Tue. Sep 22nd, 2020

RACING INFO

North American Thoroughbred Horse Racing

Pegasus World Cup

pegasus world cup

Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World Cup is an American Thoroughbred horse race whose first running was on January 28, 2017 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. It is run over the dirt at the distance of ​1 18 miles (9 furlongs) and is open to horses four years old and up. The Grade I rating was assumed from the Donn Handicap. With a purse of $12 million for its inaugural running, the Pegasus World Cup surpassed the Dubai World Cup as the richest horse race in the world. The purse was subsequently increased to $16 million in 2018 but reduced to $9 million in 2019.

Entrants carry 124 pounds (56 kg) with a three pound allowance for fillies and mares. Horses that run without the use of the pre-race medication furosemide (more commonly known as Lasix) receive an allowance of five pounds.

The race is named for the mythical horse, a 110-foot statue of which stands at Gulfstream Park.

Frank Stronach first proposed the idea for the race during the Thoroughbred Owners Conference at Gulfstream in January 2016. His original proposal called for an annual ​1 14-mile (10 furlong) race to be run at either Gulfstream or Santa Anita Park in mid to late January, which would not interfere with the Breeders' Cup or the Dubai World Cup. The timing also makes it possible for a horse to run one last race before retiring to stud, as the North American breeding season begins in mid-February. "I think racing usually has a little lull this time of year – we have to wait for spring for something to happen," said trainer Bob Baffert in January 2017. "When I heard about the idea last year, I thought wow, American Pharoah probably would have been in there for one more try at it."

The Stronach Group officially announced plans for the race in May 2016, with the distance shortened to ​1 18 miles (9 furlongs). Under the format, 12 shareholders each pay $1 million to purchase a position in the gate for a then unspecified horse. The shareholder then has the right to race, lease, contract or share a starter, or sell their place in the gate, and would have the first right of refusal for subsequent races. Shareholders also have an equal share in the net income from the race.

Each shareholder is permitted to pre-enter two horses. A pre-entered horse that does not draw into the Pegasus World Cup is eligible to compete in the newly created Poseidon Stakes, which is run under similar conditions but offers a $400,000 purse and requires a $20,000 entry fee.

Following its inaugural running in 2017, it was announced that the second Pegasus World Cup in 2018 would be contested for a higher purse of $16 million, with $1 million from each of the 12 starting positions and an additional $4 million contributed by the Stronach Group.

The 2019 Pegasus World Cup purse is increased to $17 million as an additional race on turf was added. The traditional dirt race will be reduced to $9 million, with the other $7 million in purse money allocated to the new Pegasus World Cup Turf race (formerly the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap), and another $1 million is available as bonus money. The entry fee is reduced to $500,000, with 24 entries available -- 12 for both the dirt and turf races each. An owner who wins both the dirt and turf races will win $1,000,000.

In 2019, the Stronach Group partnered with Xpressbet to host Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship with the total prize of $435,000.

2019 Running

In the 2019 edition, the purse for the main race was reduced to $9 million ($4 million to win), while a new race was created, Pegasus Turf with a purse of $7 million ($3 million to win). A $1 million bonus was also available if a horse's connections could sweep the two races. The two main contenders were Accelerate (Breeders' Cup Classic) and City of Light (Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile). Adding intrigue to the race was the presence of Mexican superstar Kukulkan, winner of Mexico's Triple Crown and undefeated in 14 career races. Other contenders included Gunnevera (Breeders' Cup Classic runner-up), Audible (Florida Derby winner), Bravazo (Preakness runner-up), Seeking the Soul (Ack Ack Stakes) and Patternrecognition (Cigar Mile winner). This was the final race for both Accelerate and City of Light before they were retired.

The track was sloppy due to heavy rain that continued during the race itself. City of Light broke well to vie for the early lead, then settled behind Patternrecognition. Around the far turn, City of Light made his move, followed by Accelerate. However, Accelerate could not match the pace and City of Light continued to draw away, winning by ​5 34 lengths over the late-closing Seeking the Soul.

All-Time Pegasus World Cup Winners

YearWinnerAgeJockeyTrainerOwnerTime
2019City of Light5Javier CastellanoW.M. McCarthyWarren, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. William K.1:47.71
2018Gun Runner5Florent GerouxSteven M. AsmussenWinchell Thoroughbreds LLCThree Chimneys Farm1:47.41
2017Arrogate4Mike E. SmithBob BaffertJuddmonte Farms1:46.83

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