Can Sleepy Eyes Todd Spring the Upset?

By Emily Shields

Of the 12 runners that have been entered in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park, the horse with the most travel miles is Sleepy Eyes Todd.

The popular gray son of Paddy O’Prado has run at nine different racetracks in his last nine starts: Remington Park, Sam Houston, the Fair Grounds, Fonner Park, Lone Star, Charles Town, Santa Anita, Keeneland, and Gulfstream Park. On top top that, has has also made appearances at Oaklawn Park and Canterbury, with eight wins in 15 starts. Five of those wins are stakes races.

Sleepy Eyes Todd was last seen winning the Grade 3 Mr Prospector here on December 19. That seven-furlong contest is one of two stakes races he won in a row, including the Lafayette on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. He does have a win over the nine-furlong distance of the Pegasus; that was in the rich Charles Town Classic.

On top of those credential, the Miguel Angel Silva runner was placed in the Oklahoma Derby in 2019, and second in the Lone Star Mile in 2020. Jose Ortiz will take the mount on the 8-1 shot. Click here to view the Pegasus World Cup odds:

Sleepy Eyes Todd will have to get past Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Knicks Go, who is on a three-race win streak, and top older horse Code of Honor. The dual Grade 1-winning son of Noble Mission (GB) has won $2.6 million in his 15 starts, including the Grade 2 Fountain Of Youth over this track.

Tax might be the play at 5-1 morning line, as the Danny Gargan runner has just scored a huge comeback win here in the Harlan’s Holiday. His 105 Beyer speed figure from that race is the highest of all last-out Beyers save for Knicks Go.

Mr Freeze ran second in this race last year, beaten 4 1/2 lengths by the winner Mucho Gusto. He has since won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile over this track, and then the Grade 2 Fayette at Keeneland. He ran sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile but was beaten less than six lengths as a 19-1 shot.

There are several horses in with a shot that are overlooked, including recent Santa Anita Grade 2 winner Kiss Today Goodbye, who defeated Mucho Gusto in that race. Jesus’ Team won the Claiming Crown Jewel in December after running second in the Dirt Mile and third in the Preakness Stakes. Harpers First Ride has won four stakes in his last five starts.

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