top of page

Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

2024 Pegasus Day at Gulfstream

Short Analysis for:

Race 2, MSW - Race 12, World Cup Turf - Race 13, World Cup Dirt.



The final race for the filly Warm Heart before she visits with Justify for a quick one night stand in the Breeding Shed. She will be cutting back in distance to what may prove to be her sweet spot. The Dirty Horse Club stands firmly with any starter coming from Aiden O'Brien's barn, be it colt or filly, especially when Ryan Moore takes the trip as well. Hard to bet against that combo, so I won't.

Undefeated Integration gets Tyler back on top and now goes for his first Grade One win. The class falls a bit under Webslinger but the determination is ever present. Would need to use both Integration and Webslinger in superfecta wagers.

There is also something very intriguing about Frankie Dettori on Catnip at this distance. He was on a roll with 4 consecutive very nice performances, but then threw in quite a clunker in his last in the Arlington Million. No rhyme or reason for that other than possibly the track surface that day. If he can replicate the late burst he usually ends with, he has a shot at the board.



1st - National Treasure - While this guy is the "West Coast horse" who runs on the lead tier, if not the lead itself, his resume "appears" to leave plenty to be desired. Flashy beyers at the 8f at Santa Anita last out but his energy took a nose-dive even though he missed by a nose. Now he runs an 1/8th longer. Common sense would dictate that Baffert cuts him back on those early call figures, but look at what he did in the 12f Belmont on the lead! His early call figures were even faster!

The fact that he held that lead in the Belmont Stakes up to the 10f mark by a head suggests that he will still fly this time around and he does have that distance. Even if Hoist the Gold goes out to the front from his inside position, he may in fact keep National Treasure down to a much more rational pace which only aids in his quest.

Trying to be as fair and unbiased when it comes to a Baffert horse, in the 2 races prior to the Dirt Mile, the Awesome Again and the Travers, it does not appear that National Treasure is a fan of wet or sloppy or muddy tracks. In the race prior to those two, he was tasked to run those 12f, which again, in all fairness, the horse is simply not built for that distance at all.

If you take away those 3 "adverse" races, he won that Preakness and lost by a nose in the Dirt Mile. I see no shame in this but it does reflect bad on the printed sheets. It would appear to me that National Treasure, on this "clean" track at this distance, is set up for a huge break-out race.

Since there are quite a lot of contenders here with easy potential to hit that board depending on the pace, I see National Treasure as the sensible single for the Pegasus this year. This way more can be spread underneath.

2nd - First Mission - This hurts because when you have to go against the horse that you believe is the most talented but he's not sitting with the proper advantage, the sting is there. This is a very talented horse and he sits in the correct position with his style. He has the endurance to continue with any pace. But the fastest track that he has competed on was in his last at Churchill and he has never tackled a bias like Santa Anita or Gulfstream. In any other case, it seems a horse with his resume may be primed to explode on a track like this, but his breeding is not with that assumption.

What is standing out though are those 2 bullet works at Fairgrounds which could translate to the positive at Gulfstream. I do not think this gives him any additional advantage over National Treasure though. What he has is the endurance factor which keeps him competitive with the rest. Would still love to see him prevail for obvious reasons.

3rd and 4th - Senor Buscador - Rear runner who has seen success on the West Coast and could easily come flying at the end to grab his piece. The fact that this rear runner has successfully gained in position in all but one race out of ten on a variety of surfaces may show that in this race he will most likely do the same. Class and experience demands his name in a super bet.

3rd and 4th - Skippylongstocking - The big con with Skippy is that he excels in Grade 3 races, but falls very short when he takes a Grade 1 gate. The other negative is the post position which will make him work fairly hard in the early stages. He may get caught wide as well. He does love a very fast track and depending on his trip, would be just as competitive here as he has been in recent races. The race at Parx in the PA Derby does put up some red flags, but that was 16 months ago, surely time has erased his dismal performance on that conducive bias. Hopefully there is no repeat of that and he hits for a piece.


Hoist the Gold - The longer I worked on this article, I found myself edging this horse up from 5th to 4th to 3rd, to 2nd. I have come to the conclusion that my obsessive compulsion to always throw a longshot into the 2nd spot of a superfecta bet either makes me look like a genius or a complete fool! Therefore, I will spread Hoist the Gold from top to bottom in that superfecta, but with zero reliance.

What I see in his resume is a horse that has yet to be placed in a race that truly accentuates his build. Can he capitalize on that fact in a major Grade One race at a track that he has never competed on? Well, he sits in the correct post and strikes the right running style. That is the main hurdle for this race, but he also holds another major component and that stands with his breeding.

This horse was entered into the Breeder's Cup Sprint and while it was a bust, his beyers were still impressive. Hoist the Gold is NOT built to be running in sprinting races and his result in that race puts a stamp on that. He has competed in mostly 8f and under races repeatedly - hitting and missing along the way. His numbers and his chart simply do not coincide with his race placement and his resume appears a jumbled mess because of it.

Chefs: DP = 8-10-12-0-0 (30) DI = 4.00   CD = 0.87

Mare Profile = 9-2-3-7-9   Speed = 11   Stamina = 16   Index = 0.82   Triads = 14-12-19 (2nd gen Tapit)

Hoist the Gold is a 2nd generation A.P. Indy and TAPIT offspring. The further he goes in distance the better aligned he would be with his breeding. He has been running against the grain for quite awhile, but his speed has been shining through in spite of it. Tapit boys with forward speed love Gulfstream Park. I see this horse as a value play across the board from top to bottom.

He has 30 points in chefs profile. His stamina side is greater than his speed side. 9f should be much better suited for him than a 6f sprint.

If he can get his forward position and adheres to that breeding, he has a big shot here to do for Dallas Stewert what many of his longshots have done for him in the past. Just don't leave him on his own in any one spot because he is such a hit or miss type horse. (just like Skippy!)



Nice packed field for this coming out party in the 2nd race.

Based on his two consecutive back to back bullet works on the Gulfstream track coupled with another bullet in :35 and 3 at 3f on Dec 6th, it would appear that Victory Avenue has a good chance of getting up on that lead tier - that is, if he manages to break well out of Post 5.

The son of Arrogate is sitting with a chef line at DP = 4-16-6-0-0 (26) DI = 7.67   CD = 0.92. He certainly has the inherited speed to tackle the 7f easily, and his mares are more than enough to sustain that endurance.

He enters the ring against a half-brother to Fierceness, a son of City of Light, Big City. This guy will be ridden by Frankie Dettori and has one race under his belt - at the same distance. He came second to Born Noble, a speedy second generation Tapit Boy just 3 weeks ago.

Big City put in a very nice effort up front and sustained his speed well in the Dec 30th race. Both Big City and Victory Avenue are very nicely bred for the 7f race and offer great promise going forward should they find a way to exhibit what they are made of.

Speaking of Tapit, there are FIVE 1st and 2nd generation sons entered into this race and they always have a huge chance of showing off as first time starters at this track. On the field is Speak Easy, Batten Down, Rapid Grey, Iron Tap and Tapakena. There is a reason why trainers enter these offspring at Gulfstream for their maidens. These young Tapit boys excel here.

In some cases, their stamina is too overwhelming for such a short track. In other cases, they have extremely competitive speed on the Gulfstream bias which makes them complete stand-outs after the debut. These five guys will provide the "evidence" once they cross that finish line to see which way they lean, but not before. With Tapit involved, one can never gauge where the dominance is going to land until after that first performance.

For this reason, the argument could be made to simply sit back and watch this wide-open race as opposed to betting on it. The quality attributes, based on breeding alone, is too condensed - which makes it very difficult to differentiate one Tapit offspring over the over in a MSW at this distance. Throw in Big City and Victory Avenue's potential attributes and the advantages are simply too wildly spread across this field.

One thing is for sure, whichever one does in fact cross that wire first at the 7f mark will be a huge stand-out going forward.


bottom of page