Gold Square LLC’s MGISW Cyberknife (Gun Runner), last seen finishing a narrow second to Cody’s Wish (Curlin) in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, is scheduled to make the final start of his racing career Saturday at Gulfstream Park as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational.
The Pegasus World Cup will headline a 13-race program also featuring the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, the GIII TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and four other graded-stakes races totaling $5.3 million in purses.
Following a similar pattern as his sire, Cyberknife–who drew Post 10 in the 12-horse field–will be retired after the race to begin stallion duty at Spendthrift Farm.
Cyberknife’s trainer Brad Cox, who was victorious in the 2021 GI Pegasus World Cup with Knicks Go (Paynter), finished second behind WinStar’s Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in last year’s renewal.
“It’s really amazing he’s been able to stay as good as he has physically and mentally,” said Cox. “He’s improved a tremendous amount mentally over the last six, seven, eight months. Physically he looks amazing. He’s given us all the signs – and maybe even more so now, working better than he ever has leading up to this. He is older. He’s stronger than he was throughout his 3-year-old season. And he’s going to need to be.”
Florent Geroux, who rode Gun Runner in his own Pegasus World Cup victory, is named to ride Cyberknife.
Godolphin LLC’s Proxy (Tapit), rated second on the morning line at 9-2, enters the Pegasus World Cup off his first career Grade I victory in the GI Clark S. Nov. 25 at Churchill Downs.
“Certainly, I feel like the Pegasus is going to come up tougher overall, a tougher race, so we have to pick our game up from the Clark,” said trainer Michael Stidham. “I don’t think we can run the same race we ran in the Clark and expect to win. I think we need to do a little bit better, and I’m hoping my horse will move forward from the Clark. That’s what we need to see.”
Joel Rosario, who rode Knicks Go for his 2021 Pegasus World Cup score, has the call on Proxy from the rail.
Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., who leads all trainers with victories during the current meet at Gulfstream, is represented in the field by three horses: Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking (Exaggerator) (5-1; Post Seven), C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio (Race Day) (10-1; Post Four), and Fernando Vine Ode and Michael and Jules Iavarone’s O’Connor (Chi) (Boboman) (10; Post 12). Jose Ortiz has the call on Skippylongstocking, while Tyler Gaffalione and Javier Castellano are named to ride White Abarrio and O’Connor, respectively.
Trainer Bob Baffert will send Michael Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Defunded (Dialed In) (6-1; Post Five) to the Gulfstream Park track Saturday in search of his third success in the Pegasus World Cup after being victorious with Arrogate in 2017 and Much Gusto in 2020.
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas has made a late change in jockeys for Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Last Samurai (Malibu Moon) (20-1; Post Nine), who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Bruce Lundsford’s Art Collector (Bernardini) (10-1; Post Six) will be ridden by Junior Alvarado, who celebrated his 2000th career victory Saturday at Gulfstream.
Completing the field are Gary Barber’s Get Her Number (Dialed In) (15-1; Post Eight), Tami Bobo and Tristan de Meric’s Simplification (Not This Time) (15-1; Post Two), Steve Moger’s Stilleto Boy (Shackleford) (30-1; Post 11), and Cash is King LLC and LC Racing LLC’s Ridin With Biden (Constitution) (20-1; Post Three), who drew into the 12-horse field Sunday upon the defection of Super Corinto (Super Saver).
Dream Team One Racing’s Hoist the Gold (Mineshaft) and Mark Breen’s Endorsed (Medaglia d’Oro) are also eligible in the listed order.