Trainer Miguel Angel Silva has earmarked the $3 million Pegasus World Cup next month as the next stopping point for Sleepy Eyes Todd.
Over the weekend Sleepy Eyes Todd took the scalp of Grade 1 winner Firenze Fire to land the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park.
It was the latest landmark success in a 15-race career that has seen the son of Paddy O’Prado racing at distances from 6½f up to a mile-and-a-half, showcasing his versatility along the way. He’s now seemingly carving more of a niche for himself.
He won the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland on his first start over a seven-furlong trip on his penultimate run before taking the Mr. Prospector Stakes at the same distance.
Silva suggests that being allowed by connections to plot a path for Sleepy Eyes Todd is the biggest thrill of his own racing career.
“He’s always been a nice horse and we’ve always believed in him,” he Silva said. “I’m thankful to the owner for letting us do the job and take the horse everywhere and just have some fun with him. He’s the best horse we’ve ever had and hopefully we can have some more fun.”
He’s now likely to go back up in trip from seven furlongs to tackle two turns around Gulfstream Park in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) next month over an increased trip of one-mile-one-furlong.
“That’s the plan,” Silva said about the Pegasus. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Sleepy Eyes Todd can already lay claim to a victory at the Pegasus trip, taking out the Charles Town Classic Stakes (G2) earlier this year.
He’s also struggled at the distance, finishing last of five behind the likes of Improbable and Maximum Security in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita following his Charles Town win.
His latest defeat of Firenze Fire, who was coming off a third in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, also saw Sleepy Eyes Todd with a further two-and-three-quarters lengths to spare over multiple Grade 1 winner Mind Control in a notable success for trainer Silva.
The upset win was an eighth for Sleepy Eyes Todd in his 15 starts, lifting his career earnings to $744,825.
Bought for $9,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, Sleepy Eyes Todd looks destined for his biggest assignment thus far early in the New Year when he returns to Gulfstream Park for a crack at the Pegasus.