Pegasus World Cup: First Mission can shine at the top level

Your first chance to see the top two-turn dirt horses this year happens Saturday, January 27 at Gulfstream Park for the Pegasus World Cup!  The $3 million race, which goes 1 ⅛ miles on the Gulfstream Park dirt, drew an overflow field: 12 in the main group plus one also-eligible entrant. It is not only an exciting race to watch, as it is also one of the best horse racing betting opportunities of the season!

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Illustrious horses like Arrogate, Gun Runner, Knicks Go, and Art Collector have won the Pegasus World Cup in its short seven-year history. Who will join that list this year? Read on to find out, and to see how to make the most of this great betting opportunity.

Where to Bet the Pegasus World Cup

Before you decide who to bet in the Pegasus World Cup, you need to choose the right place to bet the Pegasus World Cup online. You have many options, so making the choice can at first seem difficult. However, we are here to make it easy! We have expert insight into the top online sportsbooks, meaning you can choose the best place to bet quickly and confidently!

All of the sportsbooks we recommend have the basics of a great experience: a great user experience, trustworthy money management, and genuine Vegas odds. Online betting sites also offer great apps or responsive websites so you can bet on the go. Each site offers its own lucrative player incentives like sportsbook sign-up bonuses, so taking a few minutes now to pick the best for your betting style will help you boost your bankroll by hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

The Best Online Racebooks

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Pegasus World Cup Horses and Odds

This is the official field for the 2024 Pegasus World Cup including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning lines:

  1. Nimitz Class (George Weaver/Edgard Zayas) – 20/1
  2. O’Connor (Saffie Joseph, Jr./Paco Lopez) – 8/1
  3. Dynamic One (Todd Pletcher/Irad Ortiz, Jr.) – 15/1
  4. Hoist the Gold (Dallas Stewart/John Velazquez) – 12/1
  5. Trademark (Victoria Oliver/Fernando de la Cruz) – 15/1
  6. Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher/Junior Alvarado) – 20/1
  7. National Treasure (Bob Baffert/Flavien Prat) – 9/5
  8. First Mission (Brad Cox/Luis Saez) – 7/2
  9. Grand Aspen (Todd Pletcher/Jose Ortiz) – 8/1
  10. Il Miracolo (Antonio Sano/Javier Castellano) – 20/1
  11. Crupi (Todd Pletcher/Frankie Dettori) – 20/1
  12. Skippylongstocking (Saffie Joseph/Tyler Gaffalione) – 8/1
  13. Castle Chaos (Robert Falcone, Jr./Tyler Gaffalione) – ALSO ELIGIBLE

Note that Castle Chaos will not race unless a horse scratches from the main field before the Saturday-morning deadline. Gulfstream Park did not assign morning-line odds for Castle Chaos.

Keep in mind that morning-line odds change until the horse break from the gate. The advantage to betting major horse races at an online sportsbook is that you can lock in the best odds the moment you bet. This means, when you see an overlay on the horse you think can win, you can guarantee yourself the best price just by placing a bet!

BovadaBetOnline ReviewBetUS Review
National Treasure+135+180+180
First Mission+300+300+300
Grand Aspen+1200+1400+1400
Hoist the Gold+1200+1200+900

Click here for more 2024 Pegasus World Cup betting odds.

Free Pegasus World Cup Picks

You are set up with your online betting account, so it is time to find out more about the field, and handicap the 2024 Pegasus World Cup!

Pegasus World Cup Favorites

National Treasure is the most likely winner if he comes into the race in strong form. He has the speed to make the lead and carry the field around, which is a strong asset at Gulfstream. The issue is, he has been laid off since the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. National Treasure typically does not find his best off a layoff, meaning at an extremely short price it’s worth being skeptical.

Even though First Mission cedes experience to many of the horses in the field, he ran well against older foes when second in the Clark (G2) last out. If he can stalk the pace instead of battle all the way around like he did in that outing, he can produce a better result. He should be a well-defined second choice, but is more trustworthy than the betting favorite.

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Skippylongstocking has to handle a far-outside post, which can be a disadvantage at Gulfstream. However, he is well proven at Gulfstream, he has tactical speed, and he is a better proven horse now than he was when he tried this level last year. All this adds up to a horse who should be well suited for the race.

Intriguing Price Horses

Hoist the Gold still has to prove he wants to go nine furlongs, since he has done most of his best work at one-turn and extended one-turn trips. However, his pedigree gives him upside to show that. And, he has the right running style for this race: he should be able to use his sprint speed to be near the lead, or even make it if National Treasure misfires, and he can be a factor all the way.

Senor Buscador is the most interesting of the closers. Though he will need some pace help to win, he is a classy horse who can take his good races with him around the country, and he has proven he can show up at this level. Expect him to run on well late and invade the exotics at a big price.

Pegasus World Cup Free Picks

You’ve made your betting account and met the field, so it’s time for the most fun part of all: placing your bets! Here are the best bets for Saturday’s 2024 Pegasus World Cup:

  • $20 to win – #8 First Mission
  • $5 to win/place – #4 Hoist the Gold
  • $1 exacta key – #8 First Mission with #4 Hoist the Gold, #12 Skippylongstocking
  • $0.50 trifecta key – #8 First Mission with #4 Hoist the Gold, #6 Senor Buscador, #12 Skippylongstocking
  • $0.20 superfecta key – #8 First Mission with #4 Hoist the Gold, #6 Senor Buscador, #7 National Treasure, #12 Skippylongstocking
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Rowan Ward

They have been attending the races regularly for over ten years, since catching the horse racing bug at the 2013 Arlington Million. Since then their writing has appeared in their own blog and across the horse racing internet. They are still at Hawthorne for every day of live racing, and their focuses within horse racing include national stakes races, local Chicago-area racing, and pedigree.