Bruce Lunsford’s Kentucky-bred Art Collector drew away from his rivals in the stretch to win the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 28.
After breaking cleanly under Junior Alvarado, Art Collector stalked pacesetter Stilleto Boy in the early stages. He made a menacing three-wide move at the top of the stretch and rolled to a 4 ½-length victory over Defunded, running 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.44.
“We scripted it that way and it turned out that way,” said winning trainer Bill Mott. “That doesn’t happen very often, but Junior rode him and did a great job. I told him just ride him like you rode Olympiad, and he rode him the same way.”
Alvarado, who piloted the Mott-trained Olympiad to four graded stakes victories and a runner-up finish behind subsequent Horse of the Year Flightline in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) last year, was aboard Art Collector for the first time in the Pegasus.
“I don’t have the words to put it together. It’s just unbelievable,” Alvarado said. “I’m so glad that I got a chance to ride this horse.
Art Collector, wire-to-wire winner of the 2021 Woodward S. (G1), is a 6-year-old son of Bernardini out of the Distorted Humor mare Distorted Legacy. He entered the Pegasus with earnings in excess of $2.3 million and has competed at the highest level throughout his career, winning 11 of 21 lifetime starts.
“He’s done that before. These kind of races, you just have to wait and see,” said Mott. “These are competitive races. You get the horse as good as you can and hope the horse shows up.”