Shantisara Leads Field For Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf

Shantisara | Chelsea Durand

A field of 11, headlined by 2-1 morning-line favorite GISW Shantisara (Ire) (Coulsty {Ire}) is expected to line up for Saturday's GIII TAA Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational for older females.

The 7-2 second choice, Dalika (Ger) (Pastorious {Ger}), will make her 32nd career start in the Pegasus for trainer Albert Stall, Jr.

“There's not a horse in America that is more battle-tested than her,” said Stall. “She couldn't be more fit and couldn't be more of a warrior, so we got that going for us, too.”

Queen Goddess (Empire Maker) is the 5-1 third choice for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gary Barber. The 5-year-old is coming off a 2 1/2-length victory Dec. 31 in the GIII Robert J. Frankel S. at Santa Anita for trainer Michael McCarthny. Luis Saez is scheduled to ride.

Another contender is 8-1 shot Lady Rockstar (GB) (Frankel {GB}) for trainer Brendan Walsh.

Team Valor International and Gary Barber's Wakanaka (Ire) (Power {GB}, returns at 10-1 in the Pegasus event where she made her North American debut last year. The 5-year-old Irish-bred mare started her career in Italy, where she won six of her nine starts. Since arriving in North America, Wakanaka has won a pair of stakes, including the GII Dance Smartly S. at Woodbine.

“When she first came here, she wasn't that good around two turns,” said Barry Irwin, chief executive officer for Team Valor. “But as she's raced and trained, she's gotten smarter and better. She's physically improved. She's a lot better now than she was last year. She's got a really good turn of foot. She's not a very big filly, but she's got a lot of power when she turns it on.”

The remainder of the field includes: Perseverancia (California Chrome) (15-1), Artie's Princess (We Miss Artie) (20-1), Sweet Enough (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) (20-1), and Justify My Love (Brz) (Agnes Gold {Jpn}) (30-1).

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