By Richard Rosenblatt
Despite a five-racing losing streak — not even a finish better than fourth during the past eight months – Tenfold was invited to run in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup.
Even though he is one of the five 30-1 longest shots in the 12-horse field, the connections of the 5-year-old son of champion Curlin figured why not head to Gulfstream Park to take on 7-5 favorite Omaha Beach?
“I don’t want to say he’s an afterthought,’’ David Fiske, racing manager for owner Ron Winchell said, referring to Tenfold. “We were thinking about it earlier last year when he won the Pimlico Special, then he didn’t go on exactly as we’d hoped and we figured he wouldn’t get an invite — and then he did. There was nothing really on his dance card, so why not?”
On May 17, 2019, Tenfold won the Pimlico Special (G3) for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen, then went on to finish behind the likes of fellow World Cup entires Seeking the Soul, Higher Power and Mr Freeze in the course of his past five starts.
“On his best day, he’s obviously capable of very good things,” Asmussen said of his horse who won the 2018 Jim Dandy (G2) but has an overall record of four wins and one third in 15 career starts. “He has not been as consistent as we would have hoped and don’t feel he’s completely taken advantage of all the chances he’s been given. But he’s also a horse that’s an extremely good ‘doer,’ a very sound horse that’s doing really well right now. With the invitation to the Pegasus in a very wide open year, excluding possibly one horse (Omaha Beach), here we go.”
During his losing streak, Tenfold finished ninth in the Stephen Foster (G2), fourth in the Pacific Classic (G1), eighth in the Lukas Classic (G3), sixth in the Fayette Stakes (G2) and fourth in the Tenacious Stakes on Dec. 21 in his most recent start. His last workout was Jan. 20, when he covered 4 furlongs in 51 seconds at the Fair Grounds – 43rd fastest of 52 runners at the same distance.
Post position: No. 11
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Owner: Winchell Thoroughbreds
Career record: 15-4-0-1
Career earnings: $968,390
Pedigree: Curlin-Temptress, by Tapit
Running style: Mid-pack
“0-for-5 since taking weak Pimlico Special in May.’’ – Ed McNamara
“Show finisher in ‘18 Preakness has won a few nice races since – 2018 Jim Dandy and 2019 Pimlico Special … comes in off five straight off-the-board finishes, and unlikely to revisit his glory days in the Pegasus.’’ – Noel Michaels
Notes: Notes: In 2018, Winchell and Asmussen teamed up to win the Pegasus World Cup with 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner and Horse of the Year Gun Runner … The Pegasus World Cup had a purse of $16 million in 2018, with the winners earning $7 million … Tenfold ran a commendable third in the fog in the 2018 Preakness (G1), less than a length behind Triple Crown winner Justify, with Bravazo second … Ricardo Santana, Jr., has ridden Tenfold in six of his last seven races, but Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard in the World Cup.
|1||True Timber||Joe Bravo||Kiaran McLaughlin||15-1|
|2||Tax||Jose Ortiz||Danny Gargan||8-1|
|3||Diamond Oops||Julien Leparoux||Patrick Biancone||15-1|
|4||Seeking the Soul||John Velazquez||Dallas Stewart||30-1|
|5||Omaha Beach (SCR)||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella||SCR|
|6||Higher Power||Flavien Prat||John Sadler||6-1|
|7||War Story||Joel Rosario||Elizabeth Dobles||30-1|
|8||Mr Freeze||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||20-1|
|5||Spun to Run (SCR)||Javier Castellano||Juan Carlos Guerrero||SCR|
|10||Mucho Gusto||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Bob Baffert||9-2|
|11||Tenfold||Tyler Gaffalione||Steve Asmussen||30-1|
|12||Bodexpress||Emisael Jaramillo||Gustavo Delgado||30-1|
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Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.