A Winning Brew for Monmouth’s Pegasus

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman") Twitter: @J_Keelerman

Saturday's $150,000 Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park might not have the purse and prestige of last week's $1.5 million Belmont S. (G1), but the 1 1/16-mile event has nevertheless attracted a quality field packed with promising horses.

The Pegasus serves as a local steppingstone toward the Haskell S. (G1) at Monmouth, and it's clearly an effective prep race since two of the last three Haskell winners (Mandaloun and Maximum Security) started in the Pegasus.

One of the obvious contenders in the 2022 Pegasus is #7 Dash Attack, a two-time stakes winner trained by Kenny McPeek. The son of Munnings won his debut racing one mile at Oaklawn Park last December, then followed up with a decisive two-length score over future Arkansas Derby (G1) runner-up Barber Road in Oaklawn's one-mile Smarty Jones S.

Dash Attack subsequently failed to factor in a trio of graded stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, finishing fifth in the Southwest S. (G3), seventh in the Rebel S. (G2), and sixth in the Lexington S. (G3). But he bounced right back to winning form in the one-mile and 70-yard Long Branch S. at Monmouth last month, rallying nicely from off the pace to prevail by half a length over Gotham S. (G3) runner-up Dean's List.

There are a couple of ways to interpret Dash Attack's up-and-down form. Maybe he struggled while competing against graded stakes competition, in which case the ungraded Pegasus should be an ideal fit for the chestnut colt.

On the other hand, it's possible Dash Attack is something of a wet-track specialist. He's 3-for-3 over sealed tracks and 0-for-3 over fast footing. With sunny weather in the forecast for Monmouth, I'm tempted to oppose Dash Attack in the Pegasus.

Who are the other key contenders? #4 Electability certainly warrants respect. His first two starts on dirt yielded pace-pressing maiden and allowance scores racing one mile at Aqueduct, and he subsequently ran well when stepping up into graded stakes competition for the Peter Pan S. (G3) at Belmont Park. Racing over a sealed track, Electability tracked eventual runaway winner With the People before weakening down the homestretch to finish third by 10 1/4 lengths.

Electability is squaring off against easier competition in the Pegasus and may appreciate stretching out around two turns for jockey Manny Franco and trainer Chad Brown, who have gone 18-for-36 (50%) teaming up together over the last two months.

But although Electability warrants respect, I'm tempted to throw my support behind #2 Home Brew. His race record to date is pretty much the opposite of Dash Attack's, in that Home Brew is 0-for-2 on off tracks and 3-for-3 over fast footing.

Home Brew looked like a potential Kentucky Derby contender when wiring a one-mile allowance optional claimer by 3 3/4 lengths at Oaklawn Park last fall. But he went to the sidelines following a 10th-place finish over a sloppy, sealed track in the Smarty Jones S., where he started as the favorite but struggled home eight lengths behind Dash Attack.

Fortunately, Home Brew bounced back nicely in the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn S. on April 23. After rating in midpack early on, Home Brew pounced to the lead and edged away to defeat next-out allowance winner Kuchar by 1 3/4 lengths.

Home Brew has trained sharply since the Oaklawn S. and has the breeding to improve with maturity for high-percentage trainer Brad Cox, who won the 2021 Pegasus with Mandaloun. Jockey Florent Geroux (a 33% winner teaming up with Cox over the last two months) picks up the mount, so I'm optimistic Home Brew will produce another winning performance in the Pegasus.

For the minor awards, we'll look toward #3 Mr Jefferson as a live longshot. The son of Constitution has knocked heads with some mighty tough rivals (including classic winners Mo Donegal and Early Voting) while competing in five straight stakes. Two starts back, he rallied to finish second by a head in the 1 1/8-mile Federico Tesio S. at Laurel Park, beaten only a head by next-out James W. Murphy S. winner Joe. A return to that level of form could place Mr Jefferson in the hunt for a top-three finish at solid odds in the Pegasus.


1st: Home Brew
2nd: Electability
3rd: Mr Jefferson
4th: Dash Attack

Now it's your turn! Who do you like in the Pegasus?


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J. Keeler Johnson (also known as "Keelerman") is a writer, videographer, voice actor, handicapper, and all-around horse racing enthusiast. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite.

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