Quills Picks Winners – Saturday 1/27 – Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream Park

By Joe Quillen

Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream Park

Welcome back for the Saturday edition of the QPW, and today we will take a look at the final four races on the Gulfstream Park cards, races 10 to 13, as it is Pegasus World Cup Day. The format may have changed over the last few years, but the best older horses make their way to South Florida.

What used to be a buy a spot in the race to run in the race in the Pegasus World Cup race has evolved into an invitational race where the track will bring the best horses around. Also, this event has turned from one race to three races, with two races added in the last couple of hears for the turf specialists. Those two races will also be featured today as well.

The last four races of the day are part of the late pick 4, and I will give that to you at the end as well with my summary of win wagers, Let’s see if we can tackle these four races and make some money.

Race 10 is the first Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race, which is the Grade 2 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf, and they are going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf course.  In these three Pegasus races, there are 12 horses in each races, with some “also eligibles”. In this race, we have the 13 Be My Sunshine (30/1 morning line) on the outside looking in unless someone from the main body of the field scratches.

The morning line favorite is the 4 Star Fortress (5/2 ML) and rightfully so. The last time we saw her near the end of November, she destroyed a Grade 3 field at Churchill Downs on the grass. It’s not often you see a horse win like that, but when you do, take note.  Today will prove if that North American debut was a fluke or not.

The defending champion is the 6 Queen Goddess (6/1 ML) and she did not fire in the Matriarch at Del Mar, but she had issues on the first turn in that race. She will finish much better with a cleaner trip.

The 7 Fluffy Socks (9/2 ML) has a consistent kick that can help her win this race. There will be speed in this race from the 3 Accomplished Girl (20/1 ML), the 6 Ruby Nell (8/1 ML) and the 10 Sister Lou Ann (20/1). If this does set up, it’s going to set up nicely for those stalking and those that close.

The 5 Full Count Felecia (10/1 ML) should be the horse that will be at a nice price that hits the board, but I think Fluffy Socks wins this race. I’ll call it 7-4-5-6 in the tenth race.

Race 11 us the Fred W. Hooper Stakes on the dirt going a one-turn mile. This is not a Pegasus World Cup race, but it breaks up the card from having back to back turf races. Though this is not a World Cup race, it still has a full field of 12 horses.

Hejazi (#1, 8/5 ML favorite) draws the rail here and could go gate to wire here. This colt could have some speedy horses up front with him, but keep an eye on this horse trained by Bob Baffert, who doesn’t send too many horses to South Florida.

The 2 Expressman (8/1 ML) and the 9 Giant Game (20/1 ML) could be challenging the 1 for the lead. If they can keep up early, they might be able to soften up Hejazi.

Accretive (#8, 5/1 ML) had two issues with the last race in the Cigar Mile. He had a wide post and also had to deal with a wet track. It looks like there will be rain, but it looks it will end in the morning, so he could see a dry track. If so, he’s the horse that could steal this.

The 3 Steal Sunshine (6/1 ML) could also be there in the end as well. He’s running at his home track, and is shortening up for this one-turn mile stakes race.

But I think Hejazi is the horse to beat and will not be beaten here. I’ll call this 1-8-3.

Race 12 is the second Pegasus World Cup race, and this is the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational for horses four years old and up. This field of 12 horses and 2 “also eligibles” are set to go a mile and an eighth on the turf.

The favorite in this open race is actually a filly, the 9 Warm Heart. After running in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita, she ran at Hong Kong and returns to the United States for this race. She shortens up to 9 furlongs after going 12 last time out. She was caught in the stretch, and I think that added ground did cost her trying to stay close with the leader last time.

The 3 Integration (3/1 ML) is three for three lifetime after winning in November at Aqueduct. He will have a great chance to continue his unbeaten start here,

The 8 Master Piece won going longer in November in the Red Smith at Aqueduct, and don’t be alarmed by that trainer with no record. Sydney Dutrow works for Rick Dutrow, who returned last year from a 10-year suspension. He’s going to be flying at the end here as well. If there’s a longshot that can steal this, it will be Webslinger (#5, 15/1) who is facing elders for the first time, but also has a great kick as well.

But I think Master Piece upsets the filly Warm Heart and the undefeated Integration. I’ll call this 8-9-3-5 in the Pegasus World Cup Turf.

Then we reach the main event and final race on the card, the Grace 1 Pegasus World Cup going a mile and an eighth on the main track. We have 12 horses entered here again, with an also eligible as well

The favorite here is Bob Baffert’s National Treasure (#7, 9/5 ML) who returns after a tough loss in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. The Preakness winner wins on the front end if he’s not pressured. He dropped anchor in the Belmont, didn’t let the wet tracks in the Travers at Saratoga, and the Awesome Again at Santa Anita.

Pay close attention to the dirt races. There could be a speed bias on the main track, and we could not. If there’s an obvious bias, you might see him go gate to wire.

The 4 Hoist the Gold (12/1 ML) could be challenging for the lead here. But he’s never run 9 furlongs. It looks like the 8 First Mission (7/2 ML) could fool some bettors into thinking he’ll gun for the lead after his performance at the Clark last out at Churchill.

Also keep an eye on the 9 Grand Aspen and the 12 Skippylongstocking who have the misfortune of being on the far outside of the gate here. Races at a mile and a sixteenth and a mile and an eighth are very tricky for horses in gates 9 outward due to the very short run up to the first turn. They might both try to gun it with the configuration of the track.

I’m going to swing for the fences here with a longshot here with the 6 Senor Buscador (20/1 ML). he’s run well since his return last July, and hasn’t embarrassed himself in those races that you might think he didn’t run a lick, like the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He ran well despite that seventh place finish.

Senor Buscador will outfinish O’Connor who will have an extra half a furlong to traverse, but he will be the other beneficiary of a potential speed duel. I’ll call this 6-2-7-8 in the Pegasus World Cup.

Good luck to everyone on your wagers. Here’s your summary for Saturday’s final four races at Gulfstream, The win wagers below are $10 to win, and the pick 4 is the 50-cent increment.

Race 10 – 7 (Fluffy Socks)

Race 11 – 1 (Hejazi)

Race 12 – 8 (Master Piece)

Race 13 – 6 (Senor Buscador)

Pick 4: 4,5,7 w/ 1,8 w/ 8,9 w/ 2,6,7,8 = $24 ticket

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