Newly crowned four-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown will try for a second straight win in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Turf (G1) presented by Runhappy Saturday with a seasoned trio of graded-stakes winners.
Bricks and Mortar started what would be an unbeaten 2019 campaign in the Pegasus Turf. He was honored as the male turf champion and Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards dinner Thursday evening at Gulfstream Park.
John and Tanya Gunther's 5-year-old homebred son of Frankel, Without Parole, is the most accomplished of Brown's 2020 threesome with a Group 1 win in the 2018 St. James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Sacred Life was a Group 3 winner at Saint-Cloud in France in 2017. Instilled Regard, fourth in the 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1) for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, has been transitioned to the turf since being moved to Brown's care in the in the summer of 2018. He prepped for the Pegasus Turf with a victory in the Fort Lauderdale (G2) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream Park.
Bricks and Mortar was a graded-stakes winning 3-year-old in 2018 but was off for more than a year recovering from surgery to repair an injury to a rear leg. He returned to win an allowance race about month before his impressive score in the Pegasus Turf. Brown said the connections expected him to run very well.
“Yeah, we really liked the horse in that race and I was so pleased to see him perform that way,” Brown said. “It was a great start to a memorable campaign, one of the best, if not the best, by a male turf horse in this country, a horse that races exclusively on turf.”
Bricks and Mortar completed his perfect six-race season in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1), was retired and is beginning stud duty in Japan.
Without Parole will be ridden from Post 3 in the Pegasus Turf by internationally acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori, who was his regular rider in Europe. The 5-year-old British-bred horse is winless in his six starts since the Royal Ascot success. He was transferred to Brown's care in August and, without a prep race, finished third in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1).
“His first race for us in the Breeders' Cup was a tall order and he really did well. He ran extraordinarily well,” Brown said. “We freshened him up just a touch and pointed him to this race. I think he's coming into it well. I don't think the distance will be a problem for him. He drew a good cozy post inside I'm excited to see him run.”
Larry Best's OXO Equine purchased Instilled Regard for $1,050,000 as a 2-year-old. He won the Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds and moved on to the Derby after running fourth in the Risen Star (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1). The son of Arch has been on the turf in four of his last five starts. He drew Post 6 and will be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.
“He's coming in well. He's coming off a very nice win over the turf course at Gulfstream,” Brown said. “He got a very good trip and he performed well. He's going to have to step up; this is a tougher field. But he's training like a horse that is capable of stepping up. He's constantly improving. He's a real classy horse with a good turn of foot. Hopefully, he steps it up on Saturday.”
Like Without Parole, this will be Instilled Regard's first try at 1 ½ miles.
Sacred Life was purchased and imported from France last summer by co-owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Wonder Stables and Bethlehem Stables. He has a victory and three seconds in four U.S. starts and most recently was the runner-up to Next Shares – who he will meet again in the Pegasus Turf – in the Seabiscuit Handicap (G2) Nov. 30 at Del Mar. Jose Ortiz and Sacred Life will leave from Post 11.
“This horse has really come around,” Brown said. “He's a rapidly improving horse with a big turn of foot. He drew a challenging post out there in the 11, but he's training exceptionally well. If he works out a trip he's capable of winning.”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.