Kentucky Derby’s Final Prep Race is Saturday
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The $150,000 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes is the final stepping stone to the 2020 Kentucky Derby, delayed from May until September 5. Much like the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland usually provides a last chance to make the Derby field, the Pegasus has drawn eight runners seeking their one shot at Derby glory. The winner will get 20 Road to the Roses points.
The 1 1/16-mile TVG.com Pegasus, held at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, is headed by Pneumatic. Fourth in the Belmont Stakes (G1), Pneumatic is still seeking his first stakes win for trainer Steve Asmussen. The son of Uncle Mo won his first two starts, both at Oaklawn Park, then ran third behind the unbeaten Maxfield in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill Downs. He will have local star Joe Bravo up for this, and finished less than eight lengths behind Tiz the Law in the Belmont, with that runner widely considered the best horse in the United States at the moment.
Jesus’ Team is a two-time winning son of Tapiture to be ridden by Paco Lopez. He was fourth in the Grade 1 Haskell here locally behind Authentic, and his only wins have come against claiming company, but he ran Kentucky Derby hopeful Sole Volante to less than a length at Guflstream Park in June, and when he does win it is by open lengths.
Arkaan is unbeaten in two starts for trainer Michael Pino. The son of Into Mischief, who cost $450,000 as a yearling, broke his maiden at Parx by 3 ½ lengths, then won an allowance at Delaware Park by six. He did not debut until June 24 and has never gone past six furlongs, but is clearly a talented sort.
As Seen On Tv has been on the Kentucky Derby trail this spring, running second by a head in the Mucho Macho Man Stakes at Gulfstream Park, then third in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. He was eighth and well beaten in the Florida Derby (G1), but has had time off since that March 28 race. The son of Lookin At Lucky is a stakes winner who has had five local works since his layoff to prepare for this. Kelly Breen trains.
Super John rounds out the top contenders. The John Servis-trainee was second by a half-length in a one-mile allowance race at Delaware Park July 15. That was his first starts since winning at Laurel over the same distance by 5 ½ lengths in December. The $180,000 purchase by Super Saver has won two of his six starts with four top three efforts. He broke his maiden a year ago by 19 ½ lengths.
Skyscanner, Big City Bob, and Wartime Hero round out the field.
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