Following some consideration, G M B Racing's Tom's d'Etat has officially been confirmed for the Grade I $9 million Pegasus World Cup on January 26 at Gulfstream Park, according to trainer Al Stall, Jr. and G M B Racing Manager Greg Bensel.
On Sunday morning, the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike began serious preparations for North America's richest race with a half-mile breeze in :49.00 over a fast Fair Grounds main track under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, which was the horse's first work since his Tenacious Stakes triumph.
“This will be a true test,” Bensel said. “We don't know where he fits in the Pegasus but I do know that he's won six out of his nine career races so he deserves a chance. He's a horse that can definitely go the distance up against that type of talent. It will be the most talented field there can be.”
Lightly raced for a 6-year-old, Tom's d'Etat scored his fourth victory in a row in the Tenacious Stakes, which was also his stakes debut. Ankle issues put him on the shelf for 16 months following a nine-length allowance win at Saratoga in July 2017, where he defeated graded stakes winner Far From Over. He was able to return from the hiatus in winning fashion when defeating stakes winners Pioneer Spirit and Guest Suite over a fast main track at Churchill Downs in November in a third-level allowance race.
“I think he is getting to that point where he seems to be getting better with age,” Bensel said. “Our hopes are that he can compete and can shock some people. I think he's going to be a moderate to a longshot.”
Tom's d'Etat is out of the Giant's Causeway broodmare Julia Tuttle, whose dam Candy Cane (Arg.) is a full-sister to multiple champion producing stallion Candy Ride (Arg.).He was a $330,000 purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in 2014 from the consignment barn of Hunter Valley Farm. He was bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock.
Stall said that Tom's d'Etat would have two more works before shipping to Gulfstream Park on Tuesday, January 22.
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