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Handicapping - Pedigree - History - Dosage

Pegasus World Cup - Handicapping Tips

Reposting Jan 23, 2024

This article was originally posted last year on January 15, 2023 prior to the 2023 Pegasus.

It is worth a re-read prior to handicapping this year's 2024 Pegasus.

The Pegasus World Cup is not a pedigree race, it is a Bias/Style race.

2023 followed as well with Art Collector, Defunded and Stilleto Boy up front for the trifecta.


The Pegasus has welcomed top notch Champions into its Winners Circle as well as its predecessor, the Donn Handicap. Even though the purses have been dropped substantially along the way, there is no loss of talent in the gates.

While this race does produce an overwhelming percentage of winners that hit the two ends of the spectrum, the Pegasus has truly turned into a style/bias race. It has switched its gears from the Donn Handicap days because speed is the name of the game at 9f now in this particular race.

THOSE WHO SETTLE IN THE 1st, 2nd or 3rd spot right out of the gate have dominated this race every single time. Those with displayed speed out front who can control their energy distribution with breeding that coincides with the Gulfstream bias has won this race every single time over the last 10 years.

2022 – Life is Good Gate to Wire

2021 – Knicks Go Gate to Wire

2020 - Mucho Gusto Stalked in 3rd

2019 - City of Light Stalked in 2nd

2018 - Gun Runner Stalked in 2nd

2017 – Arrogate Stalked in 3rd

2016 – Mshawish Stalked in 3rd

2015 – Constitution Gate to Wire

2014 – Lea Stalked in 2nd

2013 – Graydar Gate to Wire

While the gates will be filled with a group of very talented and gifted horses, the Gulfstream bias does just as must work as the horse and hands a great deal of advantage to the lead tier, 3rd and above.

Those who have shown quickness out the gate, a proven forward style and a chart that gives them perfect endurance in their breeding to keep their energy strong PAST 9f have the greatest advantage in this race year after year after year.

With the exception of Life is Good, all the other past 9 winners had readable 9.5f+ stamina in their numbers. All 10 were successful forward runners and all 10 thrived on speedy biases.


The past winners either already conquered a win at Gulfstream Park (Donn Handicap) or, most recently, (The Pegasus) they posted wins on the slick fast biases of the West Coast tracks. This is because those tracks coincide perfectly with or even exceed Gulfstream Park. Herein lies the easy evidence that they will translate perfectly in Florida, even exceeding those who won at Gulfstream before.

When handicapping the Pegasus, you cannot simply look at their last race and accept their beyers without marrying the tracks and their biases. Just as each horse has his own style of running, he will also have his own surface that he prefers to run on.

With seasoned horses, you must look at the body of work and note which tracks he has done his best running. If they are not Gulfstream Park, then note exactly where his best figures have come from. High beyers from Aqueduct will not have the same impact in this race than those coming from a slicker faster track like Santa Anita or DelMar.

Bias for Bias. If the seasoned horse has not exploded on a speedy track at this point in his career, he will not do it against a group of proven horses now. This is not a Derby Prep where there are unknowns, and you must rely on breeding in reference to biases. The evidence has already presented itself.

Search through each contender’s performances on that sheet and marry the tracks with reference to the Gulfstream bias. Those are the races that you must use when you pit each horse against the other.


2022 – Life is Good Won at DelMar and Santa Anita

2021 – Knicks Go Won at DelMar

2020 - Mucho Gusto Won at Los Alamitos, Santa Anita, DelMar

2019 - City of Light Won at DelMar and Santa Anita

2018 - Gun Runner Won at DelMar, Second at Parx

2017 – Arrogate Won at Santa Anita, DelMar


2016 – Mshawish Won at Gulfstream 4 times

2015 – Constitution Won at Gulfstream 3 times

2014 – Lea Won at Gulfstream 1 time

2013 – Graydar Won at Gulfsteam 2 times

Note the trend. Back in the day, when the race was known as the Donn Handicap, the winners ALL performed at Gulfstream Park successfully prior to the January race. When they upped the purse to 12 million for the Inaugural Pegasus, West Coast proven winners were shipped across the country to take advantage of that bias and take that prize money home. It made the expense of the trip worth it because they towered in advantage on that Gulfstream track.

The West Coast winners have dominated this race since they started making the trip in 2017. They train and win on even faster tracks than Gulfstream, giving them a much higher advantage than those who actually succeeded in Florida prior.

The Pegasus is a BIAS/STYLE race. A horse is 100% advantaged if:

  1. He has a proven lead or 2nd or 3rd stalking style.

  2. He has entered the winners circle(s) on a fast slick bias that coincides/exceeds with Gulfstream like Santa Anita, DelMar, Los Alamitos, Parx. Posted wins at Gulfstream track itself has not been more advantaged than those that won on the West Coast because those tracks are even faster, and they carry that heightened speedy experience with them.

  3. Of the three lead runners, the highest advantage has gone to the one who has proven to retain his energy distribution equally or better from the first call to the final call in previous (same bias) races.

  4. Breeding numbers portray a nice amount of (mare or chef) stamina. (Only 1 out of the 10 did not hit this particular advantaged point, Life is Good.)

It is very important to understand though, the top three tier runners WILL NOT necessarily comprise the Trifecta. In most all cases, if the lead was not equipped to take it wire to wire, he did not hit a spot on that tote board. That is when the 2nd or 3rd took over and won that race. We are looking at isolating the winner, then everything follows from there.

For 2023, the favorite is expected to be Cyberknife. While he most likely will be on the lead or at least stalking 2nd or 3rd, he has never raced and won on a very slick track. He came close, third at Parx in the Pennsylvania Derby, but not a win. This makes him very vulnerable for the outright win, and he will not be entering the gate holding the highest advantage.

This is not a “breeding race” – it is a bias and style race, so the past performance sheets take center stage.


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