An overflow field of 15 has been entered in the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, but all the attention remains focused on the top two from last November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
Arrogate came with a furious rally in the stretch of the Classic to collar California Chrome by a half-length and earn his fifth-straight victory. California Chrome was looking for his seventh-straight score and quickly got back on the winning track with a 12-length romp in the Winter Challenge Stakes at Los Alamitos on December 17.
The Pegasus kicks off Arrogate’s four-year-old campaign and will bring California Chrome’s record-setting career to a close as he heads off to stud duty at Taylor Made Farm following the race.
Of the 10 remaining runners in the 1 1/8-mile contest, Noble Bird, Shaman Ghost, Keen Ice and Eragon are the only other Grade/Group 1 winners.
Prayer for Relief is a multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire, Breaking Lucky is a Canadian Classic and Grade 3 victor, and War Story just captured the Queen’s County Stakes on December 17 to conclude his 2016 season.
War Envoy and Semper Fortis are both Grade 2-placed while Neolithic finished second in the Discovery Stakes (G3) last November while making his one-and-only stakes attempt thus far.
The also-eligibles are made up of Stanford, hero of last year’s Charles Town Classic (G2) and recent three-length scorer of the Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream on December 17; Sea Raven, sixth in his only two tries against stakes rivals; and dual Grade 2 conqueror Madefromlucky.