By Ed McNamara
There are 12 horses on the main invitee list, and four more on the reserved invitee list. The maximum field is 12. Post position will be drawn Jan. 22.
Channel Cat is one of those turf marathoners you always must consider betting but who doesn’t inspire much confidence. He’s 0-for-5 at the Grade I level, including an uncompetitive seventh in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1).
For the past two years I’ve considered him one of “the usual suspects” in long-distance grass stakes, along with Arklow, Sadler’s Joy, Henley’s Joy, Hunter O’Riley and Zulu Alpha. None stands out, and if you can project the pace scenario and who is likely to get the best trip, you may isolate the winner, usually at a nice price.
Channel Cat prepped for the World Cup Turf last month with a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale on the grass. His only win in eight starts last year was a front-running upset in the 1 3/8-mile, Grade 2 Bowling Green at Saratoga.
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Owner: Calumet Farm
Career record: 20-5-2-5
Career earnings: $913,992
Pedigree: English Channel-Carnival Kitten (Kitten’s Joy)
Running style: Speed/Stalker
“Seven losses in his last eight starts and a four-race losing streak don’t inspire confidence. Channel Cat is much more likely to be third or fourth than to win.’’ — Ed McNamara
“Keeps good company but falls short falls short against top-caliber competition and lacks consistency … lost local prep (Fort Lauderdale) when beaten by Instilled Regard.’’ – Noel Michaels
Notes: Pletcher’s take: “He’s run against the best horses on the East Coast all year and has certainly shown that on his day, he fits with the best of them.” … You may be surprised to hear that future Hall of Famer Pletcher won only two Grade 1 stakes last year, neither on the turf. (Vino Rosso won the BC Classic and the Santa Anita Gold Cup).
|Admission Office||Amerman Racing||Brian Lynch|
|Arklow||Donegal Racing, Joseph Bulger, Peter Coneway||Brad Cox|
|Channel Cat||Calumet Farm||Todd Pletcher|
|Henley’s Joy||Bloom Racing Stable||Michael Maker|
|Instilled Regard||OXO Equine||Chad Brown|
|Magic Wand||Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier||Aidan O’Brien|
|Mo Forza||Bardy Farm, OG Boss||Peter Mille|
|Next Shares||Debby Baltas, Richard Baltas, Christopher Dunn, |
Jules Iavarone, Michael Iavarone, Jerry McClanahan,
Ritchie Robershaw, Mark Taylor
|Sacred Life||Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables, Bethlehem Stables||Chad Brown|
|Sadler’s Joy||Woodslane Farm||Tom Albertrani|
|Without Parole||John D. Gunther, Tanya Gunther||Chad Brown|
|Zulu Alpha||Michael Hui||Michael Maker|
|American Tattoo||Calumet Farm, John Anthony Stables||Todd Pletcher|
|Mr. Misunderstood||Flurry Racing Stables||Brad Cox|
|Synchrony||Pin Oak Stable||Michael Stidham|
|Tusk||Jordan V. Wycoff||Saffie Joseph, Jr.|
For more information/tickets: PegasusWorldCup.com
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.