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Get to know the top invitees to the 2024 Pegasus World Cup Invitational

| January 23, 2024

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational stands as a pinnacle of thoroughbred horse racing, drawing the finest equine athletes from across the globe. As we approach the 2024 race, anticipation mounts for what promises to be an exhilarating showdown.

In this year’s lineup, we find a blend of seasoned champions and rising stars, each bringing their unique stories of triumph and perseverance to the track at Gulfstream Park.

First Mission

Trained by the esteemed Brad H. Cox, First Mission has emerged as one of the top picks for 2024 Pegasus World Cup and a remarkable figure in horse racing. Despite having only a handful of races in his career, this thoroughbred has displayed an extraordinary blend of talent and determination, capturing the attention and admiration of the racing community.

His recent nail-biting finish at Churchill Downs’ Clark (G2), narrowly missing victory, showcased his formidable spirit. But even more impressive is how he bounced back from a setback. 

First Mission had to miss a big race, the 2023 Preakness (G1), because of a slight problem with his ankle. But after taking six months off to get better, he returned and won a race at Keeneland, proving to everyone that he’s strong and has a lot of heart.

All eyes will be on First Mission as he makes his highly anticipated appearance at the Pegasus World Cup.

Pegasus World Cup Invitational

Saudi Crown

Another gem from Brad H. Cox’s stable is the 4-year-old colt, Saudi Crown. Born of the 2017 Kentucky Derby champion Always Dreaming, Saudi Crown is a legacy in his own right. As the first graded winner sired by Always Dreaming, he carries the mantle of his lineage with pride. His dam, from the esteemed Tapit mare New Narration, further embellishes his pedigree. 

Moreover, Saudi Crown’s journey through the 2023 racing season stamped him as a contender to watch, and his participation in the Pegasus World Cup marks a significant milestone in his burgeoning career.

As Saudi Crown prepares for the Pegasus World Cup, the expectations are high, not just because of his illustrious parentage but also due to his achievements and potential. His presence in the race adds a rich narrative, intertwining the legacy of past champions with the promise of new ones. 

National Treasure

National Treasure, trained by the legendary Bob Baffert, enters the Pegasus World Cup with a reputation as formidable as his name suggests. His crowning achievement, a thrilling victory at the Preakness, solidified his status among the elite. 

The colt’s performances throughout the 2023 season further cemented his status as a premier racehorse. His consistently strong showings, culminating in an impressive runner-up finish in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, highlighted his consistency and endurance. These qualities are crucial in a sport where every race presents a new set of challenges and competitors.

As he gears up for the Pegasus World Cup, National Treasure carries not only the hopes of his team but also the expectations of racing fans who have followed his journey. His story is one of triumph and excellence, and his participation in this prestigious race is a testament to his remarkable abilities.

Skippylongstocking 

The previous Pegasus World Cup was a learning curve for Skippylongstocking, where he finished seventh place. While this would have been a setback for many, for Skippylongstocking and his team, it served as a valuable experience and a catalyst for growth. This finish has seemingly fueled a fiery determination in the horse and his team, setting the stage for what could be a dramatic and inspiring comeback.

Trainer Saffie A. Joseph Jr.’s confidence in Skippylongstocking’s improved performance is not just optimism; it’s rooted in tangible progress and the horse’s evident resilience. This belief in Skippylongstocking’s potential adds a compelling layer to his story, painting him as a dark horse capable of surprising the field and overturning expectations.

O’Connor 

Another horse in Saffie A. Joseph Jr.’s stable, O’Connor, has carved out a distinguished path in his 6-year-old season. His recent conquest in the G3 Harlan’s Holiday S. and a head-turning victory at the G1 Hagyard Fayette S. at Keeneland signal his readiness for the Pegasus World Cup. 

What distinguishes O’Connor is his ability to maintain a high level of performance across various tracks and conditions. His achievements in graded-stakes races along the East Coast reflect a versatility and adaptability that are hallmarks of a great racehorse. 

Whether it’s the track at Keeneland or elsewhere, O’Connor has shown he can rise to the occasion, adapting his racing style to meet the challenges of each course and competitor.

Heading into the Pegasus World Cup, O’Connor’s track record makes him a horse to watch closely. His consistent top-tier performances have earned him accolades and positioned him as a potential favorite for the prestigious event. 

Conclusion

The stories of First Mission, Saudi Crown, National Treasure, Skippylongstocking, and O’Connor are more than narratives of speed and strength; they are tales of resilience, heritage, and the relentless pursuit of greatness. As these top contenders prepare to grace the tracks at Gulfstream Park, they remind us of the sport’s thrilling unpredictability and sheer beauty.

Category: Racing

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