Admittedly, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational isn't what it used to be. Just five years ago, the race paid a $16 million purse, making it the richest horse race in the world. But it soon proved to be too rich for the blood of its founder, Gulfstream Park owner Frank Stronach. The purse was dropped to $9 million the next year and then $3 million by 2020, which is where it sits right now.
Part of the reason is that Stronach spread the wealth to the Pegasus World Cup Turf and other stakes races on the card. But it also hasn't draw the kind of field it expected. The disappointment for this year's event started shortly after the Breeders Cup Classic, when Flightline, considered by many to be the best thoroughbred since Secretariat, was retired. Pegasus organizers were hoping to make him the star performer in this race, and a way to elevate the event.
What BetOnline customers will see late Saturday afternoon (5:40 PM ET on NBC) is a contest with a number of very good horses, but none who can be looked upon as "generational." However, this is the kind of race that is appetizing for handicappers.
Here are the horse racing betting odds on the field:
(1) Proxy 9-2
(2) Simplification 15-1
(3) Ridin with Biden 20-1
(4) White Abarrio 10-1
(5) Defunded 6-1
(6) Art Collector 10-1
(7) Skippylongstocking 5-1
(8) Get Her Number 15-1
(9) Last Samurai 20-1
(10) Cyberknife 5-2
(11) Stilleto Boy 30-1
(12) O'connor 10-1
Cyberknife is the favorite, and he certainly has the bloodlines. Brad Cox's four-year-old is sired by Gun Runner, who won the Pegasus in 2018. Cox himself saddled Knicks Go to a win in this race two years ago and had the runner-up, Life Is Good, last January.
Despite a dismal tenth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, Cyberknife had a good year in 2022, winning the Haskell and Arkansas Derby (both Grade I events), which, like the Pegasus, is raced at a mile and an eighth. He was also a strong second in the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile.
There is some debate as to whether the #10 post will be a help to this horse, but he has an experienced rider to navigate that. Florent Geroux has ridden him throughout his career, and was also aboard Gun Runner in the 2018 Pegasus win.
This is also the career finale for Cyberknife. And, in a way, this is the kind of thing that the Pegasus was built for. In designing the race, Stronach, who also owns Santa Anita, wanted to fit in between the Breeders Cup and the Dubai World Cup, which is one of the world's richest races. So it's non-intrusive and works well as a career-ender for horses who are then going to be retired to stud (or wherever).
With a winnings of $2,087,520, two Grade I victories and a career high Beyer Speed Figure of 105, Cyberknife would seem to have enough in the way of credentials to justify the role as the favorite. But the only question is whether he is worth a play at that price. It's hard to move us with that.
Get ready for the $5,000 Pegasus World Cup Props Contest! Place $10 in real-money wagers on the race itself in the BetOnline sportsbook or racebook to be eligible. But answer the questions, representing props for the Pegasus, and grab your piece of the pie!...... Open up an account, if you haven't already, by using your credit card or any number of crypto options that are offered!