Cyberknife an early favorite for $3M Pegasus

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Cyberknife is going into his finale as the favorite.

The 4-year-old is the 5-2 morning-line top choice for Saturday's $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park, to be run at a mile and an eighth on the dirt. It'll be the final race before the winner of last year's Haskell Stakes and Arkansas Derby starts his stud career.

"Obviously, we're taking the show on the road," Cyberknife trainer Brad Cox said. "He's never been to Gulfstream. But I'm very happy with the way he's training. I think as along as he can get away well and get involved in the race the early part, he'll be effective. I think he'll like the configuration of the mile-and-an-eighth at Gulfstream."

Cyberknife finished second in his most recent outing, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland behind Cody's Wish on Nov. 11.

It's shaping up as a wide-open Pegasus, the richest race offered at Gulfstream Park and traditionally one of the richest races in North America. In 2022, only the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic and $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf featured bigger prizes, and the $3 million Pegasus purse is equal to the one offered last year at the Kentucky Derby.

Proxy was installed as the 9-2 second choice after Sunday's draw, followed by Skippylongstocking at 5-1 and Defunded at 6-1. They are the clear frontrunners in the eyes of oddsmakers; White Abarrio, Art Collector and O'Connor were next at 10-1.

Defunded is trained by Bob Baffert, who is trying for his third Pegasus win after Arrogate in 2017 and Mucho Gusto in 2020.

"It's going to be a tough race," Baffert said. "You never know. The post. The break. Everything has to go right."

The field, from the rail out: Proxy, Simplification (15-1), Ridin With Biden (20-1), White Abarrio, Defunded, Art Collector, Skippylongstocking, Get Her Number (15-1), Last Samurai (20-1), Cyberknife, Stilleto Boy (30-1) and O'Connor.

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