Giant Expectations recorded the fastest five-furlong workout at Santa Anita Friday morning in preparation for a scheduled start in the $16 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park Jan. 27
The Peter Eurton-trained 5-year-old covered the five furlongs in 58.80 seconds under exercise rider Jose Aragon, registering the fastest of 64 clockings at the distance.
“We were pretty pleased with it. We’re happy with his energy. All systems go so far,” Eurton said by phone from Santa Anita. “He worked by himself. There were some horses working in front of him that he ended up catching up with.”
Eurton contends that Giant Expectations’ success often is determined by how well he gets out of the gate, and when he doesn’t break—like in the Nov. 3 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), where he finished sixth—it’s hard for the chestnut to run his race. With a clean break Eurton said he believes Giant Expectations would have at least finished third in the Dirt Mile.
“We’ve never been afraid of two turns,” Eurton said. “His race all comes down to getting him away from the gate and getting into his comfort zone. When he’s in last, like the Dirt Mile, and getting dirt in his face—he’s just not that kind of horse.”
It was the first recorded workout for the son of Frost Giant since his stunning 3 ¼-length front-running victory in the San Antonio (G2) at Santa Anita Dec. 26. Pegasus World Cup contender Collected finished third, a neck behind Accelerate, in the San Antonio.
Giant Expectations, who is owned by Exline-Border Racing, Gatto Racing and Garrett Zubok, is scheduled to remain at Santa Anita for his final Pegasus workout next Friday before shipping to South Florida Wednesday, Jan. 24.
“I just don’t want to go there and gallop a few days and breeze him over the track. If I don’t like the way he works over the track when he breezes, I’d feel terrible,” Eurton said. “This way if he doesn’t run good, I’ll feel terrible that day, but I won’t feel terrible the whole week.”
Gary Stevens, who was aboard for the 1 1/16-mile San Antonio, has the mount for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup.