01/20/2011 3:51PM

Champ Pegasus must show more in San Luis Obispo

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Justin N. Lane
Trainer Richard Mandella says Champ Pegasus must run well in the San Luis Obispo to justify making the trip to Dubai in March.

Champ Pegasus may be bound for Dubai in March, depending on his performance in the $150,000 San Luis Obispo Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf on Feb. 19.

Trainer Richard Mandella said he needs to see a win, or a top effort, from Champ Pegasus to justify a trip to Dubai for the $5 million Sheema Classic against an international field over about 1 1/2 miles on turf on March 26.

Champ Pegasus, second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in November, finished second in his 2011 debut in Monday’s Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes, losing to Bourbon Bay.

“It depends on his next race,” Mandella said of Dubai. “We’ll have to do better than we did the other day. I should have put a stiffer work in him. He came back pretty tired like he needed the race. He should run better next time.”

Owned by Gerald Ford and Arturo Vargas, Champ Pegasus, 5, has won 4 of 10 starts and $928,520. He won two stakes last year in turf marathons in Southern California.