From the Gulfstream Park Media Team:
Michael Hui’s multiple graded-stakes winning millionaire Zulu Alpha added another chapter to his success story, slipping through an opening along the rail in deep stretch to pass Irish import Magic Wand and go on to an 11-1 upset of Saturday’s $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
The second running of the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus Turf and the fourth renewal of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on dirt comprised the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series presented by Runhappy, headlining a blockbuster 12-race program featuring nine stakes, six graded, worth $5.2 million in purses.
For the first time, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf were run free of any medications, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, born and raised in nearby Davie, Fla., Zulu Alpha ($25.60) completed the distance in 1:51.60 over a firm course for his fifth career graded-stakes victory and first in Grade 1 company. It was also the first Grade 1 win for Hui, who purchased his first horses in 2010 and has been working with Maker since 2015.
Trainer Mike Maker — Trainer of Zulu Alpha (1st):
“Just a great horse,” Maker said. “I thought he got unlucky in the Breeders’ Cup or he might have gotten a bigger slice there. He got some time off after that and he really thrived coming in.”
“Since he’s been back, he’s been a lot sharper,” Maker said. “For a million dollars, you have to take a shot, and it paid off.”
Jockey Tyler Gaffalione — Zulu Alpha:
“The horse broke well and the speed set up in front of us. I was able to let my horse settle,” Gaffalione said. “They just kept opening up and I didn’t see any reason to go around them, so we just stayed on the fence. He really exploded down in there and finished the job. He honestly got more competitive down in there.”