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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2022 Pegasus World Cup Analysis


The Pegasus World Cup Invitational seems to be a match race between Knicks Go and Life is Good by the looks of their Past Performances and figures. Both horses have performed exceptionally well over the past year. Both have front running styles and both horses are unmatched as far as speed figures against the rest of the field. With the two favorites taking all the money this year, a handicapper must choose between one or the other and single him on top. Boxing the two favorites on top will not pay. Whichever you choose must be your call, so for this this particular analysis, it will be more about the pros and cons of each competitor, a bit of insight and alignment with breeding.


I feel very strongly about my top choice this year and feel he can’t be beat; however, I felt the same way about Essential Quality coming on top over Knicks Go in the 2021 Breeders Cup Classic so you must go with your gut in this race. Both Knicks Go and Life is Good are exceptional runners and you can’t go wrong with either. The payout will not be strong enough to box them so a stand must be taken.


With this assembled field, Flightline and Americanrevolution missed a wicked opportunity to be an easy part of the tote board this year. There would have been no comparison between all below Knicks Go and Life is Good, and the purses would have been at least a bit more spread out. There would have been some real competition on the track.


With such a small field and two dominating favorites, the superfecta does not appear to be such a profitable bet. This year, my main focus will a hefty bet on a TRIFECTA ticket which seems to me to be more in order for profit and a safer bet in case the bottom is simply filled with stragglers 10 lengths behind. The side bet will be the smaller superfecta ticket for me this year.


Listed in Order of Preference:


1st: KNICKS GO

DP = 3-6-11-0-0 (20) Index = 2.64 CD = .60

Mare Profile = 8-3-4-10-3 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.15 Triads = 15-17-17


Pros: Knick will be dropping down in distance on a track and a specific race that he has already mastered while coming in at less than 1 second off the track record set by Arrogate. His configurations and excessive stamina coupled with his displayed speed couldn’t get any better. With the over-exaggerated amount of stamina found in this guy's chart, he is comparable to the highly advantaged stamina horses (under 2.00) who have won this race over the years. Based on his chart, he has more inbred stamina than his sire Paynter as discussed in a previous article. Before his 10f win in the Classic, Knick posted 3 consecutive wire to wire wins traveling 9f on 3 separate biased tracks. His balance in configurations overwhelmingly wins the Pegasus/Donn Handicap. Since the stamina category is the most advantaged in this race for a win, Knicks Go has greater dominance in stamina even though he performs like an all-out speed horse. That combination of displayed speed coupled with even more stamina than his sire Paynter, who lost by a neck in the 12f Belmont, is a recipe for clear and easy success in this race. The probability of him gaining the lead is far greater than any on the list and even if pushed for a long period of time before settling, this guy has more than enough inbred stamina to continue way past the finish line. The rail is a very good spot at Gulfstream.

Cons: There is not one con when it comes to this horse for this race.

Outlook: I will be using the Longines Best Horse in the World on the very top of the Trifecta and Superfecta – SINGLED ON TOP.


LIFE IS GOOD

DP = 1-2-3-0-0 (6) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.67

Mare Profile = 8-7-4-8-6 Speed = 15 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.13 Triads = 19-19-18


Pros: This horse is fast on the lead and has done everything right so far. Son of Into Mischief with heavy inbred speed and a beautiful .67 CD. He has the normal heavily speed-driven set of mare's configurations and so far, he has run exceptionally true to his numbers throughout his career.

CONS: These are not winning configurations for this race historically. As discussed in the Pegasus History Article from last year, the least advantaged category for a win in this race is the speed category. Even though Life is Good is on the bottom end of the speed spectrum with his 3.00 index, when adding in all of the additional outside influences from his Prominent Non chefs, his speed side skyrockets (ANZ index is 4.33). There have been winners in this category, however, there is nothing on the outer edge that would tip in his favor against that higher index. With the other high indexed speed winners, there was Tapit Stamina (Constitution), or there were overloaded profile points (Arrogate - 40 and Graydar - 40) or there was a strong kinship with the Gulfstream track (Mshawish). The only colt to take this race with configurations like these was Captain Steve back in 2001 with nothing on the outskirts except that the horse had Baffert. For context, his half-brother Audible came in 5th place in this race with the same type of speedy configurations on the mares side. This horse will be adding distance and has never traveled 9f, although he can easily go this distance, but up against the Horse of the Year who won this race at his preferred distance makes LIG the underdog after all is said and done. These are board hit numbers. This is how I see it but that does not mean that a win is out of his reach. Again, this has to be the call of the handicapper.

Outlook: Looking for a payout as usual, I will spread this horse in the 2 and 3 spot on the TRIFECTA ticket based on his numbers and the profitability in the event of an upset for 2nd place just in case. Looking at Audible from 2019 and the other speedy winners of this race says that this Into Mischief colt does not have the proper configurations for the top of the ticket. I’ll take my shot with the cheap bet.


STILLETO BOY (Updated Again)

DP = 3-5-4-0-0 (12) DI = 5.00 CD = .92

Mare Profile = 7-4-3-3-12 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.70 Triads = 14-10-18


Pros: These are board-hit numbers for this race, (just like with LIG) but those mares stamina numbers underneath that 5.00 index are very well configured. The mares .70 index stands out very well underneath that 5.00 chef index. With this particular race, even though it is only 9f, stamina is the key. His mares outweight LIG. This is the correct distance for him, but he is definitely not as equipped performance-wise as the two favorites. Historically, that 5.00 is way too high for a win, but not too high to hit the board. The mares tilt to high stamina in those triads which does affect his inbred speed and as the history of this race reveals, is well situated for underneath. With the highest chef speed index on the field - at this distance on this bias - puts this guy in a very good spot. The track bias is in his favor over the rest of the field below the 2 favorites.

Cons: His class. Kent Desormeaux. --- **** Turns out, good old Kent went and got himself arrested today so Jose Ortiz will take the mount. This is definitely in Stilleto Boy's favor. Jose was aboard this guy before and drove him for the win in the Iowa Derby.

Outlook: Out of all of the contenders under Knick and LIG, this Shackleford Boy will be right at home on the Gulfstream track and has very well configured numbers for a board hit. He appears to be one of two who has a shot at capitalizing here in that "just in case scenario" against Life is Good. This is a major shot in the dark and strictly for a payout. I will use Stilleto Boy in the 2nd and 3rd spots with Life is Good. The major downside is the Kent Desormeaux factor, but it is such a cheap gamble on such a potential payout that the risk seems worth it. Appears to be no other way here. The key to a payout in this race is with a confident single on top with Knick and the roll of the dice that the distance on this particular track is perfectly suited for this Shackleford colt against a favorite who is adding distance from his last. There is no comparison between Life is Good and Stilleto Boy, of course, but he appears to be one who could have a shot on this field just in case LIG pulls an Audible with his breeding. He will be the go-to speed horse while Sir Winston will be the go-to Stamina Horse.


SIR WINSTON (Updated)

DP = 4-8-14-0-0 (26) DI = 2.71 CD = 0.62

Mare Profile = 7-4-3-14-2 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 1.00 Triads = 14-21-19


Pros: Very nice numbers with obvious stamina winning the 12f Belmont. These numbers work for this race. He likes to save ground which could be the best spot on the field if the two heavy hitters go at it for that lead spot.

Cons: There are many. His last 4 races, as good as he performed, were all run on AWS. That bias is a far cry from the Gulfstream track. His stamina works for this race, so basically, we have the speed bottom board hit potential with Stilleto Boy, Eight Rings and Endorsed, who all have enough stamina to sustain, or we have Sir Winston's stamina which is against the Gulfstream bias but works for the Pegasus. Sir Winston capitalizes if LIG and Knick run a suicidal pace, the speed guys capitalize on a more even pace with their styles. So a choice needs to be made on whether to go heavier on the speed side underneath or the stamina side. The horse was subjected to a long flight back and forth from Dubai and needed a long layoff but appears to have gotten his stride back. The fact remains with this guy though; he did conquer that 12f dirt in the Belmont and he may find that same familiarity quite pleasing in this race. The Pegasus/Donn Handicap caters to stamina and there is no better than Sir Winston in this field.

Outlook: With the single of Knicks Go on top, there is no need to choose between speed or stamina in the Second slot for an upset against Life is Good. The ticket is still cheap enough.


CHESS CHIEF

DP = 3-2-11-0-0 (16) DI = 1.91 CD = 0.50

Mare Profile = 6-8-5-8-6 Speed = 14 Stamina = 14 Index = 1.00 Triads = 19-21-19


Pros: The only “stamina-driven - Under 2.00" entry in this race. Dallas Stewart has a way of grabbing his piece in these bigger races. Being the only stamina guy on a field where two major powerhouse horses will find themselves on the lead, a shot with these numbers seems to be in order.

Cons: Even though his chefs index put him alone in the stamina category, Sir Winston' s mare's triads and speed/stamina balance overtake Chess Chief's 1.91 index. This gives him company in that category. His resume is not as substantial as Sir Winston's, however, at least his best performances were not on the AWS. This guy's resume is filled to the brim with 30 starts with a win here and there, completely haphazard, with zero consistency.

Outlook: Based strictly on that 1.91 index, there is no harm in giving him a nod for the super.


EIGHT RINGS - NOT RUNNING

DP = 7-6-5-0-2 (20) DI = 3.44 CD = 0.80

Mare Profile = 5-5-5-10-4 Speed = 10 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.87 Triads = 15-20-19


Pros: His speed figures are very commendable and his profile configurations both top and bottom are very good board-hit numbers. Of course, with Baffert as his trainer, one would be remiss if they didn’t have him in the line up somewhere. He can’t win, but he can hit the board, as this horse is very fond of doing. His profile isn’t half bad for this race, but he will not contest the lead which will leave him reserving energy til the bitter end.

Cons: He has nothing in comparison to Knicks Go and Life is Good and would have to hope for a speed dual miracle to surpass them. It won't happen. Seems to be a well suited speedy 3.44 colt for a 4th spot shot with the two stamina boys.

Outlook: Because of the stellar board-hit configurations and the Baffert Factor, I will use him in 4th spot. Baffert or no Baffert, adding him into the line-up is a stretch but some of the alternatives below him are far worse. Three colts for the 4th spot is plenty for this particular line up or he could be interchangeable with Endorsed.


ENDORSED

DP = 6-10-8-2-0 (26) DI = 3.33 CD = 0.77

Mare Profile = 12-4-1-5-7 Speed = 16 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.45 Triads = 17-10-13


Pros: He has a ton of inbred speed, especially from the mares. The Gulfstream track is very well suited for him, and he performed very well there in his last.

Cons: The entire mare profile does not work for top spots in this race. His last at Gulfstream was only 7f.

Outlook: Those vying for the bottom spot will all be staggering in far behind the leaders. May turn out to be a coin toss for 4th as all of these bottom stragglers are about even. Choice between Endorsed and Stilleto Boy as the speed to hit the tote board will remain with the latter.


EMPTY TOMB

DP = 5-6-11-0-0 (22) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.73

Mare Profile = 5-6-3-8-5 Speed = 11 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.90 Triads = 14-17-16


Pros: His numbers are just fine for the 9f and proved in his last at Aqueduct at the same distance that he could display some very nice speed out front... after 23 tries at it.

Cons: His front running style will have zero impact in this race.

Outlook: Just no.


TITLE READY

DP = 5-2-7-0-0 (14) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.86

Mare Profile = 10-4-6-6-6 Speed = 14 Stamina = 12 Index = 1.25 Triads = 20-16-18


Pros: His mares gave him a very high amount of inbred speed. The 10 points in the mare's brilliant spot is very high against the full profile. He should relish the bias at Gulfstream with that configuration. He also walks into the gate with the Dallas Stewart factor.

Cons: He will never sustain his speed going this distance with the likes of Knicks Go out on the lead.

Outlook: I will stick with the other Stewart colt for underneath. You can't use them all.


COMMANDEER

DP = 6-2-6-0-0 (14) DI = 3.67 CD = 1.00

Mare Profile = 7-4-1-10-6 Speed = 11 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.83 Triads = 12-15-17


Pros: None.

Cons: Alot.

Outlook: Why?


SUPER STOCK - NOT RUNNING

DP = 3-2-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.80

Mare Profile = 8-4-7-7-6 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 19-18-20


Pros: The configurations with the added Prominent non-chefs get an upgrade on the speed side and with those triads may actually work very well on the Gulfstream track. This is a very different type of bias which may be right in his preferred wheelhouse based on his breeding. We have no way of truly knowing for sure how he will react to it, but his breeding states he should. This may be the very type of track that this horse has been waiting for.

Cons: He could easily become a victim of his style trying to keep up with Knick and LIG.

Outlook: The bottom 4 colts on this list are all basically the same horse - Eight Rings, Endorsed, Title Ready and Super Stock are all built basically the same and each one has a shot at being one of the stragglers who is lucky enough to grab his minor piece. Eight Rings and Endorsed have a few extra plus points on their side between the foursome, so a stand must be taken.

 

Potential payout here is extremely dismal so a direct hit with the 4 players is so imperative for any type of profit. This race almost demands that you foresee the final order of finish and bet accordingly. The final cost for any single ticket should not exceed a $6.00 gamble per every $1.00 ticket. Basically, looking at a 6 to 1 ratio. The profitably in the event that Knicks Go and Life is Good hits first and second on that tote board will be extremely minor and the most likely scenario. The only way to give it a shot for a payout is to take your second choice between either Knick and LIG and hook him with one (or 2) others on the field, still keeping the gamble at the bare minimum. Taking the chance with both a speed guy and stamina guy gets you covered either way.


Trifecta Ticket: (updated)

Cost: $6.00 for every $1.00 Ticket - $60.00 for a $10.00 ticket

1st: Knicks Go

2nd: Life Is Good - Stilleto Boy - Sir Winston

3rd: Life is Good - Stilleto Boy - Sir Winston



Superfecta Ticket One: (Updated)

Cost: $6.00 for every $1.00 ticket - $30.00 for a $5.00 ticket

1st: Knicks Go

2nd: Life Is Good - Stilleto Boy - Sir Winston

3rd: Life is Good - Stilleto Boy - Sir Winston

4th: Life Is Good - Stilleto Boy - Sir Winston


OR


Superfecta Ticket Two (Updated)

Cost: $6.00 for every $1.00 ticket

1st: Knicks Go

2nd: Life Is Good

3rd: Sir Winston - Stilleto Boy - Chess Chief

4th: Sir Winston - Stilleto Boy - Chess Chief


Free PP's will be posted as soon as they are available with a possibility of another update on this analysis before the big day.


Just Announced!!!



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