Report: Bravazo Headed to Pegasus World Cup

(Bravazo works at Churchill Downs prior to the Clark Handicap  / Photo Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

From the Gulfstream Media Team:

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday that Calumet Farm’s Bravazo, third in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and second in the Preakness Stakes (G1), is being pointed toward the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan 26 at Gulfstream Park.

“Yes, that’s surely where we’re headed if everything goes well,” Lukas said.

Bravazo, who finished second in the Clark Handicap (G1) Nov. 23, has raced in eight consecutive Grade 1 events at six different tracks and is the only horse other than Justify this year to run in all three Triple Crown races.

“We’ve got a window of about seven weeks so we’ll get him in a work pattern,” Lukas said. “We did ship him to Arkansas where he’s getting a week to just take it easy. We’ll start picking up a work tab schedule in mid-December. He’s really done well. He’s fit, his weight is excellent. He’s run eight straight Grade 1’s and a lot of people would think he would taper off but he seems to only have gotten better. He’s a picture of consistency.”

Lukas said his first inclination would be to ship Bravazo to Gulfstream a week before the race. “I don’t think we’ll come in right on top of it,” he said.

A winner of 14 Triple Crown events, Lukas said he supports the Pegasus Championship Invitational Series, which for the first time will include a $7 million turf event.

“I think [Pegasus] is a significant development in the big picture of racing,” he said. “One of things we’ve struggled with in Thoroughbred racing is keeping superstars on the track. I think this is a step in the right direction. Any time you start the season with a $9 million race…it better be on your radar.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

More From The Pressbox Staff