2022 Pegasus World Cup Betting Odds, Contenders, Picks & Preview: Knicks Go, Life Is Good Favored in $3 Million Race
Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Knicks Go, with jockey Joel Rosario in the irons.
- Horse racing turns it attention to Saturday’s huge Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park.
- Can Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Knicks Go best BC Dirt Mile winner Life Is Good in the $3 million feature, airing at 5:34 p.m. ET on NBC?
- Handicappers Andie Biancone and Jeremy Pond give their best bets below for the big event and huge undercard stakes races.
Two of thoroughbred horse racing’s biggest stars square off Saturday when Breeders’ Cup champions Knicks Go and Life Is Good compete in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
The Grade I event headlines a top-notch card, with Knicks Go — the reigning BC Classic champion — going head to head with BC Dirt Mile winner Life Is Good in the 1 1/8-mile event on the dirt track. A total of nine horses are entered in the field, including the 2019 Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston.
Post time is slated for 5:34 p.m. ET, with the race televised on NBC. Coverage runs from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, culminating with the highly anticipated Pegasus showdown between the heavy favorites.
Handicappers Jeremy Pond and TVG analyst Andie Biancone are back, with the duo dropping their best bets for the Pegasus and some key undercard events. Biancone delivers her detailed analysis and insight for two stakes races leading up to one of the richest events in North American horse racing.
Let’s take a look at the Pegasus field and where they’ve landed for this race that could come down to a battle between two of the world’s finest horses mentioned above.
You can also check out our favorite exotic wagers — including a Late Pick 4 and Pick 5 tickets from Gulfstream — to close out the star-studded card.
2022 Pegasus World Cup Odds
*Latest Odds via TVG
|PP | HORSE||ODDS (MORNING LINE)||JOCKEY|
|1 — Knicks Go||6-5||Joel Rosario|
|2 — Chess Chief||10-1||Reylu Gutierrez|
|3 — Stilleto Boy||20-1||Kent Desormeaux|
|4 — Life Is Good||7-5||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|5 — Empty Tomb||20-1||Paco Lopez|
|6 — Sir Winston||12-1||Edwin Gonzalez|
|7 — Title Ready||20-1||Tyler Gaffalione|
|8 — Endorses||20-1||Umberto Rispoli|
|9 — Commandeer||30-1||Julien Leparoux|
Pegasus World Cup Top Picks & Longshot (Race 12)
No. 1 Knicks Go (6-5): This is one of the classiest, grittiest horses I’ve seen in my entire life.
The reigning Pegasus World Cup and Breeders’ Cup Classic champion is the slight morning-line favorite over Life Is Good, but it wouldn’t surprise me if bettors backed the latter and sent the son of Paynter off as second choice.
However, Knicks Go — with jockey Joel Rosario aboard — was utterly brilliant when he crushed the field in last year’s $6 million Classic at Del Mar Racetrack.
KNICKS GO (+250) WINS THE BREEDERS' CUP CLASSIC! 🏆
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 7, 2021
Trained by Brad Cox, I fully expect to him go right to the front in this 1 1/8-mile affair from the rail position. For some horses, drawing the No. 1 post would be bad, but not for this multiple G1 stakes winner. And if Knicks Go gets clear sailing after the first quarter mile, this race could be over before it ever started.
Something very important of note: Knicks Go had a bullet workout this past Sunday at Fair Grounds before shipping to south Florida. Bottom line, the star is ready to go out with a bang in his racing swan song.
No. 4 Life Is Good (7-5): If this was any other race without Knicks Go in the field, trainer Todd Pletcher would probably see his charge leave the gate somewhere around 2-5 odds if we’re being honest.
Life Is Good, the ultra-talented son of champion sire Into Mischief, smashed his foes in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. With Eclipse award-winning star Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons, Life Is Good rolled to nearly a six-length victory.
With five wins and one second in six lifetime starts, Life Is Good is the more lightly raced of the duo (Knicks Go has a whopping 24 starts) and fewer miles on his equine engine. However, unlike Knicks Go, he’s never raced past 1 1/16 miles, so that 1/8 mile is really the lone cause for concern for his backers.
In my opinion, Life Is Good is the lone foe who could spoil the Knicks Go party.
— TVG (@TVG) January 28, 2022
Longshot — No. 6 Sir Winston (12-1): The 2019 Belmont Stakes winner hadn’t performed well following that monster win the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, but has found some of that old, triumphant form of late.
The six-year-old son of Awesome Again returned to a graded-stakes winner circle last time out, winning the Valedictory Stakes (G3) north of the border at Woodbine in Canada. Plenty has to go his way — and this nine-furlong affair might be too short for him — but he’s one of the few likely upset winners if Knicks Go and Life Is Good duel each other into the ground.
Sir Winston is a must-use underneath in your exotics.
Pond’s Best Bets:
$10 Exacta: 1-4 over 1-2-4-5-6-7-8
$2 Trifecta: 1-4 over 1-2-4-5-6 over 1-2-4-5-6-7-8
Pegasus World Cup Undercard
The Inside Information Stakes (Race 8)
No. 8 Just One Time (3-1): The morning-line favorite has been impressive to say the least in her past five starts. She won every outing, other than one, by margins totaling more than 20 lengths. There’s no question this race is full of speed, but she might just be the speediest one of all.
My only concern for this filly are the ship-in, the stretch-out in distance and the step up into graded stakes company. Nevertheless, I’m more than certain the Brad Cox trainee has a very certain chance to go gate to wire for the win.
No. 5 Four Graces (5-1): At these odds, I absolutely love Four Graces in this field. It’s no question that seven furlongs on the main track is her job, and she can get it done in sub-1 minute and 22 second.
This filly most recently finished second by a nose to outside contender Starship Nala in an Allowance Optional Claiming race, but it was her first start in seven months, and she definitely needed the race from a mental standpoint.
When I attended University of Florida, I worked at a farm called Lambholm South where we did 2-year-old prep work and Four Graces was one of the fillies I helped break. Seeing her as a 2-year-old, and now a 5-year-old, it’s absolutely insane to see how much she has filled out and developed.
I saw Four Graces walking home from her most recent work, and she absolutely blew me away with the confidence she carried, plus her overall looks. She has always been a light, nervous filly, but this is by far the best she has ever looked in terms of weight, shine and muscle tone.
— Gulfstream Park (@GulfstreamPark) January 6, 2022
No. 10 Starship Nala (15-1): As a live longshot, Starship Nala is definitely worth a play. This filly can run seven furlongs as fast as anyone in this field, and although she has been running in Florida stakes and allowance company races, I’m not going to discredit her past performances in any way.
Starship Nala finished a nose in front of Four Graces last time out. And although Four Graces needed the race, Starship Nala definitely proved that she can contend with this type of company.
She has gone gate to wire in the past, but this filly has run her best numbers from off the pace and I think the speed set up here will be extremely advantageous to her. I also love how consistent she is as well. In the past year, Starship Nala has rarely finished off the board. I can easily see wicked fractions being set up front and she will be closing to steal a piece of the pie.
Pegasus World Cup Turf (Race 11)
No. 6 Colonel Liam (3-1): As the defending champion and race favorite, I couldn’t completely discount Colonel Liam.
As he’s coming off quite a long layoff, I can’t say he’s my top choice, but I also can’t discount his impressive form, consistently high speed figures and strikingly good looks.
For a moment, I was considering putting Never Surprised, the other Todd Pletcher horse in contention who most recently won the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream Park, over Colonel Liam, but when I saw the two horses schooling in the paddock the other day my choice was clear.
It’s never easy for a 4-year-old to compete against old horses, and although Never Surprised has been impressive to say the least, he definitely looked like a teenager in comparison to this veteran graded stakes winner. There isn’t much speed in the race, but Colonel Liam has shown it in the past, as well as consistent form from off the pace. His versatility will be a huge advantage.
— TDN (@theTDN) January 24, 2022
No. 7 Doswell (10-1): I cannot praise this horse enough, especially at a morning-line price of 10-1 odds.
Not only has Doswell been in the money in 11 of his 12 starts, but he consistently runs big numbers going a 1 1/8 miles or longer. It’s clear this horse can handle the distance, and I love that he is one of the only speed/off-the-pace horses with a perfect mid-pack post position.
I have been watching this horse train every day at Palm Meadows for the past two months, and he just keeps looking better and better. Doswell is also coming off a very impressive win in the Grade II Ft. Lauderdale, where he went gate to wire going the 1 1/8-mile distance.
It’s clear Doswell loves Gulfstream. He’s one of the only speed horses in the race, has drawn a perfect mid-pack post position and has been training like a beast.
This horse is an absolute no brainer for me.
No. 10 Channel Cat (12-1): At these long odds, Channel Cat is the horse I like for a price.
Channel Cat might not have as consistent form in comparison to some of his competitors over the past year, but when he fires, he fires hard. That said, I think he’s back in his best form.
Last May, Channel Cat essentially went gate to wire to steal the Grade I Man O’War stakes event at 1 3/8 miles on the grass. And with the blinkers off, I think this horse must be so sharp that trainer Jack Sisterson might be looking to take the edge off a little bit.
This is another horse who I see training at Palm Meadows who constantly catches my eye. I’ve seen this horse at Keeneland in previous years, and I’m not shy to say that this is the best he has ever looked. Channel Cat is shiny, dappled out, and for being a usually very temperamental horse, has been in excellent spirts training into this race.
Biancone’s Daily Double — Turf Invitational | Pegasus World Cup:
1-6-7-8-10 | 1-4-6
Pond’s Daily Double — Turf Invitational | Pegasus World Cup:
1-6-8-10-12 | 1-4-6
Pond’s Horizontal Wagers
Late Pick 4 (Races 9 | 10 | 11 | 12)
Race 9: 1-3-4-6-7
Race 10: 1-6-7-8
Race 11: 1-6-8-10-12
Race 12: 1-4-6
Late Pick 5 (Races 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12)
Race 8: 2-5-7-8
Race 9: 1-3-4-6-7
Race 10: 1-6-7-8
Race 11: 1-6-8-10-12
Race 12: 1-4