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 Ed McNamara
He was last year’s Pegasus runner-up, 4 1/2 lengths behind Mucho Gusto after setting the pace. He’s 2-for-8 at 1 1/8 miles, with three seconds and two thirds, and a winner of four graded stakes. There was no way Mr Freeze was going to catch Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and he finished sixth. But if the front-running Pegasus favorite tires late (unlikely) in his first try at 9 furlongs, Mr Freeze might have a shot.
Problem: He’s 0-for-6 in Grade 1 races, and not many 6-year-olds make the breakthrough at the top level. I wouldn’t recommend a win bet on him unless he’s double-digit odds, but he’s a must-use for trifecta and superfecta plays.
If you like speedy workouts, then note Mr Freeze worked 5 furlongs in 59.83 seconds at Gulfstream on Jan. 16 (Saturday), the fastest of 39 going the same distance.
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Dale Romans
Owners: Jerry Isbister, Jim Bakke
Career record: 18-6-4-2
Career earnings: $1,595,600
Top Equibase speed figure: 115
Pedigree: To Honor and Serve-Heavenly Cat, by Tabasco Cat
Running style: Speed/stalk
Notes: My comment on him before last year’s Pegasus: “Grade B stakes type doesn’t belong in here.” I was right about the Grade B part, but Mr Freeze went off at odds of 7-1 and ran big. He was 30-1 in the morning line, but his chances improved dramatically after 7-5 early favorite Omaha Beach and second choice Spun to Run were scratched.
Ed McNamara is an award-winning journalist who has been writing about thoroughbred racing for 35 years. He has handicapped races for ESPN.com, Newsday and The Record of New Jersey. He is the author of “Cajun Racing: From the Bush Tracks to the Triple Crown” and co-author of “The Most Glorious Crown,” a chronicle of the first 12 Triple Crown champions.