Jerry the Nipper, Missed the Cut Elevated for $1M Pegasus Turf (G1)
Replace Master of the Seas, Therapist Among Top 12 on 2nd Invitation List
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jerry the Nipper and Missed the Cut were elevated to the top dozen horses in the latest invitation list for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) Saturday, Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park.
The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus Turf for 4-year-olds and up is part of a blockbuster World Cup Day program featuring seven graded-stakes worth $5.2 million in purses including the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) presented by Baccarat and $500,000 TAA Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G2).
Both Jerry and Nipper and Missed the Cut were among nine alternates on the first invitation list from Jan. 3. They replace Grade 1 winners Master of the Seas and Therapist, who have been removed from consideration.
Repole Stable’s Jerry the Nipper exits a third behind fellow Pegasus Turf invitees Main Event and Kingmax in the 1 1/8-mile Fort Lauderdale (G2) on the Gulfstream turf, beaten a half-length. Trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, who won the Pegasus Turf with Colonel Liam in 2021 and 2022, he has placed in six other stakes, all against fellow New York-breds.
Bee Zee, Lanes End Racing, St. Elias Stables, Edward Babington, Edward Hudson Jr. and Lynne Hudson’s Missed the Cut won the 1 ½-mile Tokyo City (G23) last fall on the dirt at Santa Anita, where most recently the 5-year-old ran second in the 1 1/8-mile San Gabriel (G2) on turf.
The remaining top invitees are intact led by millionaire defending champion Atone, who has run in the Pegasus Turf each of the past two years, capturing the 2023 edition by three-quarters of a length. The 7-year-old gelding owns seven wins and $1.3 million in earnings from 29 career starts and has placed in four other graded-stakes including seconds in the 2021 Fort Lauderdale (G2) at Gulfstream, 2022 Forbidden Apple (G3) and Mint Million (G3).
From Europe is Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Westerberg’s Irish-bred 4-year-old filly Warm Heart, whose lone North American start came when second by a neck to favored Inspiral in the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1). She won the Yorkshire Oaks (G1) at York and Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1) at Longchamp and was third in the Hong Kong Vase (G1) last year.
Louis Lazzinnaro, Madaket Stables, Michael Caruso and Michael Dubb’s Adhamo is an Irish-bred 6-year-old trained by Chad Brown, winner of the inaugural Pegasus Turf in 2019 with eventual Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar. A Group 3 winner in France, Adhamo has made nine North American starts, the last eight in Grade 1 races, with a victory in the 2022 United Nations. Brown is also represented by Klaravich Stables’ Program Trading, winner of the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) and Hollywood Derby (G1) in 2023, the latter Dec. 2.
Susan and John Moore’s Catnip put together three consecutive wins last spring and summer capped by the 1 1/8-mile Monmouth (G3) at Monmouth Park, where the 5-year-old gelding also ran second to Therapist in the United Nations.
West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing’s 4-year-old Integration is undefeated in three career starts, breaking his maiden and winning the Virginia Derby (G3) over Program Trading at Colonial Downs before taking the Hill Prince (G2) in mid-November for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey.
Harrell Ventures’ Main Event is a three-time winner over the Gulfstream turf, topped by the Fort Lauderdale and 2022 Cutler Bay. AMO Racing USA’s Kingmax was Group 3-placed in England in 2022 before winning each of his first two North American starts last summer at Monmouth Park.
Michael and Jules Iavarone, Nicholas Zoumas, Dino Baccari, Frank Argano and Peter Douglass’ Chilean-bred Master Piece was a Group 2 winner in his native country before coming to the U.S., where he owns graded-stakes wins in the 2022 Eddie Read (G2) at Del Mar and Nov. 11 Red Smith (G2) at Aqueduct, his most recent start. Seventh in last year’s Pegasus Turf, Master Piece went on to be third in both the Mac Diarmida (G2) and Pan American (G2) at Gulfstream.
Charles Fipke’s homebred Shirl’s Speight won the 2020 Marine (G3) in his second career start and added graded triumphs in the 2022 Tampa Bay (G3) and Maker’s Mark Mile (G1). Trained by Hall of Famer Roger Attfield, the 6-year-old is winless in five starts this year with his best finish being a second in the Woodbine Mile (G1).
D.J. Stable’s Webslinger is a three-time stakes winner topped by the American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs last May. An optional claiming allowance winner last winter at Gulfstream that also ran second in its Colonel Liam, the 4-year-old exits a runner-up finish in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar.
The reserve list is comprised by 2023 Dueling Grounds Derby (G3) winner Anglophile; 2021 Louisville (G3) winner Cellist; Grand Sonata, winner of Gulfstream’s 2022 Kitten’s Joy (G3) on turf that was fourth by less than a length in the Fort Lauderdale; and two-time Grade 2-placed I’m Very Busy.
Invitations to the 1 1/16-mile Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf for females 4 and older saw just one change from the Jan. 3 list, with Gervais Racing’s Join the Dance, winner of the Monroe last spring on the Gulfstream turf, becoming the eighth reserve horse.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber’s defending champion Queen Goddess continues to head the top 12 invitees. The 6-year-old mare went on to run third in the Jenny Wiley (G1) and second in the Goldikova (G2) last year, separated by 1 ½ lengths combined.
Other graded-stakes winners on the primary invitation list are Accomplished Girl, runner-up in the Dec. 30 Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream; Closing Remarks, who beat Queen Goddess in the Goldikova; Consumer Spending, Didia, Fluffy Socks, Suwannee River winner Full Count Felicia, Mission of Joy, Ruby Nell, Star Fortress and Surprisingly.
The reserve list also includes Be My Sunshine, winner of the Tropical Park Oaks Dec. 23 at Gulfstream, graded-stakes winners Cairo Consort and Sparkle Blue, and multiple stakes winner Sweet Dani Girl, nominated to the Jan. 13 Sunshine Filly & Mare Turf for Florida-breds at Gulfstream.
The final invitational list for all Pegasus races will be released Jan. 17.