HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Khaled’s Mucho Gusto made his first start both for his new owner and as a 4-year-old a successful one, taking command off of the far turn and crushing his competition in the street to take Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes Presented by Runhappy (G1) at Gulfstream Park.
Breaking swiftly from post 10 as the 3/1 second choice under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Mucho Gusto blitzed ahead to an early lead out of the gate, a critical maneuver due to the short run-up to the clubhouse turn. However, his lead was short-lived because Mr Freeze quickly shot ahead of him along the outside midway through the turn to set the pace.
Under Luis Saez, Mr Freeze posted opening fractions of :23.77, :47.78, and 1:11.84. while Bodexpress pressured him and a stalking Mucho Gusto kept closest watch down the backstretch and into the far turn. Midway through the far turn, Bodexpress began to fade between foes while Mucho Gusto re-bid three-wide with a big effort.
At the top of the stretch, Mucho Gusto stole command away from the pacesetter and quickened his pace immediately, holding a sudden lead by multiple lengths. Mr Freeze and the rest of the 10-horse field attempted to keep pace, but their efforts proved futile.