Nowhere is the schoolroom axiom more true than in the 2023 Pegasus World Cup: The bottom half of the class makes the top half of the class possible. And: Nowhere in racing is that axiom turned on its head more swiftly than in the fashioning of a well-paying exacta, trifecta, or a boxed anything.
It’s precisely those high-odds upset-makers in the bottom half of the (talent) class that you want to round out your exotics. Because: They can be there hitting that wire, too. They’re a different sort of bettor than those boring ol’ on-the-nose people. Put differently, these are the people who had the truly-outta-nowhere 89-1 Rich Strike as the 2022 Derby winner in their exactas.
And so, in races with big purses and large patchwork fields exactly like the 2023 Pegasus, a coterie of excellent players will be striking out on spelunking expeditions deep into the past performances and pedigrees — and any shreds or snippets of trackside or barn gossip that they can hoover up on the bottom half of the class — in an effort to make some good lucre.
You have to be curious. Who the hell is Stiletto Boy, anyway? Can he really be there when White Abarrio, whom we were just considering boxing with Cyberknife and Proxy, but whose price just slid down the totem pole as somebody just got a whiff of a tip and dumped a wad on him, falls apart in the last two furlongs? Gotta find somebody else, is what you do.
But before we start parsing some of the less likely contenders in the hope of a bigger payday, here’s a live odds refresher out of London:
(Post Position, Horse, Live Odds (London))
1) Proxy, 5-1
2) Simplification, 18-1
3) Ridin with Biden, 50-1
4) White Abarrio, 15-2
5) Defunded, 5-1
6) Art Collector, 12-1
7) Skippylongstocking, 7-1
8) Get Her Number, 16-1
9) Last Samurai, 33-1
10) Cyberknife, 7-4
11) Stilletto Boy, 25-1
12) O’Connor, 33-1
(Date: January 28, 2023, Source: SkyBet, Time: 6:15 a.m. ET)