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Verrazano Vs Itsmyluckyday in Pegasus Bout

2013 Pegasus Looks Like Match Race

On Sunday, June 16th, Monmouth Park will host the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes and from the looks of it, Verrazano and Itsmyluckyday will go head-to-head unmatched in this $150,000 race. By name and accomplishments, no other horse in the race appears to have what it takes to go against these heavy weights, both having made names for themselves as Triple Crown contenders, but I have a slightly different opinion that could lead to some better paying options in the Pegasus.

Verrazano Vs Itsmyluckyday in Pegasus Bout

Verrazano Not Set to Fly in Pegasus

VerrazanoPrior to the Derby, Verrazano was undefeated and rolling towards an overly-hyped up Derby win, but days before the Run for the Roses, this horse began to fall short within the public’s eye and for obviously good reasons. We all know the story. The bell sounded, the gate flew open and Palace Malice lead Verrazano and a host of other horses to Derby suicide. Burnt out and tired, he lost his first race and ran 14th in the 19 horse field, an utter disappointment for his fans. Don’t get me wrong, Verrazano is a great horse, but let’s face it- amid the mediocre crop of three year olds this year, he was trailing the field. The Pegasus will provide him with a chance to redeem himself in the public eye, but honestly, there are a couple of horses in Sunday’s race that can run with him (not counting Itsmyluckyday.)  In my opinion, the only way Verrazano wins this one is if he flies out to the lead and no one goes with him. Should this happen, he certainly has a strong shot at taking it, but I believe that the coupled entry of Reporting Star and Kanturk Kid will go after him and the outcome could be disastrous for him.

Itsmyluckyday in for the Clean-Up

ItsmyluckydayItsmyluckyday didn’t fare too well in the Derby, either. Running 15th in the Kentucky Derby right behind Verrazano, a case could be made that he won’t be able to beat Verrazano. But Itsmyluckyday has one thing going for him in a huge way- he ran 2nd in the Preakness and has already begun to redeem himself from the Derby disaster.  With this strong experience in his favor, I feel he will be the serious threat in the 2013 Pegasus. It is the perfect time for Itsmyluckyday who seems to be coming of age right before us. He will also have Belmont winner, Mike Smith at the helm, creating a stalking combo that should prove dangerous for the rest of the field. Trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr had this to say about the race-

 

“Ideally on paper, we’d like to see a fast pace. This is when a jockey like Mike Smith can make the difference. It becomes a jockey’s race. You just hope you put him on the best horse and see what happens.”

I believe that Verrazano will rush to the lead and earn that spot early on. Edge of Reality will come up to challenge him for the position, causing a speed duel. Kanturk Kid and Reporting Star will stalk the pace and wait for Edge of Reality to lose ground to Verrazano.  Meanwhile, I believe that Itsmyluckyday will hang 4 to 5 spots behind the leader and bide his time. As the horses head for home, he will overtake Verrazano and the coupled entry and claim this one in the end. Unless, of course, Verrazano sprouts wings like the legendary horse and takes flight.

 

 

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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at HandicapHorseRacing.com and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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