Pegasus Runners on the Worktab

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Audible | Horsephotos

GI Florida Derby hero Audible (Into Mischief) headlined the group of GI Pegasus World Cup contenders on the worktab Saturday, breezing five panels in 1:00.91 (5/14) at his trainer’s Palm Beach Downs winter base. The Todd Pletcher trainee worked in company with stablemate Impact Player (City Zip) (video).

“Audible’s training really well,” said Pletcher. “I’ve been pleased with all of his works, particularly this morning. It was a good, solid five-eighths with a strong gallop-out that we were looking for. All indications are he’s in good form and coming up to the race very well.”

Following his Florida Derby score with a third-place finish behind Justify (Scat Daddy) in the GI Kentucky Derby, Audible was subsequently sidelines and returned a good-looking winner in Churchill Downs’s Cherokee Run S. Nov. 3. He was last seen finishing a surprising second as the heavy favorite in Gulfstream’s GIII Harlan’s Holiday S., which has become the local prep for the Jan. 26 Pegasus.

“It wasn’t what we were hoping for,” Pletcher said. “We needed a race to build him up for the Pegasus. It didn’t go as planned. He was a prohibitive favorite. Unfortunately, before the race, the skies opened and we got a downpour into a harrowed track. They tried to seal it after that but it was too late. I think, more than anything, he didn’t like the condition of the track. He didn’t fire his best shot. He came out of it well and has trained better than ever coming into the Pegasus. It served its purpose in terms of conditioning.”

The Pegasus is run at the same 1 1/8-mile trip as the Florida Derby, which Pletcher thinks the colt prefers.

“I think a mile and an eighth is ideal for him, especially if there’s a good contested pace,” the trainer said. “That’s important for him. He likes to settle early. If we can get some good solid fractions. Some of the main contenders have a lot of speed. If they mix it up a little bit, I think he’ll benefit from that.”

Over at Gulfstream Park West, Gunnevera (Dialed In) continued his preparations for the $9 million event with a six-furlong work in 1:15.80 (1/2) under jockey Irad Ortiz (video).

“He worked really good,” said Ortiz. “He’s doing everything right. Hopefully, he comes back to racing the way he is right now.”

Third behind Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}) and West Coast (Flatter) in last year’s Pegasus, Gunnevera finished second in both the GI Woodward S. Sept. 1 and the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3.

“I feel very happy with him,” said Sano. “He’s a different horse. He’s a stronger horse.”

Grade I winner Seeking the Soul (Perfect Soul {Ire}) continued his Pegasus preparations at trainer Dallas Stewart’s winter home at Fair Grounds, breezing a best-of-77 five furlongs in 1:00 flat.

“Just a strong, basic work for him,” Stewart said. “That’s him. He’s doing great.”

Winner of the GIII Ack Ack S., Seeking the Soul checked in second behind a dominant performance from the reopposing City of Light (Quality Road) in the GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 3. The homebred finished third when attempting to defend his GI Clark H. title Nov. 23.

“If he gets a good position and it’s his day, he’s very competitive,” said owner/breeder Chuck Fipke. “He’s an outstanding horse, and he deserves to take another shot. The last Pegasus, unfortunately, he got a bone chip that Dr. [Robert] Hunt said probably affected his race, so he only came in fifth. It took a long time for him to recover. But he won a Grade III at Churchill, and we’re hoping [for a big performance].”

 

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