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Defending Champion Colonel Liam Tops G1 Pegasus Turf Invitations

Jan 9, 2022

Four G1 Winners Among Invites for Inaugural Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3)
Pegasus World Cup (G1) Heads Seven Graded-Stakes Worth $5.2 Million


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Defending champion Colonel Liam and fellow Grade 1 winners Channel Cat, Hit the Road, Point Me By and Two Emmys are among 18 horses invited to the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park.

A total of seven graded-stakes worth $5.2 million in purses will be offered on Pegasus Day, led by the return of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and Pegasus World Cup Turf and the debut of the $500,000 Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3).

All three races are for 4-year-olds and up. The Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus Turf are both contested at 1 1/8 miles while the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf, previously known as the Marshua’s River, will be run at 1 1/16 miles.

Robert and Lawana Low’s Colonel Liam won the Tropical Park Derby during the 2020-2021 Championship Meet as a prelude to his Pegasus Turf victory by a neck over stablemate Largent. Colonel Liam won on to win the Muniz Memorial (G2) and Turf Classic (G1) and was eighth in last June’s Manhattan (G1) in his most recent start.

“We’ve kind of had in mind that our best approach for him to try and defend his Turf title is just to train up to it. He had some time off and he’s a horse that we think will run well fresh,” Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. “He’s put enough into his training that hopefully we can have him ready to run a good race off the layoff.”

Largent and Never Surprised are also on the list of Pegasus Turf invitees. Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Largent won the 2020 Fort Lauderdale (G2) as a prep for the Pegasus Turf and went unraced until finishing fourth in the Jan. 8 Tropical Turf (G3) at Gulfstream. Repole Stable’s Never Surprised, placed in three graded-stakes, became a three-time stakes winner with his triumph in Gulfstream’s Tropical Park Derby Dec. 26.

“Never Surprised, we were happy with his race over the course. It’s kind of similar to what Colonel Liam did last year, going from the Tropical Derby to the Pegasus,” Pletcher said.

Trainer Mike Maker won the 2020 Pegasus Turf with Zulu Alpha, and four of his horses are among the invitee list – Atone, Cross Border, Field Pass and Flavius. Three Diamonds Farm owns Atone, runner-up in the Dec. 18 Fort Lauderdale, and multiple graded-stakes winners Cross Border, third in the 2020 Pegasus Turf, and Field Pass. Maker recently added Flavius, a stakes winner in the U.S. and Europe.

Also invited to the Pegasus Turf are Grade 1-winning millionaire Channel Cat; Fort Lauderdale winner Doswell; 2021 Frank Kilroe Mile (G1) winner Hit the Road; two-time Grade 2 winner March to the Arch; 2021 Bruce D. (G1) winner Point Me By; Irish Group 2 winner Space Traveller, fourth in the Fort Lauderdale; 2021 Mr. D. (G1) winner Two Emmys; and Sacred Life, a Grade 3 winner in the U.S. and France trained by Chad Brown, who won the 2019 Pegasus Turf with Bricks and Mortar en route to Horse of the Year honors.

Atone and Space Traveller are joined on the also-eligible list by Bob and Jackie, English Bee, Flavius and Law Professor.

Four G1 Winners Among Invites for Inaugural Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3)

Grade 1 winners Abscond, Lady Speightspeare, Mucho Unusual and Regal Glory top 15 horses invited to the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf. Abscond in 2019 and Lady Speightspeare in 2020 captured the Natalma at Woodbine; Mucho Unusual won the 2020 Rodeo Drive and Regal Glory won the Matriarch Nov. 28 at Santa Anita to cap her 2021 campaign.

Also on the invite list is Robert and Lawana Low’s Sweet Melania, who earned her third career graded-stakes triumph in the Dec. 18 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream. She also shares the shedrow for Pletcher, who joins Richard Baltas (Ginobili, Bob and Jackie, Bodhicitta) as the only trainers with invitees in all three races.

“We plan to run Sweet Melania in there. She ran good in her last start and it’s good timing for her to come back. She’s really come out of that race in sharp form, so that’s what we’re thinking there,” Pletcher said. “Fingers crossed, [20] days out, we’ve got some chances. We’ll hope everything goes smoothly.”

Rounding out the Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf invitees are two-time Grade 3 winner Alms; 2020 Yellow Ribbon (G2) winner Bodhicitta; 2021 Edgewood (G2) winner Gift List; 2021 American Oaks (G1) runner-up Nicest; multiple graded-stakes winner Princess Grace; 2021 Noble Damsel (G3) winner Shifty She; 2021 Dowger (G3) winner Summer in Saratoga; and In a Hurry, third to Sweet Melania in the Suwannee River.

The also-eligible list includes Abscond, Bipartisanship and Burgoo Alley.


$1 MILLION PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF (G1) INVITATIONS
Chanel Cat
Colonel Liam
Cross Border
Doswell
Field Pass
Hit the Road
Largent
March to the Arch
Never Surprised
Point Me By
Sacred Life (FR)
Two Emmys
AE – Atone
AE – Bob and Jackie
AE – English Bee
AE – Flavius
AE – Law Professor
AE – Space Traveller (GB)

$500,000 PEGASUS FILLY & MARE TURF (G3) INVITATIONS
Alms
Bodhicitta (GB)
Gift List (GB)
In a Hurry
Lady Speightspeare
Macho Unusual
Nicest (IRE)
Princess Grace
Regal Glory
Shifty She
Summer in Saratoga
Sweet Melania
AE – Abscond
AE – Bipartisanship (GB)
AE – Burgoo Alley (IRE)



 

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