The 2021 Pegasus Field Starts to Take Shape

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Sunday, January 10, 2021

Current Pegasus Invitational favorite CHARLATAN could be the second big name to pass on the $3 million race. Defending champion MUCHO GUSTO has been retired due to an injury discovered after his last race. And now, trainer Bob Baffert says CHARLATAN could skip the Pegasus Invitational for the $30.5 million Saudi Cup.

Following a Saturday workout for CHARLATAN, Baffert said, "We are leaning toward the Saudi Cup. I don't want to bring him back too quick. He came out of the Malibu really well. He always showed that he was a brilliant horse."

While CHARLATAN might not run until February 20th, JESUS' TEAM, HARPERS FIRST RIDE, TRUE TIMBER and TAX are planning on being in South Florida on January 23rd.

Horse Racing Radar spoke with TAX owners Dean Reeves and Randy Hill. Both told us "TAX is running in the Pegasus." Reeves says, "He will have a light work next weekend and should be ready to go." Hill is feeling good about their horse's chances, "He came out of his last race great. He has continued to work out very good and his workout yesterday [Saturday, January 88th] was probably his best work so far. We know he loves Gulfstream. So [trainer] Danny [Gargan] and I are very confident heading into the Pegasus. I think, if he can duplicate his effort in his last race, he will be very tough."

JESUS' TEAM is training at Palm Harbor with an eye towards the Pegasus Invitational. After working 6 furlongs on Saturday, January 9th, trainer Jose D'Angelo made his intentions clear, "It's very exciting. It is the most important race of our calendar in South Florida at Gulfstream Park. I think it's a big test for both me and Jesus."

Trainer Jack Sisterson is training two-time Pegasus entrant TRUE TIMBER for a third crack at the Pegasus Invitational crown. Sisterson was upbeat about the way his seven-year-old is training, "I was quite surprised the way he went. Usually, he's rather workmanlike and ... slow, but he was extremely fast this morning." Maybe the third time will be the charm for TRUE TIMBER after finishing eighth last year and seventh in 2019.

HARPERS FIRST RIDE will begin his five-year-old campaign in the Pegasus Invitational. Trainer Claudio Gonzalez says, "He came back really good after the last race [Native Dance Stakes], that's why we will try to go to the Pegasus. It's a big race. It al depends. If he continues like he is doing, we're going to go."

The 2021 Pegasus Invitational field will continue to take form and should be settled shortly. As trainer Gonzalez put it, "It's a big race" and we can't wait.