Pletcher Has Trio of Aces in Pegasus Turf

By Emily Shields

Trainer Todd Pletcher has three of the 12 runners in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. The race is part of a 12-race Pegasus World Cup (G1) card.

The first of them is Colonel Liam, who is coming off a strong win in the Tropical Park Derby here December 26. The son of Liam’s Map was a $1.2 million purchase as a juvenile, and although he has only started five times, he has three wins to his credit. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride the tractable colt.

Stablemate Largent drew alongside. He is coming off two straight wins, including the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale over this course on December 12. The son of Into Mischief has run here five times, with four wins to his credit. He has never been worse than second in a nine-race career. Paco Lopez will ride the gelding.

The final Pletcher runner is Social Paranoia, who drew on the outside of the field. The multiple stakes winner is three for four on this course, and is coming off two straight wins. He took the Grade 3 Poker at Belmont Park on July 4, then was off until an allowance race here December 16, which he also won. This guy has also scored in the Dueling Grounds Derby and the Grade 3 Appleton.

California shippers Say the Word and Anothertwistafate are in with a big shot. The former won the Grade 1 Northern Dancer at Woodbine two starts back, and is now in the barn of trainer Phil D’Amato. A five-time winner of nearly $470,000, Say the Word is by More Than Ready and out of a well-bred Giant’s Causeway mare. Anothertwistafate is now a stakes winner on dirt, turf, and synthetic, coming off a recent win in Santa Anita’s Grade 2 San Gabriel. The son of Scat Daddy was transferred to the barn of Peter Miller in the fall, and has won half his ten lifetime starts.

Trainers Shug McGaughey and Mike Maker each have two runners in the race, as well. McGaughey has North Dakota and Breaking the Rules, both well-bred runners with back class. Maker will start 20-1 Aquaphobia and 15-1 Cross Border.Bet the entire Pegasus World Cup card with TVG.