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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.[1][2] 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.[3] 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.

Pegasus World Cup
Grade I race
LocationGulfstream Park
Hallandale Beach, Florida, United States
Race typeThoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance1 18 miles (9 furlongs)
QualificationFour-year-olds and up
Weight124 pounds (56 kg) with allowances
Purse$12 million (2017)
$16 million (2018)
$9 million (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.[4]

The race is named for the mythical horse, a 110-foot statue of which stands at Gulfstream Park.[5]


Frank Stronach first proposed the idea for the race during the Thoroughbred Owners Conference at Gulfstream in January 2016.[6] 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.[6] 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."[7]

The Stronach Group officially announced plans for the race in May 2016, with the distance shortened to ​1 18 miles (9 furlongs).[1] 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.[2] Shareholders also have an equal share in the net income from the race.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

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.[11]

In 2019, the Stronach Group partnered with Xpressbet to host Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship with the total prize of $435,000.[12]

2017 RunningEdit

Pre-race details

One week after the formal announcement in May 2016, the Stronach Group announced that all 12 slots for the race had been purchased.[13] The initial shareholders and their associated entries were:[14]

  • California Chrome LLC, the ownership group behind the champion horse of the same name
  • Coolmore Stud, spot sold in December to Juddmonte Farms for Breeders' Cup winner Arrogate[15]
  • Dan Schafer, spot used for War Story, owned by Loooch Racing Stables et al.[16]
  • Frank Stronach, founder and honorary chairman of the Stronach Group, spot used for Shaman Ghost
  • Jerry and Ronald Frankel, spot used for Keen Ice, co-owned with Donegal Racing and Calumet Farm
  • Jim McIngvale, founder of Gallery Furniture, spot used for Eragon
  • Reddam Racing, owner of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, spot used for Semper Fortis
  • Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, owner of classic winner Mucho Macho Man, spot used for Breaking Lucky, owned by Gunpowder Farms and West Point Thoroughbreds[17]
  • Rosedown Racing, spot used for Prayer for Relief, co-owned with Zayat Stables
  • Ruis Stable, spot used for War Envoy
  • Sol Kumin, spot sold in September to Earle Macke,[18] used for Noble Bird, co-owned with Oxley et al.
  • Starlight Racing, spot used for Neolithic

Gun Runner, who would likely have been the third choice in the field, was refused entry due to a disagreement over testing protocols arising from a quarantine at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans. His owners, Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm, had negotiated with shareholder Ruis Stable for a spot.[19]

The first running of the race carried Grade I status, which was transferred from the discontinued Donn Handicap by the American Graded Stakes Committee.[20] A new stakes race would normally have to wait two years before being eligible for any graded or listed status.

The race was promoted as the final match-up between California Chrome, the two-time American Horse of the Year, and Arrogate, ranked by the IFHA as the World's Best Racehorse of 2016. California Chrome drew the outside post position which caused him to be carried wide in the first turn. He eventually settled behind the early leaders alongside Arrogate but could not respond when the latter made his move, possibly having wrenched his leg early in the race. California Chrome was eased to prevent the possibility of further injury and finished ninth. Meanwhile Arrogate swept to the lead and drew off to win by nearly five lengths over longshot Shaman Ghost.[21] The timing of the race proved controversial. The official time, measured by Trakus based on transmitters in the horses' saddlecloths, was 1:47.61. However, clocking experts hand-timed the race almost a second faster, at 1:46.9. The timing controversy caused the Beyer Speed Figure for Arrogate to be increased from 116 to 119.[22] Gulfstream did a frame-by-frame video analysis and determined the correct time was 1:46.83, a new track record.[23]

2017 Order of finish and odds
2017 Pegasus World Cup Results[24]
Finish Program
Horse Jockey Trainer Morning Line Final Odds Margin Winnings
1 1 Arrogate Mike Smith Bob Baffert 7-5 0.90 4 34 lengths $7,000,000
2 7 Shaman Ghost Jose Ortiz James Jerkens 20-1 19.8 2 34 lengths $1,750,000
3 3 Neolithic John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 30-1 23.40 2 34 lengths $1,000,000
4 9 Keen Ice Javier Castellano Todd Pletcher 12-1 16.3 2 14 lengths $250,000
5 5 War Story Antonio Gallardo Jorge Navarro 50-1 49.1 1 length $250,000
6 4 Noble Bird Julien Leparoux Mark Casse 25-1 30.20 9 lengths $250,000
7 8 Semper Fortis Tyler Gaffalione Doug O'Neill 50-1 160.1 3 14 lengths $250,000
8 10 Breaking Lucky Luis Contreras Reade Baker 25-1 74.5 3 lengths $250,000
9 12 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman 6-5 1.2 4 14 lengths $250,000
10 2 Prayer for Relief Florent Geroux Dale Romans 50-1 138.1 10 12 $250,000
11 6 War Envoy Luis Saez Mick Ruis 50-1 188.4 $250,000
DNF 11 Eragon Edgar Prado Laura Wohlers 50-1 82.4 $250,000

2018 RunningEdit

In December 2017, Gulfstream announced its confidence that there would be 12 entries for the 2018 running, even though some of the shares had not yet been sold.[25] The Stronach Group ultimately purchased the last three slots for the race, which they then leased to the owners of Giant Expectations, War Story and Singing Bullet. The three horses ran under the name of Pegasus Race Participants with an earnings-sharing arrangement.[26]

After winning the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic on his way to Horse of the Year honors, the connections of Gun Runner announced that the horse would be retired after the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. His main rivals included West Coast (Travers), Collected (Pacific Classic), Sharp Azteca (Cigar Mile), War Story, Gunnevera and Seeking the Soul (Clark Handicap). The Eclipse Award winning mare Forever Unbridled (Breeders' Cup Distaff) was originally expected to enter[25] but ultimately missed the race. Toast of New York, who was previously best known for a second-place finish in the 2014 Breeders' Cup Classic, entered the race after having run in only one race in nearly three years due to injury and stud duties.[27]

The main concern for Gun Runner's connections was when he drew an outside post position for the race, a major concern at Gulfstream Park because the starting gate is so close to the first turn. However, Gun Runner broke well and moved quickly towards the rail, then settled into second to the outside of Collected. The two horses set a brisk early pace followed by Giant Expectations and West Coast. Around the final turn, Gun Runner made his move and pulled into the lead. Collected and Giant Expectations both fell back, finishing seventh and ninth respectively. West Coast was urged forward and closed to within a length in the stretch before Gun Runner responded and drew off, winning by ​2 12 lengths. Gunnevera closed from behind to finish a well-beaten third while longshot Fear the Cowboy finished fourth.[28]

2018 Order of finish and odds
2018 Pegasus World Cup Results[29]
Finish Program
Horse Jockey Trainer Final Odds Margin Winnings
1 10 Gun Runner Florent Geroux Steve Asmussen 1.10 2 12 lengths $7,000,000
2 2 West Coast Javier Castellano Bob Baffert 3.70 10 34 lengths $1,600,000
3 6 Gunnevera Luis Saez Antonio Sano 18.70 12 lengths $1,300,000
4 7 Fear the Cowboy Tyler Gaffalione Efran Loza Jr. 74.40 neck $1,000,000
5 11 Seeking the Soul John Velazquez Dallas Stewart 41.20 2 14 lengths $850,000
6 3 Stellar Wind Joel Rosario Chad Brown 40.70 Neck $650,000
7 5 Collected Mike Smith Bob Baffert 7.50 Nose $650,000
8 4 Sharp Azteca Irad Ortiz Jorge Navarro 4.30 1 12 lengths $650,000
9 12 Giant Expectations Gary Stevens Peter Eurton 63.10 13 lengths $650,000
10 8 War Story Jose Ortiz Jorge Navarro 35.20 13 lengths $650,000
11 1 Singing Bullet Robby Albarado Dale Romans 135.20 12 12 lengths $650,000
12 9 Toast of New York Frankie Dettori Jamie Osborne 23.10 $650,000

2019 RunningEdit

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).[30] This was the final race for both Accelerate and City of Light before they were retired.[31]

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.[32]


Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2019 City of Light 5 Javier Castellano W.M. McCarthy Warren, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. William K. 1:47.71
2018 Gun Runner 5 Florent Geroux Steven M. Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Three Chimneys Farm 1:47.41
2017 Arrogate 4 Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert Juddmonte Farms 1:46.83


  1. ^ a b "$12 Million Pegasus World Cup – World's Richest Thoroughbred Race – Set For Jan. 28 At Gulfstream" (Press release). Hallandale Beach, FL: Gulfstream Park. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b Wincze Hughes, Alicia (11 May 2016). "Stronach creates world's richest Thoroughbred race". Lexington Herald-Ledger. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Graded Stakes (2017)". Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Pegasus Features Several Unique Conditions". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  5. ^ Davis, Craig. "Pegasus World Cup aims to 'elevate' horse racing with record $12-million race at Gulfstream Park". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b McCarthy, Charlie (1 April 2016). "Stronach Indicates $12M Race Plan Still Alive". The BloodHorse. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  7. ^ Angst, Frank. "Pegasus Breathes Life Into Older Horse Division". Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Gulfstream plans $12 million Pegasus World Cup for Jan. 28". The Associated Press. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  9. ^ Hegarty, Matt (9 August 2016). "New stakes on Pegasus World Cup card gives stakeholders options". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  10. ^ "The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Returns With A New Record Setting $16 Million USD Purse" (Press release). Miami, FL: Gulfstream Park. 5 April 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2017.
  11. ^ "2019 Pegasus World Cup Tickets Go On Sale". (Press release). Gulfstream Park. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Lintner, Jonathan (19 May 2016). "Nyquist, Chrome owners buy into new World Cup". Louisville Courier-Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Entries for the 2017 Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  15. ^ Alicia Wincze-Hughes (22 December 2016). "Juddmonte Secures Entry in Pegasus World Cup". The Blood-Horse.
  16. ^ "War Story In, Connect Out of Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  17. ^ "Breaking Lucky Joins Pegasus World Cup Field". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  18. ^ "Pegasus World Cup stake sold to Earle Mack". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  19. ^ Hegarty, Matt. "Gulfstream Park denies Gun Runner entry in Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Pegasus World Cup to Carry Grade I Status". The BloodHorse. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  21. ^ Wincze Hughes, Alicia. "Arrogate Turns Pegasus World Cup Into One-Horse Show". Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  22. ^ Hegarty, Matt. "Figures for Pegasus changed due to possible timing glitch". Daily Racing Form. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Pegasus Final Time Lowered to a Track Record". Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Chart of the 2017 Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Stronach Group Expects 12 Pegasus Runners". Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  26. ^ "Some Pegasus Horses Racing for Every Owner, Stakeholder". Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Toast of New York Confirmed for Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  28. ^ Ehalt, Bob. "Gun Runner Goes Out a Winner in Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Chart of the 2018 Pegasus World Cup" (PDF). Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Undefeated Mexican Star Kukulkan Confirmed For Pegasus World Cup". Paulick Report. 2018-12-22. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  31. ^ "Accelerate, City of Light Headline $9 Million Pegasus World Cup". Gulfstream Park Press Release. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
  32. ^ Daugherty, Meredith. "City of Light Romps in the Pegasus World Cup". Retrieved 27 January 2019.

External linksEdit