Trainer Jose Corrales hopes to have a pair of runners, Something Awesome and Unbridled Juan, in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park on January 26.
A three-time stakes winner earlier this year, Something Awesome has been deemed ready for the Pegasus after returning from a six-month layoff with a closing second in a recent Laurel Park allowance.
“Something Awesome is training really well. I’ve got him back the way I expected him to come back,” Corrales said of the seven-year-old gelding. “He’s gone through a lot of things, but he’s ready. I don’t call those shots, but I’d love to run him in the Pegasus and I think he’s ready for that competition.”
An earner of more than $1 million for owner/breeder Stronach Stables, Something Awesome captured the seven-furlong General George (G2) in February. The son of Awesome Again stretched out to the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus distance with back-to-back wins in the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial Stakes and $1.2 million Charles Town Classic (G2), registering triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings in the process (101 and 100). He received a break after a last-place effort as the favorite in the Pimlico Special (G2) in May.
“I think he doesn’t really need another race before (the Pegasus),” ex-jockey Corrales said. “If there’s a race that comes up somewhere we can go for it, if there’s an allowance or a little stake around, but I don’t plan to travel too far with him before that…If he can get a chance to run in a race like the Pegasus I think it would be something special.”
Unbridled Juan, another Stronach homebred, can stamp his Pegasus ticket with a good showing in the December 22 Queens County at Aqueduct. The six-year-old gelding has come on of late, notching his first stakes victory with a rallying triumph in the October 17 Grover Delp Memorial at Delaware Park. He earned his first win at nine furlongs when taking the November 10 Richard W. Small at Laurel Park.
“I think Unbridled Juan will be a tough horse in the (Pegasus),” Corrales said of the gray son of Unbridled’s Song. “I’m thinking about it. I think that horse, the more distance he gets the better he is. He’s doing really good. We’re going to run him in the race on the 22nd in New York and see what happens after that.”
Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate tops the expected Pegasus field. Grade 1 scorer Seeking the Soul; Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up Gunnevera; Preakness (G1) and Clark (G1) runner-up Bravazo; and Cigar Mile (G1) second True Timber are also confirmed.
Florida Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) third-placer Audible, who won the Cherokee Run on the Breeders’ Cup Saturday undercard after a six-month freshening, will prep for the Pegasus in Saturday’s Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream.
Patternrecognition, who would bring intriguing speed to the Pegasus following a third consecutive wire-to-wire tally in the Cigar Mile, remains under consideration for Chad Brown.
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The Equibase site maintains those records for both the current racing year as well as all time.