Cyberknife (inside) winning the G1 Haskell by a head over Taiba July 23, 2022. (Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)
Cyberknife, Defunded, Proxy Still on Target for Jan. 28
David Joseph/Gulfstream Park
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Prominent Grade 1 stakes winners Gold Square LLC’s Cyberknife, Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Defunded and Godolphin LLC’s Proxy are prominent on the second invitation list released Wednesday for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
There are no changes from the first invitation list for the 7th running of the 1 1/8-mile stakes for older horses that will headline a program with seven graded-stakes, including the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for older horses, and the $500,000 Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares.
The names of all 12 horses on the first invitational list are included in the second invitation list.
Cyberknife, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-winning son of 2018 Pegasus World Cup champion Gun Runner, was one of the most successful 3-year-olds of the 2022 racing season, during which the Kentucky-bred colt won the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, and the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park. He most recently finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland, where he finished a head behind winner Cody’s Wish.
Cyberknife, who is scheduled to make his final career start in the Pegasus before embarking on a stallion career, is trained by Brad Cox, who saddled Knicks Go for a victory in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup prior to the 2021 Horse of the Year’s second-place finish last year behind Life Is Good.
Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who saddled Arrogate for a Pegasus World Cup triumph in 2017, trains Defunded, a 4-year-old gelded son of Dialed In, who closed out the 2022 season with victories in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita and Native Diver (G3) at Del Mar.
Proxy, a 5-year-old son of Tapit, earned Grade 1 credentials in his 2022 finale in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs. The Godolphin homebred is trained by Michael Stidham.
C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable LLC’s White Abarrio, Gary Barber’s Get Her Number, Bruce Lundsford’s Art Collector, Jet Set Racing Stable’s Super Corinto and Fernando Vine Ode’s O’Connor are other Grade 1 or Group 1 winners on the invitationallist for the Pegasus World Cup.
Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained White Abarrio has the distinction of being a Grade 1 winner at 1 1/8 miles over the main track at Gulfstream Park, having captured the $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) in April. The 4-year-old son of Race Day, who also won the Holy Bull (G3) at Gulfstream, most recently finished third in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, beaten just a half-length by winner Mind Control.
Peter Miller-trained Get Her Number, who captured the 2020 American Pharoah at Santa Anita, was Grade 1 stakes-placed twice in 2022, including a runner-up finish in the Cigar Mile, finishing a half-length ahead of White Abarrio.
Bill Mott-trained Art Collector, who captured the 2021 Woodward (G1) at Belmont, successfully defended his Charles Town Classic (G2) title this year.
Amador Sanchez-trained Super Corinto and Joseph-trained O’Connor were both Group 1 winners in Chile this year who have been victorious at Gulfstream.
Joseph is also represented on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list by Daniel Alonso’s Skippylongstocking, the third-place finisher in the 2022 Belmont Stakes (G1) who captured the Harlan’s Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream Dec. 31. The 4-year-old son of Exaggerator also claimed a graded-stakes victory in the West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer Park.
Steve Moger’s Stiletto Boy, a multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed son of Shackleford who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, made this year’s invitation list after winning the Californian (G2) this season for trainer Ed Moger Jr.
Tami Bobo’s Simplification is another on the Pegasus World Cup invitation list with experience at Gulfstream, having captured the 2022 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained son of Not This Time most recently finished third in the Harlan’s Holiday.
Willis Horton Racing LLC’s Last Samurai, who captured the Oaklawn Handicap (G2), represents Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on the Pegasus World Cup invitational list.
The number of reserve invitees was reduced from eight on the first invitation list to five on the second invitation list. The list (in alphabetical order): WSS Racing LLC’s Barber Road, the runner-up to Cyberknife in the Arkansas Derby (G1); Mark Breen’s Endorsed, who finished fourth in last year’s Pegasus World Cup; Dream Team One Racing Stable’s Hoist the Gold, who finished third in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita last time out; Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC’s Law Professor, who finished second behind Life Is Good in the Woodward (G1); and Cash Is King LLC and LC Racing LLC’s Ridin With Biden, who won the Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx.