Hoppertunity (Any Given Saturday) and jockey John Velazquez win the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Gr I) at Belmont Park.
Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Hoppertunity leads a group of graded stakes winners that are among the 111 horses nominated to the five supporting stakes races, three of them graded, on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational program on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Gulfstream Park.
A total of $ 1,025,000 in purses will be available in the stakes leading up to the first running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational with its world-record purse of $ 12 million.
Hoppertunity, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, is the leading money winner in the 30 horses nominated for the inaugural running of the $ 400,000 Poseidon at nine furlongs on dirt. Baffert sent Hoppertunity from California to Belmont Park for the Jockey Club Gold Cup and he prevailed by a half-length over Effinex to pick up his second Grade 1 victory. He earned $ 2.3 million in 2016 to push his career total to $ 3.9 million.
Baffert, who is preparing Arrogate for the Pegasus World Cup, also nominated Mor Spirit, winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity and the runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
Stanford, winner of Harlan’s Holiday (G3) on Dec. 17 at Gulfstream Park, was one of nine horses nominated by leading trainer Todd Pletcher.
Defending champion Charming Kitten is one of the five nominated by trainer Mike Maker for the 50th running of the $ 200,000 W.L. McKnight at 1 1/12 miles on the turf. The McKnight drew 21 nominees. Charming Kitten followed up his McKnight win with a victory in the H. Allen Jerkens. Maker also nominated three-time stakes winner Oscar Nominated and 2016 Red Smith winner Bigger Picture.
Gelfenstein Farm’s Dearest is among the 18 fillies and mare sprinters nominated to the $ 100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) at seven furlongs on the main track. Dearest won the Sugar Swirl (G3) on Dec. 17 in her most recent start. Sugar Swirl runner-up You Bought Her, trained by David Hinsley, was nominated for the Hurricane Bertie, as was Rampart (G3) winner Eskenformoney.
The 48th running of the La Prevoyante (G3) for fillies and mares going 1 1/2 miles on the grass drew 21 nominations. Trainer Chad Brown nominated Martin Schwartz’ German-bred Olorda, winner of both of her starts in 2016, the Very One (G3) at Gulfstream Park and the Bewitched (G3) at Keeneland. Juddmonte Farms’ stakes veteran Suffused was nominated by Bill Mott. She won the Glens Falls (G3) at Saratoga and was beaten a nose in the E.P. Taylor (G1) at Woodbine.
Mongolian Saturday, the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner is among the 21 nominated for the $ 125,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint. Also nominated to the five-furlong event are the top three finishers in the $ 100,000 Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs: Power Alert, Incensed and Flying Rumor.
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