O’Brien Refuses To Rule Highland Reel Out Of Pegasus World Cup

by | 11.06.2016 | 6:20pm
Breeders' Cup Turf victor, the Coolmore-owned Highland Reel
Breeders' Cup Turf victor, the Coolmore-owned Highland Reel

After the Coolmore partners-owned Highland Reel stole away from the pack to win Saturday's Longines Breeders' Cup Turf, trainer Aidan O'Brien refused to rule the son of Galileo out of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28, according to the Daily Mail.

“He has never raced on the Dirt but he is the type of horse who you couldn't rule out doing anything,” said O'Brien. “He loves racing, a total pro. He is something to look forward.”

While Highland Reel has never raced on dirt, O'Brien is confident that the 4-year-old colt's versatility would allow him to be competitive over the surface. Should Highland Reel appear in the Pegasus, he is likely to face off against California Chrome, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic. It's also not impossible that the Classic winner Arrogate's connections would consider the race. Hoppertunity, fourth in the Classic, is being considered for the Pegasus as well.

Read more at the Daily Mail.

  • Sampan

    I think Highland Reel could possibly be a good candidate for the Pegasus.
    He obviously liked the fast firm turf, he broke quickly, got position and was a convincing winner.
    So if he gets a fast dirt track only going 1 & 1/8th who knows?
    They can afford to try.

    • Pebbles

      I have suggested that elsewhere. He likes firm going. i know turf is different from dirt. But he could be like Giant’s Causeway. I actually think he is very versatile with his strong finish in the Arc and I do not believe the ground was firm.

  • Kevin Callinan

    He’d insure an honest pace

    • Blinkers Off

      Not really, he set a slow pace and that was 12 furlongs. 9 furlongs at Gulfstream is a different cup of tea. At no stage would he be ahead of Chrome and he might react negatively to the dirt in his face, although he can train at Ballydoyle on the dirt surface there.

      • Kevin Callinan

        O’Brien trains in groups- he will know about how he reacts to dirt before using up a million dollar entry. He has been on or near the lead in every race he’s run. If he wants the lead Chrome should probably let him have it.

      • Pebbles

        If Arrogate points there Chrome may lay off the pace and let Highland Reel go.

  • Audrey Gulla

    If anyone knows this horse it’s Mr.O’Brian. I suppose the ‘refuses’ above refers to the dirt versus turf? I for one would love to see this horse in the Pegasus! He sure put it all out there successfully in the BC Turf!

    • Pebbles

      He was my pick in the BC Turf.

  • molly julia

    California Chrome Wins The 2017 Pegasus Cup – Easily With A Different Jockey?

    • hougie

      I think it would be cool to give the mount to Frankie Detori or William Buick never got the chance to ride Chrome in England. Cant remember but one of them was going to ride Chrome at Ascot. They both got to exercise him at New Market.

  • me too

    Go Hoppy! the world traveler always gets in there.

  • Al Milano

    When a turf horse goes on dirt the first time there is no telling what will happen, but if Chrome is in the race — or Arrogate for that matter — this one had better be a world class dirt runner in order to just compete. They are 2 of the best in a long time. Most, but not all, turf horses making the switch don’t run more than a half mile before spitting it out. I don’t think he would be anything to fear.

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