Bovada Horse Racing Futures Watch: 2018 Pegasus Update
2018 Pegasus World Cup Future Odds
The two-year-old Pegasus is a unique kind of race in North America, in that owners of prospective starters in the race are required to buy a slot in the starting gate for $1 million, which they can use to run one of their own horses, or sell or share the slot with another owner with a horse to run.
The field is restricted to 12 starters, but as of today Bovada lists 16 betting interests for future bet purposes. Nine entries have been confirmed, including 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Gun Runner, who is listed as the heavy favorite at 5-7 in the Bovada odds. He's likely to remain that way right up until the gates open and racing begins, so here's a look at some others that could provide value if they can pull off the upset.
Top Three BC Classic Runners in the Field
Second in the BC Classic to Gun Runner, Collected (15-2) came into that race on a four-race winning streak and was the best of the rest behind the winner that day, racing in second place all the way around the track and then holding on to grab the Place money. He needs to improve a bit to turn the tables on Gun Runner, but trainer Bob Baffert - who won the inaugural Pegasus with Arrogate - can never be counted out of big races. The BC Classic was run at 1 1/4 miles, and the cut back in distance for the 1 1/8 mile Pegasus should really work in his favor.
The best three-year-old in the second half of 2017 was West Coast, who ran third in the Classic. That was his first try against older horses, and he's likely to be better as he goes into his four-year-old season, and is another Bob Baffert trainee. He's currently listed at 7-1, and is likely to drift down from there come race day, so if you like his chances, now might be the time to act.
The most intriguing storyline in the race belongs to Toast of New York (33-1) a Kentucky bred colt who started his racing career way back in 2013 in the UK with moderate success. He came to North America the next season and had a pair of runner-up finishes in three starts, including running second in the 2014 BC Classic.
He was retired to stud duty following that race, but that didn't work out so well, so he was put back in training and in early December he won a handicap event in England, his first race in more than three years. There's no question he's a long shot and would be a huge upset to win, but note that last year's Pegasus runner-up was Shaman Ghost at odds of 20-1.
Outside of those, others confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup include Gunnevera (14-1) who has the home-track advantage, with three lifetime wins at Gulfstream; Seeking The Soul (12-1) who seems to be improving with age and last out won the (G1) Clark Handicap; Stellar Wind (20-1) likely to be the only mare in the field; and one of either Game Over or War Story, both with the same owner who holds a spot in the starting gate, both of whom are currently listed at 50-1.
Not yet confirmed, but likely to run is Sharp Azteca (17-2) a very talented colt who has finished either first or second in nine of his last 10 races, with five wins. He bounced back from a runner-up finish in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Mile with a win last out in the (G1) Cigar Mile, beating a very tough field by more than five lengths. He has tons of early speed to challenge the favorite, but he's going to have to prove he can handle the distance, 1/8 of a mile further than he typically runs.
You can pick your future winner for the Pegasus World Cup today with an account at Bovada, and then check back for updates on the field as we move closer to race day.
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