Joseph-Trained Invitees Breeze for Pegasus WC 

January 13, 2024

O’Connor breezes at Palm Meadows. (Ryan Thompson)

+ Skippylongstocking, O’Connor, Ny Traffic Work at Palm Meadows
+ First Mission Produces ‘Bullet’ Workout at Fair Grounds
+ Pletcher-Trained Pegasus Invitees Breeze at Palm Meadows

David Joseph/Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking and Michael and Julia Iavarone and Fernando Vine Ode’s O’Connor, multiple graded-stakes winners trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., breezed at Gulfstream Park Saturday morning in preparation for scheduled starts in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 27.

Skippylongstocking and O’Connor were joined on the worktab at Gulfstream Park’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach Country by John Fanelli and partners’ Ny Traffic, a Grade 1-placed stakes winner who is on the reserve invitational list for the Pegasus World Cup.

Skippylongstocking produced a ‘bullet’ after breezing five furlongs in 1:00.25 ahead of his first start since finishing third in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita.

The 5-year-old son of Exaggerator won the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) prior to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

O’Connor, who is coming off back-to-back graded-stakes victories in the Fayette (G2) at Keeneland and Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream, breezed a half-mile in 50.35 seconds.

The 7-year-old son of Boboman, who was a multiple Group winner in Chile, made a courageous drive along the rail to capture the 1 1/16-mile Harlan’s Holiday

Joseph said his Pegasus invitees, Skippylongstocking and O’Connor, have given him reason to expect them to improve on seventh- and 11th-place finishes, respectively, in last year’s running.

“They’re both doing well. They’ve both have become more consistent. O’Connor has rattled off two wins and overcame adversity, so you like to see that,” Joseph said. “Skippy used to be a horse that gave you one good one and one bad one, but he’s been consistent the last four races.”

Ny Traffic winning an AOC at Belmont Park on Sept.15, 2023. (Adam Coglianese)
Ny Traffic handily winning an AOC at Belmont Park on Sept.15, 2023. (Adam Coglianese)

Ny Traffic, who finished third behind O’Connor in the Harlan’s Holiday, breezed three furlongs in 36.45 seconds.

“From a training standpoint, he’s been training as well as when he was 3 and 4,” Joseph said. “If you look at his numbers he’s running as fast as he was when he was 3 and 4.”

Ny Traffic, now 7, finished second in the Haskell (G1) and third in the Risen Star (G2) during his 3-year-old season.

At Fair Grounds, Godolphin LLC’s First Mission breezed five furlongs in a minute-flat to produce his second straight ‘bullet’ workout in preparation for the Pegasus World Cup. The Brad Cox trainee, who won the Lexington at Keeneland last year, was nosed by Pegasus Invitee Trademark in the Nov. 24 Clark (G2) at Churchill Downs.

At Palm Beach Downs, Repole Stable, Phipps Stable and St. Elias Stable’s Dynamic One and Pro Thoroughbred Enterprises LLC’s Grand Aspen, who are on the invitational list for the Pegasus, breezed for the Pegasus World Cup.

“We worked pretty much everything. I thought overall it was a good morning. We had some good works,” Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher said. “Everybody seemed to have done what we hoped, so right now we’re right on schedule.”

Dynamic One, who captured the Suburban (G2) at Belmont, breeze five furlongs in 59.31 seconds. Grand Aspen, who was defeated by O’Connor by a neck in the Harlan’s Holiday, breezed a half-mile in 48.40.

St. Elias Stable’s Crupi, a Pegasus World Cup reserve invitee, also breezed Saturday morning.

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