(Atone wins Pegasus World Cup Turf / Photo Courtesy of Gulfstream Park)

From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:

Three Diamonds Farm’s Atone, given a ground-saving trip by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., found room at the top of the stretch and powered through the lane to reel in Ivar in the final sixteenth of a mile and win Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) presented by Qatar Racing at Gulfstream Park.

The fifth running of the Pegasus Turf and the seventh renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) presented by Baccarat on dirt, both at 1 1/8 miles, and the $500,000 TAA Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3) presented by Pepsi headlined a blockbuster Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series program featuring nine stakes, seven graded, worth $5.4 million in purses.

It was the third consecutive win in the Pegasus Turf for Ortiz, following back-to-back victories with Colonel Liam in 2021 and 2022. Ortiz, honored earlier in the week with his fourth career Eclipse Award as North America’s champion jockey, won three prior races on the program including the $150,000 La Prevoyante (G3) with Personal Best and $200,000 William L. McKnight (G3) with Red Knight.

Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. — Atone (1st):

“It means a lot,” Ortiz said. “I’m just enjoying the moment and what is happening in my career right now. I have to thank my agent Steve Rushing for doing a great job, and thanks to all the owners and trainers for supporting me. They make me the happiest man in the world to be honest. I’m living the dream.”

“It was perfect, every step of the way. I was so happy,” Ortiz said. “I was following a live horse, Wit, and then by the three-eighths pole the horse that I had to beat [Ivar] was outside of me so I had to take two or three strides to let him move before I made my move. I waited but at the same time I tipped my way out so when I hit the clear my horse was there. All the credit goes to the horse.”


Trainer Mike Maker — Atone: 

For trainer Mike Maker, it was his second Pegasus Turf victory following Zulu Alpha in 2020. Earlier wins Saturday came with Red Knight and Endorsed in $150,000 Fred W. Hooper (G3).

“It feels great to win. It doesn’t get old,” Maker said. “It’s been a great day, and I’ve got two more tonight at Turfway [Park].”

“Irad looked like he wanted to be forwardly placed out of the gate and it looked like a couple of others had the same idea,” Maker said. “He settled in nice, saved some ground and got lucky to get some racing room when it counted.”

Bred by Godolphin, Atone is a 6-year-old Into Mischief gelding that earned seventh career victory from 23 starts and first graded company after placing four previous times and running fourth by 1 ¾ lengths in last year’s Pegasus Turf. He went 1-for-8 in 2022 and was beaten less than six lengths combined when second in the Mint Million (G3) and Forbidden Apple (G3) and third in the Dinner Party (G2), and was fourth by a length in the Maker’s Mark Mile (G1).

“He was a hard-luck horse last year,” Maker said. “He’s always been right there, and today was his day.”