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JESUS’ TEAM: FROM BREEDERS’ CUP TO PEGASUS & BEYOND | Training for the world’s richest horse races

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JESUS’ TEAM - a bay thoroughbred race horse - did not break his maiden until his fifth attempt on a racetrack in a claimer at Gulfstream Park, Florida USA.

In a sign of how far the colt by Tapiture has come and how well he has been handled by up-and-coming handler Jose D’Angelo - a former leading trainer in Venezuela now based in South Florida, grand plans await the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile runner-up in 2021.

Jesus’ Team is on target for the annual Pegasus World Cup Invitational run in January at Gulfstream Park and, if all goes well there, it would be on to the world’s richest race - the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where the inaugural running in 2020 saw an epic battle between Maximum Security and Midnight Bisou.

D’Angelo was the leading trainer in Venezuela, before winning his first race in the US in June 2019.

“Sometimes it’s like a dream,” he said. “But I have faith in Jesus and his work. He shows every race his heart and courage.”

Foaled April 22 2017, Jesus’ Team progressed to be fourth in the 2020 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park behind Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bob Baffert’s Authentic; third in the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga, and a credible third in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico - won by filly Swiss Skydiver.

Jesus’ Team then finished behind only Brad Cox’s Knicks Go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland before rounding out the year with a win in the Crown Jewel Stakes on home turf at Gulfstream Park.
D’Angelo said the Kentucky-bred welcomes a workload that is relatively heavy.

“It’s good for him,” he said. “Each horse is different. Some horses can only run five times a year. In the case of Jesus, he can run one time a month.”
Should Jesus’ Team, named for the owner’s son contest the Pegasus, D’Angelo stated, “it would be amazing for me. Just to run in the Pegasus and have a chance to go to the Saudi Cup, I’m very happy and it’s incredible.”
Pegasus World Cup past winners:
2020 Mucho Gusto / Irad Ortiz Jr. / Bob Baffert
2019 City of Light / Javier Castellano / Michael McCarthy
2018 Gun Runner / Florent Geroux / Steven Asmussen
2017 Arrogate / Mike Smith / Bob Baffert


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