April 12, 2024

Stormy Liberal, World of Trouble rematch highlights Pegasus World Cup undercard

Stormy Liberal successfully defends his title in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) under jockey Drayden Van Dyke at Churchill Downs on November 3, 2018 (c) Churchill Downs/Coady Photography

Accelerate and City of Light are the not the only 2018 Breeders’ Cup winners competing on Saturday’s blockbuster Pegasus World Cup card at Gulfstream Park. Here’s a brief rundown of the undercard stakes preceding the World Cup races on turf and dirt.

$150,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (Race 3)

One of the highlights of the card comes early in the day when Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) one-two Stormy Liberal and World of Trouble stage a rematch in this five-furlong dash. Only a neck separated the pair at the finish of the Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs, with a gap of more than seven lengths back to the next horse.

While Stormy Liberal lost his season debut when second in the Joe Hernandez (G3) on New Year’s Day, World of Trouble might be favored in this one off a facile, main track stakes win at Tampa Bay Downs against Florida-breds.

Multiple stakes winners Pay Any Price and Oak Bluffs know this course well but might be a cut below the top pair. Dirt specialist Recruiting Ready is also entered.

$150,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint (Race 5)

California invaders Surrender Now and Painting Corners fit well in this five-furlong race alongside local division mainstays Morticia, Cherry Lodge, Smiling Causeway, Just Talkin, and Blue Bahia.

$125,000 South Beach (Race 6)

Recent My Charmer (G3) heroine Capla Temptress will likely be favored to repeat in this 7 1/2-furlong grass test for fillies and mares. The race also marks the return to action of Road to Victory, winner of the 2017 Golden Rod (G2) over future champion Monomoy Girl.

$150,000 Hurricane Bertie (Race 7)

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) upsetter Shamrock Rose might be the reigning champion of her division when she takes her spot in the starting gate of the seven-furlong test. Also in the lineup are Sugar Swirl (G3) winner Dream Pauline, who seeks her fourth win in five starts, and Comely (G3) vixen Blamed, who brings a six-for-eight mark into the race.

$200,000 La Prevoyante (G3) (Race 8)

Grade 2 winner Santa Monica looks to rebound from a disappointing try in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup in this 1 1/2-mile grass test. Multiple Grade 3 winner Tricky Escape, Cardinal H. (G3) winner English Affair, and recent $75,000 Via Borghese one-two Si Que Es Buena and Holy Helena are also in the field.

$150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3) (Race 9)

Multiple graded stakes winner Coal Front will look to stretch his speed over a mile against the likes of Breaking Lucky, Copper Town, and Aztec Sense, who enters on an eight-race win streak.

$200,000 W.L. McKnight (G3) (Race 10)

Once under consideration for the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1), Coolmore’s Hunting Horn instead goes in this 1 1/2-mile grass feature. Canessar, Soglio, Zulu Alpha, Village King, Hunter O’Riley, and Johnny Bear all possess the back class to factor.