Pegasus World Cup Day Recap & Scores! – Super Screener
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Pegasus World Cup Day Recap & Scores!

Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Smarty Jones

It was opening day at Oaklawn Park on Friday and leading up to the Smarty Jones Stakes (a Kentucky Derby points race) it was clear that horses coming from off the pace or pressing were in favor… until the Smarty Jones.

The Super Screener lone “A” horse, Caddo River, humiliated this field with a dominant victory going against the presser/off-the-pace trend, wiring this field and then drawing away by over 10 lengths while on cruise control. The co-favorite Cowan finished second and it was over 7 lengths back to the next runner, Big Thorn.

Here’s what the Super Screener had to say about Caddo River prior to the race:

#7 Caddo River (5-2) This Brad Cox-trained colt owns dominant pace capacity among these. With these, he’ll be able to throttle way back reserving all kinds of energy for the final furlong of this race. In addition, he moved forward when going from a sprint to a route and form cycle analysis indicates that he’ll progress again here as he tries 2 turns for the first time. Doubt you’ll get 5-2 odds… more like even money. Plays the role of a solid single in your horizontal wagers.

Here’s how his race looks once track variants and pace were taken into account:

Note how Caddo River laid out 92+ BRIS Pace/Speed Rating figures throughout in the Smarty Jones. That is a harbinger of better things to come. It signals that he’ll be able to take on more ground with aplomb. In addition, it signals that he does not need the lead to win and will more likely take up the role of a presser in his subsequent races. Lastly, note how he moved forward again in his form cycle. His next race will be his 2nd off the layoff and you can fully expect another incremental move forward. That’s the key… he is improving in reasonable increments rather than in big jumps…that is the way you want to see these 3 year-olds develop. We are coming up a little light on the 3 yr-old crop so far this year but this one has the look of one of the good ones.

La Prevoyante (G3)

On Saturday, it was all about the Pegusus card and we got off to a good start as a Top Win Contender, Always Shopping, won as the odds-on favorite and a “use under” horse, Delta’s Kingdom, finished 2nd.  But it was our Top Win and Top Long Shot pick, Iron of Reality, who saved the Trifecta by finishing 3rd at monster odds of 50-1 to trigger our suggested Trifecta wager to click for $233.

Here’s what we said about this huge long shot prior to the race (also featured in our Facebook webcast): 

Take special note of the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick #3 Irony of Reality.  While this mare has not traveled this kind of distance before, she is bred to handle it just fine but an even stronger indicator of potential is just how balanced she lays out energy in her races. Her race two back on this turf course is better than it looks on paper. She is a must use in this race at a huge, huge price.  

She went from last to 3rd circling the field with a menacing mid-race move and fulfilled on the insight captured above that the balanced way she lays out energy and the hidden form in that race two back would lead to a great outcome here at 50-1.

Inside Information (G3)

It had been a very long time since the Super Screener Top Value and Top Board Hitter pick, Pacific Gale, had won a race, but she finally broke through for her patient trainer, John Kimmel, and she did so in a big way sitting off the swift and pressured pace and swept by our top pick, Thisismytime, to capture the win at extraordinary odds of 16-1 to kick off the Pick 4.

Pre-race this is how the Super Screener surmised her chances:

#6 Pacific Gale (6-1) — This is the most reliable board hitter in the race and she offers great value. She needed that break after the long campaign. She’ll sit an ideal pressing trip on the outside and she will find this pace to be very much to her liking while meeting easier. She hasn’t won in over two years but she is always around the money. So use her with confidence, “under”. 

Our Top Long Shot pick, Piedi Bianchi, closed to finish 3rd at odds of 10-1. As some of you did, boxing the top 3 Super Screener choices in a $1 Trifecta returned $608.

W.L. McKnight (G3)

The Super Screener came right back in this race with the Top Win and Top Value play, Tide of the Sea, taking the field wire to wire through the 12-furlong journey. It was an impressive win for the Mike Maker charge.   

#7 Tide of the Sea (10-1) — Trainer Mike Maker targets this race and he has won 3 of the last 4 renewals.  This lightly raced 5 yr-old gives him his best shot for another victory. There is no question about his ability to excel at this distance. From his first start through that lifetime top established in that October race at Keeneland, he has steadily progressed in his form cycle with each and every race. He was pointed to this race last fall and Maker wisely rested him off that top. He came back in the very salty G2 Ft Lauderdale but he fell back on his back legs coming out of the gate and then had to be wrestled back from a closing hole as he was seeking early position resulting in running last for the most of the race. He ran on late finishing within a couple lengths of #1 Doswell. Moves forward in a big way 2nd off the layoff and, with a clean start, turns the tables on #1 Doswell. Very strong win contender.

Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1)

Todd Pletcher’s charges all prepped at GP prior this race and boy did that pay off as his trio took 1st, 2nd and 4th. The pace was projected to be moderate and that is what materialized. Colonel Liam leverage that incredible turn of foot to surge past his pace-advantaged stablemate and the other Super Screener “A” horse, Largent, for the neck win.

But it was the Super Screener Top Long Shot pick, Cross Border that salvaged the Trifecta from a paltry payoff and prevented the Pletcher sweep.

#9 Cross Border – Top Long Shot/Presser – The Mike Maker charge is now 7 yrs-old but he still gets you right around the money. He tracked monster pace figures last out resulting in a pace top and in this 2nd race off the layoff, you can expect a really nice move forward here. In addition, with the lack of pace, he brings yet another advantage to this race. He’ll appreciate more ground. Regular rider Jose Ortiz opted for #4 North Dakota so Gaffalione is back in the irons for Maker. 

The Super Screener suggested Trifecta wagers keying Cross Border in 3rd returned $288.

Pegasus World Cup (G1)

While this race didn’t make the Super Screener highlight reel, it was certainly a coronation for Knicks Go who made it 4 in a row and quelled any doubters (including me) that this horse was here to stay and deserves all the accolades that preceded and now follow him and his trainer, Brad Cox. We were reminded once again that inside speed at this distance reigns supreme on this surface.

The Super Screener Top Picks did nothing in this race but a suggested Pick 4 ticket did hit and paid $613 to salvage some sort of victory as the day closed. 

There is more Kentucky Derby prep action on the way next weekend as the always important Holy Bull Stakes (G3) will be contested on the GP card that will also feature several enticing, full-field G3 affairs. Santa Anita will host the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) to round out the Derby prep action.

Until this coming weekend… Go Fast and Win! 

Mike