5 Early Predictions for Pegasus World Cup
Handicapping

Nicole’s 5 Early Predictions for the Pegasus World Cup

Well, here we are. It is mid-January, and while the holidays are always a joyous time, let’s be honest… we don’t look forward to the New Year because of all those resolutions we are destined to give up within 10 days of making them. No—instead, we anxiously await the arrival of fuzzy foal photos (even though they all look the same— small-headed creatures with abnormally long legs.), way-too-early Derby predictions, and lastly, we prepare for the Pegasus World Cup.

The latter has me itching for the end of the month, and so below, you will find a list of my current thoughts and predictions. Bear in mind, this is solely based off of a list of current probables, and therefore could very well be irrelevant 2 weeks from now… which is fine by me. I’m totally comfortable with being irrelevant. Honest.

Without further adieu, because I tend to ramble on when I become overconfident with predictions, let’s talk Pegasus, shall we?

1. Accelerate wins.

Guys, I have literally picked against him in every start of his career. I’ve, at some point or another, listed just about every reason why this horse won’t win, and he has made a jackass of me every. single. time.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I am done with telling people Accelerate is not the best horse in America, because he certainly is. It’s truly a shame he is retiring at such a young age (sarcasm, It’s a thing)…

In all seriousness though… the son of Lookin’ at Lucky is a shining example of how good horses can truly become great ones when allowed to mature past the average retirement age of 3. Accelerate didn’t nab his first G1 stakes win until his 5yo season, and has only gotten better, and better, and better, and… I think you get the point.

Bottom line, he goes out on top.

2. Kukulcan can’t.

While I would be as thrilled as the next girl to see a Mexican Triple Crown Winner dominate America’s richest horse race, it’s not happening. Why? Simply because Kukulcan has never faced the likes of anything close to the field accumulating for the Pegasus. I mean… this is 100% the toughest group we have seen since 2018’s edition of the race.

Even if I thought the son of Point Determined stood a chance at upsetting, I would have tossed him the moment I heard Frankie Dettorri was assigned the mount. Certainly, Dettorri is one of the world’s finest riders. However, I have little faith in him on American dirt— and by “Little faith”, I mean none.

I also wonder if Dettorri speaks Spanish. If not, the language barrier between Kukulcan and his jockey will make it very difficult for the two to have a meaningful conversation. 1 more reason to play against him. Relationships are built upon communication, and that’s all I have to say about that.

3. City of Light MAY beat Accelerate.

See, we are back to the whole “Picking against Accelerate” topic, except I am being particularly careful with my wording, here. Do I think Accelerate will lose? No… because I already said he would win and now I can’t take it back.

But I will say this: Accelerate lost just 1 race last year, and it was to Breeders’ Cup Mile Champion, City of Light… over the same distance as the Pegasus will be run on January 26th. City of Light is a legitimate badass, and if there is a horse in the race who holds in the palm of his hand (hoof?) the ability to send Accelerate to stud with a second-place finish, it’s this guy.

4. Gunnevera hits the board. Again.

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, Gunnevera is possibly the only horse on the planet who can give us a detailed description of Gun Runner, West Coast, AND Accelerate’s butts… because he has finished just behind them more times than 1.

He’s such a cool horse. He’s one I want to root for— one I know will someday, when he’s like… 9…  win a big signature race, and then finally retire to stud somewhere in the heart of horse country— beautiful New Jersey, the way all fan-favorite horses do.

Still, he is one who can never, ever be counted out. He will come running late, and he will be somewhere in the mix when they hit the wire, likely closing furiously to no avail.

5. Audible proves not all of 2018’s 3yo’s suck.

Do I think he will win? Nah. But I really, really need this guy to run extremely well, so I can continue to argue that Justify was a freak of nature, not just some horse who beat a crop of losers (I’m looking at you, Free Drop Billy).

To me, both Audible and Good Magic were above-average 3yo’s, who simply ran into a bigger and better horse than either of them ever wanted to. Obviously Good Magic is preparing to get down with, like, 180 ladies come next month, so Audible is our only hope at this point.

If he runs well, can we please stop discounting Justify? Let’s not forget just how many people called last year’s generation of colts, “The best they’d seen in years.”

I truly believe Audible is a rare talent. Though he is unlikely to win at Gulfstream in a couple of weeks, let’s hope he stays in training long enough to finish just ahead of Gunnevera in Next Year’s Pegasus, when there’s no Accelerate to deal with.

…and there it is, folks… my far-too-early take on the Pegasus World Cup. It is a take based entirely off of horses who may or may not run, and so if you take everything I have said above to heart, you’ll probably be disappointed in some way, later this month. You’re totally welcome 🙂

Article written by Nicole Schiveley

Chief Creative Officer

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