The names have been drawn and Gun Runner will crack from the 10th gate in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. The soon-to-be 2017 Horse of the Year is getting 4/5 odds overall and is not getting much pressure from his rivals on the board. That’s all fair. He’s the best racehorse in the world.
Sharp Azteca is being graded as Gun Runner’s biggest threat with 6/1 odds but this seems like a big stretch for the miler. This Storm Cat descendent only tested a distance greater than a mile once last season, and finished first in the Monmouth Handicap, a Grade-III race. I’m just not convinced that he’s worth a play with such a steep price.
Collected is a co-third choice in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup after finishing second in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, bettors should be reminded that he also finished 3rd the day after Christmas in the San Antonio Stakes. His win in the 2017 Pacific Classic notwithstanding, Collected doesn’t stand on the firmest ground overall.
If you’re not going to bet on Gun Runner, then the next best horse might be West Coast, one of Bob Baffert’s most prized trainees. This four-year-old colt came 3rd in the Classic fresh off of wins in the 2017 Travers Stakes and Penn Derby. He’s a bullet, and the hope here is that we see a more mature and developed runner in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. There’s just so much potential here, and while Gun Runner deserves your backing, West Coast is by far the biggest flier play to bank on.
The remainder of the field is serving as longshots despite some big names. Gunnevera is a thrilling speedster but getting 15/1 odds. The well regarded Stellar Wind will try to beat the boys as a 30/1 longshot after a disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff last year. War Story will take another crack at 25/1. There are simply a lot of names here that you’ll know.
But the two to keep an eye on at the 2018 Pegasus World Cup are West Coast and Gun Runner. I love both of them in standalone win bets, or an exacta box. This is going to be fantastic racing. Don’t miss it.
2018 Pegasus World Cup – Saturday, January 27th at Gulfstream Park
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