trademark: Grade 2 Clark Handicap winner at Churchill last year has earned more than $1 million.

Reserve invitees include Castle Chaos, Crupi, Dynamic One, Nimitz Class, Ny Traffic, Red Route One, Steal Sunshine and Wizard of Westwood.

Entries for the Pegasus World Cup will be taken and post positions drawn on Sunday, January 21.