Pegasus Program Draws Star-Studded Nominations
Friday, January 19, 2024

    HALLANDALE BEACH - The $3 million, Gr. I Pegasus World Cup Invitational, $1 million, Gr. I Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and $500,000, Gr. II Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf will be supported on Gulfstream Park’s Jan. 27 star-studded program by four other graded stakes that have attracted the nominations of many prominent stakes performers from prominent North American stables.

    The $200,000, Gr. II Inside Information presented by Don Julio Tequila, drew 23 nominations on a list of older fillies and mares topped by Dr. Rodney Lundock’s Maryquitecontrary, the seven-furlong stakes’ defending champion. The late-running 5-year-old daughter of First Dude is coming off an impressive victory in the Dec. 30 Rampart at Gulfstream in her first start for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.

    Last year, Maryquitecontrary captured the Rampart before winning the Inside Information and finishing a close-up third in the Gr. I Madison at Keeneland. Vegso Racing Stable’s Imonra and Sheri Greenberg Racing and Staghawk Stables’ Unifying, who finished second and third, respectively, in the Rampart, are also on the Inside Information noms list.

    Southern California-based Phil D’Amato is represented on the Inside Information noms list by Michael Dubb and Michael Caruso’s Hot Peppers, who is coming off a second-place finish in the Jan. 1, Gr. III Las Flores at Santa Anita. The Florida-bred 5-year-old daughter of Khozan launched her career by winning three of four starts at Gulfstream.

    Pamela Ziebarth’s Sweet Azteca, a late-developing 4-year-old daughter of Sharp Azteca, has been nominated to the Inside Information after finishing third, 1 ¼ lengths behind runner-up Hot Peppers, in the Las Flores in only her second career start. Trainer Michael McCarthy saddled City of Light for a victory in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup.

    The $150,000, Gr. III Fred W. Hooper presented by Whispering Angel, a mile stakes for older horses, received 29 nominations, including Albaugh Family Stables’ Cyclone Mischief, who finished third behind Forte and Mage in last year’s $1 million, Gr. I Curlin Florida Derby. The Dale Romans-trained son of Into Mischief is coming off a fourth-place finish in a Nov. 26 allowance at Churchill Downs in his first start since finishing off the board in the Kentucky Derby. Romans is also represented on the noms list for the 37th running of the Hooper by Albaugh Family Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Giant Game, who won the Cornhusker last year.

    Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has nominated Zedan Racing Stables Inc.’s Hejazi, who is coming off a second-place finish in the Dec. 26, Gr. I Malibu at Santa Anita, and SF Racing and partners’ Fort Bragg, who captured the Gr. III Dwyer at Belmont following a fifth-place finish in the Florida Derby last year.

    The $200,000 William L. McKnight, a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older horses, drew 34 nominations on a talent-deep list topped by Red Rafa Stud Inc’s Planetario, a Brazilian import who most recently captured the Nov. 24, Gr. II Hollywood Turf Cup at Del Mar. Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella also saddled the 6-year-old campaigner for a victory in the Gr. III San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita.

    Trainer Chad Brown is represented on the McKnight noms list by three horses, including Peter Brant’s Francesco Clemente, an Irish-bred son of Dubawi who was beaten by just a neck by the Mandella trainee in the Hollywood Turf Cup. Brown’s other nominees are Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Wonder Stables, Michael Kisber and Michael Caruso’s Rockemperor, a Gr. II stakes-winner, and Westberg, Peter Brant, Mrs. John Magnier, Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor’s Stone Age.

    Harrell Ventures’ Main Event, who is coming off a victory in the Gr. II Fort Lauderdale at Gulfstream, is nominated to the McKnight, but is also on the invitation list for the Pegasus World Cup Turf. Michael Hui and Phil Forte’s Value Engineering, who finished second in the McKnight last season before winning the Gr. II Mac Diarmida, is one of Michael Maker-trained horses nominated to the McKnight.

    The $150,000, Gr. III La Prevoyante, a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares, drew 17 nominations, led by Team Valor International’s Romagna Mia, a 5-year-old British-bred daughter of Mastercraftsman. The Graham Motion trainee is coming off a seven-length romp in the Dec. 26 Via Borghese at Gulfstream that following a three-length score in the Gr. III Dowager at Keeneland.

    Motion-trained Sister Otoole, who is owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, has also been nominated to the La Prevoyante following a third-place finish in the Gr. III Red Carpet at Del Mar. The 7-year-old daughter of Pleasant Acres' Amira's Prince, who was bred by Joe and Helen Barbazon, sports a record of 4-5-6 in 23 starts and earnings of $431,470.

    Averill Racing and Two Eight Racing’s R Calli Kim is prominent on the La Prevoyante noms list after winning her four most recent starts for trainer Brendan Walsh, including an impressive 2 ½-length victory in the Gr. III Long Island at Aqueduct last time out.

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