JAMES McIngvale’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes plans look to be back on track after the owner purchased the three-time group 1 winning Argentine-bred runner Eragon.
McIngvale’s – who owns one of the 12 slots for the race – plans of running last year’s champion sprinter Runhappy in the maiden running of the world’s richest horse race were thrown into disarray after the undefeated colt was retired to stud in November.
However, the acquisition of the Argentinian five-year-old has reignited his hopes of winning the USD$12 million race.
The owner said it was an astute deal they got on the three-time group 1 winner.
“He’s a good horse and he was the right price,” McIngvale said.
“And they don’t train on Lasix down there, which was important to me. I’m already invested in the race and Runhappy isn’t running anymore, so I had to fill the hole.”
Eragon – who has won 10 of its last 20 starts in Argentina – experienced success in Group 1 Estrellas Mile and the Group 1 Gran Premio Hipodromo de Palermo over the dirt, and the soon to be six-year-old has made two starts and won a stakes race at the Pegasus’s nine-furlong distance.
The horse’s new trainer Laura Wohlers believes Eargon has what it takes to make an impact in January of next year.
“Some of his best races look like they were mile races on the dirt; he’s run in 1:33 and 1:34 (1:34.91),” Wohlers said.
“He’s got some speed although he’s an off-the-pace type. He’s run a mile and a quarter and his rider thinks he’ll go further. I think he’ll do both surfaces.”
Wohlers said that she along with the stable’s vet went down to South America at the end of November to inspect the horse and was impressed with what she saw.
“He’s a real calm horse,” she said.
“He’s a well-minded horse. He’s settled,
“His competition hasn’t been as tough but he’s won at the grade I level there. If he can throw the same races here that he’s run there [he can win]”
The inaugural running of the Group 1 $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational is set to take place at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 28, 2017