Pegasus World Cup 2020 odds, post positions announced

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Richard Mandella‘s 4-year-old Omaha Beach, with Mike Smith set to ride, opens as the 7-5 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. (See the rest of the dirt entries, odds and post positions below.)

Omaha Beach won the Arkansas Derby last year to gain entry into the Kentucky Derby, but was scratched due to an entrapped epiglottis. After recovering from surgery, he went on to win the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes in October, took second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November and closed out the year with a win in the G1 Malibu Stakes. This is expected to be his last race.

The dirt field also includes Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Spun to Run and Bob Baffert-trained Mucho Gusto, among others. Seeking the Soul and War Story, both 30-1 longshots, will be running in their third Pegasus World Cup.

What to know about the 2020 Pegasus World Cup

Coolmore’s Ireland-based Magic Wand is the early favorite for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf at 7-2. Aidan O’Brien‘s globe-trotting turf queen saw multiple G1 wins on several different continents last year, but she’ll be facing tough competition in Florida. Youngster Mo Forza will look to stay undefeated since breaking his maiden last August, and Chad Brown fields four horses on the turf: Arklow, Instilled Regard, Sacred Life and 4-1 England-based Without Parole. (See the rest of the turf entries, odds and post positions below.)

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series will take place on Saturday, January 25 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET. Watch live race coverage and analysis on NBC, NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

$3 million Pegasus World Cup post positions and odds:

  1. True Timber (20-1), trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, jockey Joe Bravo
  2. Tax (12-1), trainer Danny Gargan, jockey Jose Ortiz
  3. Diamond Oops (20-1), trainer Patrick Biancone, jockey Julien Leparoux
  4. Seeking the Soul (30-1), trainer Dallas Stewart, jockey John Velazquez
  5. Omaha Beach (7-5), trainer Richard Mandella, jockey Mike Smith
  6. Higher Power (6-1), trainer John Sadler, jockey Flavien Prat
  7. War Story (30-1), trainer Elizabeth Dobles, jockey Joel Rosario
  8. Mr Freeze (30-1), trainer Dale Romans, jockey Luis Saez
  9. Spun to Run (7-2), trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero, jockey Javier Castellano
  10. Mucho Gusto (9-2), trainer Bob Baffert, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
  11. Tenfold (30-1), trainer Steve Asmussen, jockey Tyler Gaffalione
  12. Bodexpress (30-1), trainer Gustavo Delgado, jockey Emisael Jaramillo

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

  1. Zulu Alpha (12-1), trainer Mike Maker, jockey Tyler Gaffalione
  2. Arklow (6-1), trainer Brad Cox, jockey Luis Saez
  3. Without Parole (GB) (4-1), trainer Chad Brown, jockey Frankie Dettori
  4. Sadler’s Joy (8-1), trainer Tom Albertrani, jockey Javier Castellano
  5. Channel Cat (10-1), trainer Todd Pletcher, jockey John Velazquez
  6. Instilled Regard (10-1), trainer Chad Brown, jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
  7. Admission Office (30-1), trainer Brian Lynch, jockey Flavien Prat
  8. Henley’s Joy (30-1), trainer Mike Maker, jockey Julien Leparoux
  9. Next Shares (30-1), trainer Richard Baltas, jockey Jose Valdivia Jr.
  10. Mo Forza (5-1), trainer Peter Miller, jockey Joel Rosario
  11. Sacred Life (FRA) (12-1), trainer Chad Brown, jockey Jose Ortiz
  12. Magic Wand (IRE) (7-2), trainer Aidan O’Brien, jockey Ryan Moore

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series is a series of two invite-only Grade 1 races held annually at Gulfstream Park since 2017 (originally only offering a dirt race before adding the turf division last year). The $3 million Pegasus World Cup runs 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf runs 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Both races are for horses aged 4 years and older and are invitation-only.

This year, the Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream Park and heads the Pegasus World Cup, announced major changes to the series. Both races will be run entirely medication free, as part of an industry-wide push for more safety and transparency in horse racing.

Additionally, all entry fees will be waived as purses drop. Entry fees for the Pegasus have peaked as high as $1 million in past years. The Pegasus World Cup’s purse was dropped from $9 million in 2019 to $3 million this year, and the Pegasus World Cup Turf also saw a $6 million purse decrease from $7 million to $1 million. The Stronach Group also announced that 2 percent of the purses will be donated to caring for retired Thoroughbreds ready to be retrained and rehomed.

Watch the Pegasus World Cup on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app on Saturday, January 25 from 4:30 p.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET.

Appeals court strikes down federal horseracing rules act

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NEW ORLEANS — Congress unconstitutionally gave too much power to a nonprofit authority it created in 2020 to develop and enforce horseracing rules, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Friday.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, or HISA, is “facially unconstitutional.”

The authority created by the act was meant to bring uniform policies and enforcement to horseracing amid doping scandals and racetrack horse deaths. But the 5th Circuit – in two rulings issued Friday – ruled in favor of opponents of the act in lawsuits brought by horseracing associations and state officials in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

The Federal Trade Commission has the ultimate authority to approve or reject HISA regulations, but it can’t modify them. And the authority can reject proposed modifications.

Three 5th Circuit judges agreed with opponents of the act – including the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and similar groups in multiple states – that the setup gave too much power to the nongovernmental authority and too little to the FTC.

“A cardinal constitutional principle is that federal power can be wielded only by the federal government. Private entities may do so only if they are subordinate to an agency,” Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan wrote for the panel that ruled in the Texas case.

The same panel, which also included judges Carolyn Dineen King and Kurt Engelhardt, cited the Texas ruling in a separate order in favor of horseracing interests and regulators challenging HISA in a different case.

The chair of the horseracing authority’s board of directors said it would ask for further court review. Friday’s ruling could be appealed to the full 5th Circuit court of the Supreme Court.

“If today’s ruling were to stand, it would not go into effect until January 10, 2023 at the earliest,” Charles Scheeler said in an email. “We are focused on continuing our critical work to protect the safety and integrity of Thoroughbred racing, including the launch of HISA’s Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program on January 1, 2023.”

The ruling was criticized by Marty Irby, executive director of the Animal Wellness Action organization. “Over the course of three Congresses, the most brilliant legal minds on Capitol Hill addressed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s constitutionality and ultimately decided that the Federal Trade Commission’s limited oversight was sufficient,” Irby said in an email.

Among the subjects covered by the authority’s rules and enforcement were jockey safety (including a national concussion protocol), the riding crop and how often riders can use it during a race, racetrack accreditation, and the reporting of training and veterinary records.

Animal rights groups, who supported the law, pointed to scandals in the industry involving medication and the treatment of horses.

Duncan wrote that in declaring HISA unconstitutional, “we do not question Congress’s judgment about problems in the horseracing industry. That political call falls outside our lane.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, hailed the ruling on Twitter, calling HISA a “federal takeover of Louisiana horse racing.”

Fractional interest in Flightline sells for $4.6 million

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Keeneland says a 2.5% fractional interest in Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Flightline has sold for $4.6 million during a special auction before the start of its November Breeding Stock Sale.

Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz signed the ticket for an undisclosed client, the track announced in a release. The sale comes a day after ownership of the 4-year-old son of Tapit retired the unbeaten colt following his record 8\-length victory in Saturday’s $6 million, Grade 1 Classic at Keeneland. Flightline likely locked up Horse of the Year honors with his fourth Grade 1 victory in six starts by a combined victory margin of 71 lengths – dominance that has drawn comparisons to legendary Triple Crown champion Secretariat.

Flightline will begin his breeding career next year at Lane’s End Farms in Versailles, Kentucky, but a stud fee has yet to be determined. West Point Thoroughbreds, part of the bay colt’s ownership, offered the fractional interest. Seitz said the buyer wanted to “make a big splash” and get more involved in the business.

“With a special horse like (Flightline) all you can do is get involved and then just hope for the best,” Seitz said in the release.

“There has never been a horse that has done what he has done for however many years, back to Secretariat. You just have to pay up and get involved, and this is kind of what he’s thinking.”