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Pegasus World Cup: White Abarrio has home field advantage

Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park Photo:

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Purse: $3,000,000
Grade: 1
Distance: 1 1/8 Miles
Age: 4+
Twelve older horses will go to post in the G1 $3 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

Cyberknife, the 5-2 morning-line favorite, will be making the final start of his career following a series of close finishes that includes a runner-up effort last time out in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland.

Cyberknife finished third in the 1 1/8 mile Pennsylvania Derby two back. Before that he was second to Epicenter in the 1 1/4 mile Travers at Saratoga.

Cyberknife is 5-4-1 in 12 starts, with disappointing efforts in the 2022 G3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds and the last year’s Kentucky Derby when 18th.

Florent Geroux, who has ridden Cyberknife throughout his career, will be aboard this son of Gun Runner for the final time hoping to improve his winning record in the Pegasus World Cup.

Coincidentally, Geroux was aboard Gun Runner when he won this race in 2018.

Post positions for the 2023 Pegasus World Cup, the morning line odds, and Wiz Capper’s analysis.
Pegasus World Cup 2023 Past Performances – See Brad Cox PPs

Top Contenders

White Abarrio has proven himself as the horse for the course, having won all four of his lifetime starts on dirt at Gulfstream, including the G3 Holy Bull and the G1 Florida Derby.

White Abarrio stamped his name deep into the trail of the Kentucky Derby as a serious contender to take home last year’s winning trophy but finished a well-beaten 16th while racing wide from post position 15 through most of the 1 1/4 mile distance.

Tyler Gaffalione, who rode White Abarrio in both of his winning Derby prep races here last year, will be back aboard with a chance to upset from post position 4.

Simplification, who was second to White Abarrio in the Holy Bull and third behind that one as the post time favorite in the Florida Derby, returns after a third place finish last time out here in the G3 Harlan’s Holiday.

Bob Baffert will ship Defunded. He was a winner in his last two starts in Southern California at this distance for owners Watson, Pegram, et al. Defunded is the son of 2011 Florida Derby winner Dialed In giving Baffert reason to like his chances to take home the Pegasus trophy for the second time when teaming with jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. who was aboard the Baffert trainee and the winner of the 2020 Pegasus, Mucho Gusto.

Defunded should be the pacesetter and is 2-1-0 in 4 starts at this distance.