Pegasus World Cup 2024 Picks

National Treasure (inside) wins 2023 Preakness (Photo: Maryland Jockey Club)

By Jarrod Horak

The Pegasus World Cup will be run at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 27, 2024, and the Grade 1 event for 4-year-olds and up has a $3 million purse. A full field of entrants will be traveling 1 1/8 miles on the main track, and the Pegasus World Cup is the final event on a 13-race program. Gulfstream Park’s Complete Digest for Jan. 27 is available now.

Pegasus World Cup 2024 Fractional Charting 

The Fractional Charting is a projection of today’s race using a representative line from each horse’s past performances. The Today’s Racing Digest handicappers identify the most representative past performance line for each horse and project how each horse will do in today’s race if they were to repeat a similar performance. Pegasus World Cup Fractional Charting:

Pegasus World Cup 2024 Angles

The horse with the highest Today’s Racing Digest Final Time Rating for the past 6 starts has won this race 4 out of 7 times, and was part of the exacta 6 out of 7 times. Hoist the Gold earned a 156 Final Rating in the Cigar Mile, but that one-turn mile was run over a speed favoring muddy surface. Nimitz Class got a 155 in the Parx Dirt Mile in the slop. Trademark and First Mission both got 153 Final Ratings when separated by a nose in the Clark Stakes, and the latter is the most lightly raced runner in this field. Skippylongstocking garnered a 153 in the Grade 3 Challenger last year. National Treasure’s 152 in the BC Dirt Mile stacks up well. 

Bob Baffert has saddled the winner of the Pegasus World Cup twice (Arrogate, Mucho Gusto). He has Preakness 2023 hero National Treasure this year. 

Irad Ortiz Jr. booted home Mucho Gusto in 2020 and Life Is Good in 2022. He rides Dynamic One for Todd Pletcher this year. 

Pegasus World Cup Picks & Today’s Racing Digest Final Time Ratings

O’Connor finished 11th of 12 in this event last year, and he got good after that. He hit the board in the Ghostzapper (G3), West Virginia Governor’s (G3), and Charles Town Classic (G2), and exits back-to-back wins in the Grade 2 Fayette and Grade 3 Harlan’s Holiday. The patient runner has had success at this course and distance. 

Senor Buscador won the Grade 2 San Diego last year, and placed in the Awesome Again (G1) and Cigar Mile (G2). He caught a speed favoring wet track at Aqueduct last time and ran on nicely in a clear runner-up finish. He can get involved late if the pace is honest. 

National Treasure is 2-for-10 overall and he made the lead in both wins. Bob Baffert’s colt stole the Preakness (G1) as my top choice last spring. He disappointed in the Belmont (G1), Travers (G1), and Awesome Again (G1), and set the pace and missed by a nose in the G1 BC Dirt Mile last out. He might get brave if he takes command early but Cigar Mile hero Hoist the Gold might also be intent on the early lead under John Velazquez. 

First Mission seems to have the most positives in this event. He fired exacta shots in all five starts and still has upside. Brad Cox’s Street Sense colt looked good catching next-out stakes winner Arabian Lion as my top choice in the Grade 3 Lexington last spring. After entering the Preakness and scratching due to injury, he was shelved for half a year. He returned with a nice optional-claiming win over next-out winner Commandperformance on Oct. 14, and he made the running in the Grade 2 Clark and missed by a nose while finishing more than five lengths clear of the rest. He sports a pair of Fair Grounds bullets for this, and he might sit the right tactical trip.

Jarrod’s Pegasus World Cup Wagers

#8 to win

Exacta 7-8/2-6

Trifecta 8/all/2-6