Stage Set For Knicks Go To End Horse Racing Career With Repeat Win At Pegasus World Cup

Written By Dave Bontempo on January 28, 2022 - Last Updated on January 30, 2023
2022 Pegasus World Cup

Horse racing enthusiasts in Arizona already enjoy the Turf Paradise live meet each week.

How’s this for a Saturday paradise:

Online gamblers can catch the $3 million Pegasus World Cup, featuring two of thoroughbred racing’s elite horses in Knicks Go and Life Is Good, live on NBC.

The 1 1⁄8-mile classic featuring the two recent Breeders Cup champions occurs at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

The Pegasus World Cup culminates an excellent all-day betting card, which Arizonans can access via the TVG horse betting app.

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Pegasus World Cup: Headlined by Knicks Go vs. Life Is Good

The card packages $5.2 million over seven graded stakes races and has a $1 million event as a second feature.

The Gulfstream Park card begins at 9:30 a.m. MT. Here is the lineup of major races:

Pegasus World Cup1 ⅛ milesDirt$3 million
Pegasus World Cup Turf1 ⅛ milesTurf$1 million
Filly and Mare Turf1 1⁄6 milesTurf$500,000
Inside Information7 furlongsDirt$200,000
William McKnight1 ½ milesTurf$200,000
La Prevoyante1 ½ milesTurf$150,000
Fred Hooper1 mileDirt$150,000

The spotlight, though, shines on the $3 million Pegasus World Cup and what will undoubtedly be a memorable showdown between Knicks Go and Life Is Good.

Here is the post-position draw for the sixth annual Pegasus.

Post PositionHorseJockeyOddsTrainer
1Knicks GoJoel Rosario6-5Brad Cox
2Chess ChiefRevlu Gutierrez10-1Dallas Stewart
3Stilleto BoyKent Desormeaux20-1Ed Moger Jr.
4Life Is GoodIrad Ortiz Jr.7-5Todd Pletcher
5Empty TombPaco Lopez20-1Robert Falcone
6Sir WinstonEdwin Gonzalez12-1Mark Casse
7Title ReadyTyler Gaffalione20-1Dallas Stewart
8EndorsedUmberto Rispoli20-1Michael Maker
9CommandeerJulien Leparoux30-1James Toner

What is the Pegasus World Cup?

This six-year-old event has sneaked up on many horse-racing fans. It was launched in 2017 as the richest race in the world at $12 million. The total surged to $16 million in 2018, but was scaled back dramatically.

Officials spend less than half of that money now, yet spread it across a spectrum of races to create an all-star program. This is an industry practice of trying to corner the gambling market with a string of high-purse events.

The Pegasus has an excellent $1 million undercard in its turf race. Colonel Liam seeks to score a repeat victory in what should be wide-open, good betting race. The $500,000 Filly and Mare Turf looks targeted for higher purses in the future.

This event provides a link between the fall Breeders Cup campaign and the spring Triple Crown prep races, which unfold from February through April.

The Pegasus puts horse racing on a national stage in the dead of winter.

Pegasus World Cup race outlook

Knicks Go is the imminent 2021 Horse of the Year because he’s authored four straight wire-to-wire triumphs in major races. That concluded with a front-running victory in the $6 million Breeders Cup Classic on Nov. 6.

Among the horses he defeated were Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie, who finished 1-2 in the Belmont Stakes, a Triple Crown race.

There is additional drama surrounding this race because it has been announced as Knicks Go’s last. He seeks to become the first repeat winner of this event.

And that won’t be easy.

Life Is Good also is brilliant. He captured the $1 million Breeders Cup Dirt Mile on the same card that Knicks Go won his Classic. He also likes to bolt to the front and put the field away.

That leads to a potential pace dilemma. Although they tower over the competition, Knicks Go and Life Is Good only know one way to run on the lead. If they wage a contested speed duel, that could open the door for a longshot to run them down in the stretch.

That’s the major variable in this race. On talent alone, the Breeders Cup champions will dominate, unless they hurt each other.

One factor in trying to separate the two will involve the race distance. Life is Good has never run farther than 1 1⁄6 miles. He must stretch out slightly, and some Knicks Go bettors will see that as an edge.

Should the favorites falter, Sir Winston, the 2019 Belmont Stakes champion, often runs strong late. He would prefer the 1 1⁄2-mile distance of the Belmont but may have a strong run down the stretch.

Stilleto Boy, fifth in the Breeders Cup Classic to Knicks Go, is also a candidate for the top four.

Betting breakdown of Pegasus World Cup

Win bets on the favorites won’t be attractive, unless one of the favorites drifts up to 2-1. Exacta payouts will be paltry too.

If the favorites run well, the betting key to this race will be making a small investment.

One cheap option could be a 50-cent superfecta box costing $12. That means the bettors must select the top four finishers, in order.

Another option could be a good-sized win bet if the price becomes attractive and one has a firm belief about the winner.

For the most part, though, it will be hard to locate value. But other races will be more wide open.

Here’s an inexpensive, and effective, wager to consider on any race: It’s called the $1 trifecta key. Let’s say your favorite horse is the 1 and the 2-3-4 are next. Take a $1 trifecta key. It means “keying” the 1 in the top spot with the 2-3-4 rounding out the second and third slots. You can also put him second with the 2-3-4 occupying first and third. Each bet is $6.

This is a good wager if one likes a medium price or long shot to run in the money along with a favorite.

Photo by AP / Marta Lavandier
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Written by
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multi-award winning writer and broadcaster, has covered the boxing, horse-racing and gambling industries for more than 40 years. He is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame. He also covered major boxing and horse-racing events for the Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey.

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