True Timber 'no slam dunk' for Pegasus World Cup, field shrinks

Photograph: Dubai Racing Membership

In spite of being relegated to the general spot at the also-eligible checklist, it appears more and more like Calumet Farm’s True Trees may sneak in to the beginning gate for the Grade 1, $Three million Pegasus International Cup on Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.

This is, if the connections are so vulnerable.

Teacher Kiaran McLaughlin stated Tuesday that it is “no slam dunk” whether or not True Trees, who used to be 7th in ultimate 12 months’s Pegasus, will compete within the 1 ?-mile contest although there are the wanted defections to attract in to the sphere.

“It’s taking a look like we may get in, and we’re pointing to that day, however no longer positive if we’ll run there,” stated McLaughlin, who cited the Fred Hooper (G3) going a mile at the Pegasus undercard as True Trees’s different possibility. “I’m first going to speak with Mr. Brad Kelley at Calumet Farm about what we wish to do after which we’ll decide.”

The Fred Hooper may additionally characteristic Mucho Gusto from the Bob Baffert barn. Mucho Gusto is first at the Pegasus’ also-eligible checklist, however Baffert stated from Santa Anita Park on Sunday that Mucho Gusto’s precedence is the Feb. 29 Saudi Cup, the inaugural $20 million race in Riyadh. If shipped east, it will be to run within the Fred Hooper as a prep.

A 6-year-old complete horse via Mineshaft, True Trees adopted ultimate 12 months’s Pegasus effort with an off-the-board end within the Godolphin Mile (G2) in Dubai. Despatched to the sidelines following that effort, True Trees resurfaced within the fall and has since run 3rd in 3 directly graded stakes. He took display dough in each the Kelso Handicap (G2) on Sept. 21 and the Daring Ruler (G3) a month later at Belmont Park, then got here again on Dec. 7 to complete in the back of Most Safety and Spun to Run within the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct.

True Trees has labored two times for the reason that Cigar Mile at Palm Meadows Coaching Heart, which incorporates a very simple half-mile in :50.75 on Saturday.

“He is had two excellent races this autumn and he’s coaching tremendous,” McLaughlin stated. “We simply hope issues stay going neatly.”

As issues stand, of the 12 horses with assured invites to compete within the Pegasus, Most Safety and McKinzie had been dominated out via their connections. Teacher John Sadler additionally stated he plans to run simply considered one of his invited horses, with Upper Energy possible and Present Field a Saudi Cup candidate. Then there may be Magic Wand, who connections are making plans to ship within the Pegasus Turf, no longer grime.

Moreover, instructor Saffie Joseph Jr considers Math Wizard not up to possible for the Pegasus — he is any other for the Saudi Cup — whilst also-eligible Bravazo used to be additionally got rid of from competition this week as neatly.

That leaves to compete, in alphabetical order, Upper Energy, Mr Freeze, Omaha Seaside, Roadster, In the hunt for the Soul, Spun to Run and Tax, with Math Wizard conceivable.

From the also-eligible checklist, Diamond Oops, and Warfare Tale will have to grow to be eligible, with True Trees additionally conceivable.

The Pegasus checklist, which began at 17 when invites have been introduced Sunday, may well be right down to an under-subscribed box, opening the query of whether or not different horses might be requested to compete. Probably the most notable snub used to be that of Bodexpress, a Grade 1-placed colt who is primarily based in south Florida and used to be running towards the Pegasus.

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