Pegasus World Cup Invitational 2023 & Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational

There was a surprise outcome to the first major race of 2023, as 15-1 chance Art Collector landed the biggest win of his career in the $3m G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational 2023 at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. The main supporting feature, the $1m G1 Pegasus World Cup Turf, went to a horse remarkably gaining his first stakes win, with Atone finishing fast to record a narrow success.

Pegasus World Cup Invitational 2023

G1, $3,000,000, 1m 1f dirt, 4yo+

Collector collects big payoff

A change in tactics and a new rider lit a fire under Art Collector, who ran the race of his life to cause an upset in the big-money Pegasus Cup at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, the 15-1 shot clearing away for a dominant score over California raider Defunded and longshot Stilleto Boy.

Art Collector has frequently been on the lead, but first-time pilot Junior Alvarado rated the six-year-old behind the lively fractions set by Stilleto Boy until sending him to the front at the top of the lane. It was so easy after that, Art Collector surging clear to win by four and a half lengths, with a length and a quarter separating second and third.

The favorite Cyberknife, on his last start before retirement, was never in the picture, trailing home sixth in a race in which the first three over the line were pretty much the first three throughout.

“The horse liked that he could save energy,” said trainer Bill Mott, winning his first Pegasus World Cup. “That meant he had plenty left turning for home.”

Art Collector, who took his earnings past $4m with this success, will not travel for the Saudi Cup or Dubai World Cup and will instead have a break before a domestic campaign.

Pegasus World Cup Invitational 2023 Race Result

1. Art Collector$33$12.40$8.60
2. Defunded$5$4
3. Stilleto Boy $11.40

Winning time: 1m 49.44s

Pegasus World Cup Invitational 2023 Horse Racing Video


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Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational

G1, $1,000,000, 1m 1f turf, 4yo+

Atone makes up for lost time

If you’re going to wait 23 races to win your first stakes race, you may as well make it a big one, and Atone did just that when getting up late to steal the Pegasus World Cup Turf from Ivar and the rallying longshot Speaking Scout.

The 7-2 co-favorite had plenty to do with a furlong to run but fairly sprinted home under Irad Ortiz, running down fellow co-favourite Ivar well inside the final sixteenth to grab the dollars by three-quarters of a length.

Speaking Scout was a length and a half further back in a blanket finish, with the first eight homes covered by just four lengths. The big disappointment of the race was the third co-favorite City Man, who was in rear throughout and finished last.

“He doesn’t get there very often but today was his day,” said trainer Mike Maker, winning his second World Cup Turf. “He got a perfect ride and he came through for us.”

This victory made Atone a millionaire, and his next target may be the G1 Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 6.

Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Race Result

1. Atone$9.60$5.40$4.40
2. Ivar $4.80$3.80
3. Speaking Scout$10.40

Winning time: 1m 46.19s

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