OCEANPORT, N.J. (AP) — Pneumatic won the final race worth points for the Kentucky Derby, cruising to victory in the $150,000 TVG.com Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday.
Ridden by Joe Bravo, Pneumatic took the lead with about a quarter of a mile to go and got to the finish line 2 1/4-lengths in front of Jesus’ Team. The colt paid $3.60, $2.60, $2.20 in winning for the third time in five starts.
Pneumatic earned 20 points for the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5. The race is limited to 20 starters, although the field may have less in this year’s Triple Crown race because of the changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Coming into the Pegasus, Pneumatic was 22nd on the Kentucky Derby points list with 25 points. The Steve Asmussen-trained colt, who finished fourth in the Belmont, now is guaranteed a spot with 45 points.
His owners, Winchell Thoroughbreds’, now have to decide whether they want to challenge Tiz the Law, the expected heavy favorite after winning the Belmont and Travers stakes.
“I talked to Steve and his assistant Scott Blasi this morning and they were really excited about the horse,” Bravo said. “But you never really know until you sit on them. He was just in full control the whole time.”
Jesus’ Team returned $3.40 and $2.40 and earned eight points for the Derby. Pacesetter Arkaan got four points for third and was $3.20 to show.
The Pegasus is traditionally a prep for the Haskell Stakes, but it was added to the Derby calendar when thoroughbred racing’s scheduled by re-jiggered.