Zulu Alpha Skims Rail En Route To Pegasus Turf Upset


Zulu Alpha | Lauren King

Sent off at odds of 11-1 making his first appearance since a running-on and wide fourth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf, Michael Hui’s Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire}) enjoyed a cozy inside passage from gate one beneath Tyler Gaffalione and snuck through underneath Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at the eighth pole en route to a two-length victory in Saturday’s GI Pegasus World Cup Turf S. at Gulfstream Park.

“Just a great horse,” winning trainer Mike Maker said. “I thought he got unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup or he might have gotten a bigger slice there. He got some time off after that and he really thrived coming in. Since he’s been back, he’s been a lot sharper. For a million dollars, you have to take a shot and it paid off.”

Hui added, “When he shot up the rail I screamed my lungs out. I just watched, stood and screamed. It’s just an unbelievable feeling. I never thought I would win a Grade I.”

Drawn 12, Magic Wand was given a positive ride from Ryan Moore, but with nothing else showing any sort of early speed to the inside of him, he elected to send the globetrotter into the lead and allow her to make her own luck. Meanwhile, Gaffalione had Zulu Alpha settled three or four back on the fence in midfield and would wait until push came to shove to go for his mount. Magic Wand swatted off outside challenges from Henley’s Joy (Kitten’s Joy) and Next Shares (Archarcharch) and cut the corner into the stretch while trying to break clear. But Magic Wand went an internal quarter-mile from the three-quarters to the mile in a taxing :22.88 and that ultimately may have proved her undoing. When Moore vacated the rail passing midstretch, Gaffalione seized upon the opportunity and Zulu Alpha shot through to win.

Instilled Regard (Arch) also sat a great trip just behind the speed, but could not seal the deal and settled for third. His Chad Brown-trained stablemate, the somewhat surprisingly favored GI Breeders’ Cup Mile third Without Parole (GB) (Frankel {GB}) was also prominent, but may have found the 9 1/2-furlong trip a task too tall and finished well back in 11th.

Zulu Alpha was claimed from breeder Calumet Farm and trainer Neil Howard for $80,000 by Michael Hui and trainer John Ortiz off a 9 1/2-length triumph at Churchill Downs back in September 2018. He won his first start for his new connections in that term’s GIII Sycamore S. at Keeneland and was subsequently transferred to Maker. Under Maker’s tutelage, Zulu Alpha reeled off wins in the 2019 GIII W. L. McKnight S. on this program and GII Mac Diarmida S., both at Gulfstream, and the GIII Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup S. at Kentucky Downs. He was also a close second in Monmouth’s GI United Nations S. last summer.

Pedigree Notes:

Zulu Alpha is the 23rd Grade 1/Group 1 winner for the late leading sire Street Cry and the 26th top-level winner out of a daughter of A.P. Indy. Sold in utero for $120,000 at the 2012 Keeneland November Sale, Zulu Alpha is out of a daughter of GSW Winglet, dam of Allen Paulson’s 1997 Eclipse Award- winning 3-year-old filly Ajina (Strawberry Road {Aus}), MGSW Rob’s Spirit (Theatrical {Ire}) and Kobla (Strawberry Road {Ire}), the dam of top sire and four-time Grade I winner Quality Road (Elusive Quality). Champion Bahri (Riverman) and GSW & GISP Bahhare (Woodman) appear under Zulu Alpha’s Irish champion third dam.

PEGASUS WORLD CUP TURF INVITATIONAL S. PRESENTED BY RUNHAPPY-GI, $980,000, Gulfstream, 1-25, 4yo/up, 1 3/16mT, 1:51.60, fm.
1–ZULU ALPHA, 124, g, 7, by Street Cry (Ire)
1st Dam: Zori, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Winglet, by Alydar
3rd Dam: Highest Trump, by Bold Bidder
1ST GRADE I WIN. O-Michael M. Hui; B-Calumet Farm (KY);
T-Michael J. Maker; J-Tyler Gaffalione. $600,000. Lifetime
Record: 31-10-4-5, $1,971,674. *1/2 to Bank the Eight
(Distorted Humor), SW, $210,250. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click
for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Magic Wand (Ire), 119, m, 5, Galileo (Ire)–Prudenzia (Ire), by
Dansili (GB). (€1,400,000 Ylg ’16 ARAUG). O-Tabor, Michael B.,
Magnier, Mrs. John, and Smith, Derrick; B-Ecurie Des
Monceaux & Skymarc Farm Inc (IRE); T-Aidan P. O’Brien.
3–Instilled Regard, 124, h, 5, Arch–Enhancing, by Forestry.
($110,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $1,050,000 2yo ’17 OBSMAR).
O-OXO Equine LLC; B-KatieRich Farms (KY); T-Chad C. Brown.
Margins: 2, NK, 3. Odds: 11.80, 3.70, 10.10.
Also Ran: Sacred Life (Fr), Arklow, Sadler’s Joy, Henley’s Joy, Admission Office, Mo Forza, Channel Cat, Without Parole (GB), Next Shares. Scratched: Tusk. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.