Knicks Go wins $3 million Pegasus World Cup

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Heavy favorite Knicks Go sprung out of the gate and busted out a wire-to-wire win in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, earning himself an invite to the $20 million Saudi Cup in February. Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey finalist Joel Rosario was in the irons.

Knicks Go has been on fire since moving over to Brad Cox, a finalist for the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer. The Pegasus World Cup was his fourth-straight win after claiming the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in his last time out.

Owned by Korea Racing Authority, he is named not for the New York Knicks, but for the KRA’s genetics program.

Knicks Go paid $4.60 to win, $3.60 to place and $3.00 to show. Jesus’ Team crossed the wire second, paying $8.60 to place and $4.80 to show. Third-place finisher Independence Hall’s 25-1 odds paid $10.00 to show.

One race earlier, morning line favorite Colonel Liam surged down the homestretch to win the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) in his first-ever graded stakes. He paid $7.00 to win, $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show.

This is trainer Todd Pletcher’s first win in the race. Eclipse finalist Irad Ortiz Jr. was aboard. Ortiz Jr. won the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf with Bricks and Mortar.

The 4-year-old colt, owned by Robert E. and Lawana L. Low, earned an automatic entry into the $1 million Middle Distance Turf Handicap, an undercard race to the $20 million Saudi Cup.

Pletcher also fielded second-place finisher Largent, who paid $5.00 to place and $3.80 to show. Mike Maker’s Cross Border paid $6.40 to show after finishing third.

This is the second year in a row that the two Pegasus races have gone entirely medication-free, including Lasix, a commonly used anti-bleeding medication. The series is for horses aged 4 and older and is invitation-only.

Knicks Go, Colonel Liam lead 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series odds

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Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go is the early favorite at 5-2 for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 23 (NBC, 4:30-6 p.m. ET). He is trained by Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer finalist Brad Cox and will be ridden by Joel Rosario, a finalist for the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.

The 2019 Travers Stakes winner Code of Honor, who was most recently second in the Clark Stakes (G1), is on Knicks Go’s heels at 9-2. Danny Gargan’s Tax comes in at 5-1 after finishing 9th in the 2020 Pegasus World Cup. Trainer Dale Romans fields two horses in the dirt race: the 15-1 Coastal Defense and 30-1 longshot Mr Freeze, who finished second in last year’s edition.

Todd Pletcher’s Colonel Liam (7-2) leads the turf field. This will be his first graded stakes race after making his first start less than a year ago. Irad Ortiz Jr., another Eclipse finalist, has the ride.

Neither of last year’s winners (Mucho Gusto on the dirt and Zulu Alpha on the turf) will make a run at a title defense, with Mucho Gusto retired and Zulu Alpha out with an ongoing ankle injury.

The Pegasus World Cup runs 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, and the Pegasus World Cup Turf runs 1 3/16 miles on the turf.

Since 2020, the two races run entirely medication free, including Lasix, a commonly used anti-bleeding medication. This year, the winner of the Pegasus World Cup will receive automatic entry into the $20 million Saudi Cup. Both races are for horses aged 4 years and older and are invitation-only.

Related: How to watch 2021 Pegasus World Cup

$3 million Pegasus World Cup post positions and odds:

  1. Sleepy Eyes Todd (8-1),
    Trainer: Miguel Angel Silva
    Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  2. Coastal Defense (15-1)
    Trainer: Dale Romans
    Jockey: Corey Lanerie
  3. Independence Hall (20-1)
    Trainer: Mike McCarthy
    Jockey: Flavien Prat
  4. Knicks Go (5-2)
    Trainer: Brad Cox
    Jockey: Joel Rosario
  5. Jesus’ Team (8-1)
    Trainer: Jose Francisco D’Angelo
    Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  6. Kiss Today Goodbye (10-1)
    Trainer: Eric Kruljac
    Jockey: Mike Smith
  7. Tax (5-1)
    Trainer: Danny Gargan
    Jockey: Luis Saez
  8. Harpers First Ride (10-1)
    Trainer: Claudio Gonzalez
    Jockey: Angel Cruz
  9. Last Judgment (20-1)
    Trainer: Mike Maker
    Jockey: Paco Lopez
  10. Code of Honor (9-2)
    Trainer: Shug McGaughey
    Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  11. Mr Freeze (30-1)
    Trainer: Dale Romans
    Jockey: John Velazquez
  12. Math Wizard (20-1)
    Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
    Jockey: Edgard Zayas

$1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf post positions and odds:

  1. Next Shares (20-1)
    Trainer: Richard Baltas
    Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke
  2. Breaking the Rules (10-1)
    Trainer: Shug McGaughey
    Jockey: John Velazquez
  3. Storm the Court (12-1)
    Trainer: Peter Eurton
    Jockey: Julien Leparoux
  4. North Dakota (10-1)
    Trainer: Shug McGaughey
    Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  5. Colonel Liam (7-2)
    Trainer: Todd Pletcher
    Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  6. Largent (9-2)
    Trainer: Todd Pletcher
    Jockey: Paco Lopez
  7. Aquaphobia (20-1)
    Trainer: Mike Maker
    Jockey: Joe Bravo
  8. Anothertwistafate (5-1)
    Trainer: Peter Miller
    Jockey: Joel Rosario
  9. Cross Border (15-1)
    Trainer: Mike Maker
    Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
  10. Pixelate (15-1)
    Trainer: Michael Stidham
    Jockey: Edgard Zayas
  11. Say the Word (6-1)
    Trainer: Philip D’Amato
    Jockey: Flavien Prat
  12. Social Paranoia (8-1)
    Trainer: Todd Pletcher
    Jockey: Luis Saez

Watch the 2021 Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. 

How to watch Pegasus World Cup 2021: TV channel, live stream, start time

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The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series comes to Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 23 (NBC, 4:30-6 p.m. ET). Pegasus continues to lead the industry with its entirely medication-free format, and this year, the winner of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup will receive automatic entry into the $20 million Saudi Cup. Stream the Pegasus World Cup here.

The initial round of 12 invites and four also eligibles for the $3 million dirt race included last year’s winner Mucho Gusto, 2020 Malibu Stakes (G1) winner Charlatan and a number of past Kentucky Derby contenders. After connections decided to accept or decline their invitations, two additional horses were extended invites and two were bumped up from the also eligible list.

What is the Pegasus World Cup? 

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series is a pair of invite-only Grade 1 races held annually at Gulfstream Park since 2017 (originally only offering the dirt race before adding the turf division two years ago). The $3 million Pegasus World Cup runs 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf runs 1 3/16 miles on the turf.

Both races are for horses aged 4 years and older and are invitation-only. Since 2020, the two races are run entirely medication free, which included Lasix, a commonly used anti-bleeding medication.

When is the Pegasus World Cup?

The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series will take place on Saturday, January 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET.

Where is the Pegasus World Cup?

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series is held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Gulfstream Park is also home to several Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, including the Florida Derby (G1), the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Holy Bull (G2).

How can I watch the 2021 Pegasus World Cup?

NBC is home to the 2021 Pegasus World Cup, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, in the NBC Sports app and on NBCSports.com before, during and after the two headlining races. Stream the Pegasus World Cup here.

Who won the Pegasus World Cup last year in 2020? 

Last year, Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s favorite Mucho Gusto won the fourth edition of the Pegasus World Cup with Eclipse Award-winner jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. Mucho Gusto was invited back to the 2021 race but was later retired due to a soft tissue injury.

Mike Maker’s Zulu Alpha, jockeyed by Tyler Gaffalione, overtook Aidan O’Brien’s early favorite Magic Wand (IRE) to win the $1 million turf race. Zulu Alpha is currently out of action due to an ongoing ankle issue.

Watch the 2021 Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.