In the days leading up to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, usracing.com will profile the horses in the race set for Jan. 23. The profiles will be updated on Jan. 20 with morning-line odds, post positions and jockeys.
By Lynne Snierson
This 5-year-old gray is an iron horse. The model of consistency has won eight of 15 starts at 11 different tracks across the country at distances from 6 ½ furlongs to 1 ½ miles on dirt and on turf. He always shows up and enters fresh from a half-length score over G1 winners Firenze Fire and Mind Control in the Mr. Prospector (G3) on Dec. 19. But that race was a 7-furlong sprint. He has been victorious in a graded stakes at 1 1/8 miles, winning last year’s Charles Town Classic (G2) on the front end all the way by a record 7 ½ lengths, but that track is a 6-furlong oval.
Following his impressive win at Charles Town, his connections took him to Santa Anita and stepped him up into the Awesome Again (G1), where he had a tough day against multiple G1 winners Maximum Security and Improbable, the odds-on favorite to win the Eclipse Award as the Older Dirt Male, finishing fifth, 12 ½ lengths behind. Sleepy Eyes Todd must prove he can achieve success at the top level, but his triple digit speed figures in the last six and nine of his last 11, plus his victory over this track against previous G1 winners, signal it would be wise to factor him into the exotics.
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Post position: TBD
Trainer: Miguel Angel Silva
Owners: Thumbs Up Racing LLC (David and Brenda Cobb)
Career record: 15 8-2-0
Career earnings: $744,825
Top Equibase speed figure: 119
Pedigree: Paddy O’Prado- Pledge Mom, by Wild Rush
Running style: Versatile. Can set the pace or close
Notes: Worked 4 furlongs in 50.80 seconds on Jan. 17 at Gulfstream … This horse is the only graded stakes winner for veteran conditioner Silva, who has 4,213 starters, and for the owners, who are in just their second year in the sport and are looking for their first win in 2021 … Bought for $9,000 as a weanling at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, his name reminds that Donald Trump referred to NBC’s Meet the Press moderator and MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd with the insult “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd” in tweets and at rallies.
Lynne Snierson, a former director of communications at Arlington Park and Rockingham Park, currently is a freelance writer and racing publicist. She covered thoroughbred racing as an award-winning sportswriter for newspapers In Boston, Miami, and St. Louis. She lives in New Hampshire. Secretariat remains her all-time favorite horse.