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The Profile of a Pegasus Invitational Winner

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Rich Bieglmeier is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Building the profile of a winner can help horseplayers make better selections. Knowing the typical path to the winners' circle for race type, distance and surface should help you narrow your selections to the horses that best fit the profile.

To be fair, it is time consuming and requires updating results on a daily basis. We'd recommend doing it for one or two of your favorite tracks. At the end of the day, take a look at the race result charts and log the following for each winner.

Race Type i.e. $5,000 Claiming non winners of two lifetime – we'd recommend putting the race type (claiming), dollar amount and conditions in separate columns, be it in excel or Google spreadsheets.

·         Distance

·         Surface

·         Odds

·         Surface Conditions i.e. sloppy, fast, firm...

·         Post Position

·         Jockey

·         Trainer – you might find some jockeys and trainer perform better under specific conditions

·         Winner's position at the pole calls

·         Winning Fractions – so you'll have a sense of what a horse needs to run at the level

Horse Racing Radar builds the Profile of Winner for every Super-Sized race. This weekend's Pegasus Invitational is the first Super-Sized race of the year. Let's see what the profile of a Pegasus Winner looks like to help us understand how the race might playout Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Because the Pegasus is a relatively new race, we only have four races to examine using the current caliber of horses.

The first thing we notice is that the first four Pegasus races weren't for longshots. The post time favorite won the first two, ran third two years ago and last in last year's run. The average winner left the gates at odds of 9/5.

Early pace has been really important. The first four to wear the Pegasus crown weren't pilots but were absolutely co-pilots to the frontrunner. Last year's winner MUCHO GUSTO and inaugural title holder ARROGATE were third at the quarter pole and mostly held their position for the first half-mile. The two in the middle, CITY OF LIGHT (2019) and GUN RUNNER (2018) were second at the quarter and half-mile markers. All but MUCHO GUSTO (third) had the lead for good at 6 furlongs.


A forward bias is unsurprising as Gulfstream Park announcer Peter Aiello @AnnouncerPete told The Player's Edge Podcast that horses need to get out early at 1 1/8 miles on the main track. He would know as nobody has watched more Gulfstream races than he.

Recent form is also another strong indicator. All four to cash the biggest Pegasus's check hit triple digits on the Equibase speed gun in their previous three starts. Three of the four posted their top number of the three in the race prior to the Pegasus. GUN RUNNER ran a 130 in the race before the Pegasus, down from 132 in the prior start. Except for MUCHO GUSTO, the other three won the race before making their mark in the Pegasus.

Post Position, unfortunately, doesn't gives us any clues. So far, winners have won 1, 3, 8 and 10. We dug a little deeper and examined 1 1/8 miles races for the past few years. A great majority of the winners left from chutes one through five.

If you are looking for the trainer, who else but Bob Baffert? The white-haired uber-trainer won the first and the last Pegasus trophies. So far, a different jockey won the first four. Maybe fade last year's jockey, Irad Ortiz, Jr.?

Based on the Profile of a Pegasus Winner, the 2021 Champion is coming off a win, ran the best speed figure in his last of three starts, topped 100 in all three, will be second or third for the first half mile, and be on the lead for good after 6 furlongs.

BEST FITS:

With the field set and post positioned drawn, let's see which horses meet our Profile of a Pegasus Winner.

Five horses of the dozen in the 2021 Pegasus group hit triple digit Equibase speed figures in their last three races.

·         SLEEPY EYES TODD (PP: 1 ML 8-1)

·         KNICKS GO (PP: 4 ML 5/2)

·         KISS TODAY GOODBYE (PP: 6 ML 10-1)

·         HARPERS FIRST RIDE (PP: 8 ML 10-1)

·         CODE OF HONOR (PP: 10 ML 9/2)

SLEEPY EYES TODD and KISS TODAY GOODBYE are more closers/stalkers and are unlikely to be anywhere near the front after the first quarter mile. Maybe they'll move a little closer by the half-mile, but there are too many upfront types to expect either in the first three early in the race.

Although he should be among the early pacesetters, CODE OF HONOR hasn't found the winners' circle in four straight. It's not a deal breaker, but a strike against him. Meanwhile, SLEEPY EYES TODD and KNICKS GO both won their last starts with their highest Equibase speed figures for their last three outings.

KNICKS GO is the morning line favorite and likely to remain one of the public's top betting choices, meaning he is the best fit for our Profile of a Pegasus Winner.