Gulfstream Park will provide a fun-filled backdrop for the first major event of the new racing calendar when it hosts the Pegasus World Cup Invitational series on Saturday.
The popular South Florida track has carded nine stakes races, six of them graded, worth $5.2 million in purses. The star-studded afternoon will culminate in the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes.
Tom Pedulla interviewed Dean Reeves, chairman of Reeves Young, a contracting company in Atlanta, who is part of the ownership group of Pegasus contender Tax. The Arch gelding was claimed for $50,000 as a 2-year-old and went on to finish fourth in the Belmont Stakes before winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets. He enters the Pegasus with $828,300 in earnings.
Reeves was among 12 initial stakeholders when the Pegasus concept was introduced in 2017.
PEDULLA: Why were you on board with the Pegasus from the start?
REEVES: Well, I wanted to support Frank [Stronach] in trying something new and innovative in horse racing. I think when someone steps up to the plate and tries something like that, we as owners have to embrace it. I felt we would have to tweak it over time and we have done that. I was glad to be a part of it.
PEDULLA: How did you get involved with Tax?
REEVES: [Trainer] Danny Gargan had called Randy Hill right after he claimed the horse [to see if he wanted to become a partner] and Randy said, ‘I’ve got too many horses.’ Well, then the horse finished third in the Remsen [Stakes]. Randy got back with Danny and said, ‘Well, maybe I need one more.’ Randy called me and said, ‘Do you want to partner on this horse?’ and I said, ‘Sure.’ So we bought into the horse and it’s been a pretty good run so far.
PEDULLA: What was it about the horse that interested you, that you thought this could be worthwhile?
REEVES: He showed in the Remsen that he was a solid dirt horse that could get two turns. Those are a good commodity.
PEDULLA: Is [2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner] Mucho Macho Man still the horse you are most proud to be associated with?
REEVES: Absolutely. I’d be surprised if I ever had another horse to even compare to Mucho Macho Man. He always came to run and to win the Classic, my gosh, how do you ever repeat that? And the thing I am proud of is he was a fan favorite. That made it a lot of fun.
PEDULLA: How did you acquire Mucho Macho Man?
REEVES: I actually was looking to buy Gourmet Dinner after his maiden race and noticed Mucho Macho Man in that race. Instead of buying Gourmet Dinner, I bought Mucho Macho Man.
PEDULLA: When did you buy your first horse?
REEVES: I bought my first horse in 2007. My partner was Bob Ades. Bob and his wife, Esther, got Patti and I involved in racing. We partnered on several horses. The first horse I won a race with was Cause I Can and it’s kind of funny because he was by More Than Ready. Bob and I bought yearlings of More Than Ready and Giant’s Causeway. Well, Bob was going to name the Giant’s Causeway and I was going to name the More Than Ready and we sent both names out to the family. Well, my daughter [Sarah] submitted the name Cause I Can. We liked it, but since we weren’t naming the Giant’s Causeway, we just named the More Than Ready Cause I Can. That was a fun horse.
PEDULLA: How many horses are you involved with now?
REEVES: I’ve got about 35 horses in training and then I’ve got some single horses scattered around with different people. It’s a handful.
PEDULLA: What does your involvement in racing mean to you?
REEVES: I’m enjoying it. It has its ups and downs, but I really treasure the friendships I’ve made, partnering with people that are a lot of fun, getting to know the trainers, grooms, and riders and so forth. It’s really a small community, but it’s a lot of dedicated people. I enjoy the competition and trying to get a horse that you can take to the highest level.
PEDULLA: How do you rate your chances with Tax in the Pegasus?
REEVES: I think we have a great shot. Tax is a horse that is continuing to improve and he shows up every race. I think we’re going to be right in the mix.
PEDULLA: Is there one horse you look at as the horse to beat?
REEVES: No, not really. I don’t think there is anybody in that race we can’t beat.