Pegasus World Cup

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The Pegasus World Cup is a Group 1 flat race ran over the distance of 1.8 miles.

Whilst many of the most reputable horse racing events in the world have been established for over a century, this is not the case with the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes. This is a recent addition to the American equestrian calendar, with the face first run in 2017.

The prize money for the most recent race was $3 million.

Pegasus World Cup

The Race – History

Named after the flying horse of Greek myth, The Pegasus Cup quickly made an impression thanks to the substantial prize money available to the winner of the race in its first year.

The race is managed by the Stronach Group, owners of the race’s venue, Gulfstream Park-based in Hallandale Beach, FL, USA. The Pegasus World Cup arrived on the scene with a bang and The Stronach Group are major players in the world of US racing, and it’s not hard to see why.

For a spell, this was the richest race in the world, however, Global events saw the 2020 purse drop to $3 million – still hugely impressive though!

The track also hosts other leading events, including the Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes. This race replaced the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in 2019, and perhaps unsurprisingly, is run on the same day as the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes – making it a day of racing to remember.

Entering the Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes are both open to thoroughbreds aged 4 or over.

As an invitational series, there is an entry fee for any stakeholder wishing to enter their house to the race. This was initially $1 million but has steadily dropped over the years.

In 2020, entry to the invitational series was free – though the purse was also reduced accordingly, with the most recent prize money totalling $3 million. That’s still plenty, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the rewards for victors in 2017 and 2018.

Most Successful Horse

As is perhaps fitting for such a competitive event, no horse has won the Pegasus World Cup more than once.

The event has seen four different winners each year:

  • 2017 – Arrogate (ridden by Mike E. Smith, completed in a time of 1:46.83)
  • 2018 – Gun Runner (ridden by Florent Geroux, completed in a time of 1:47.41)
  • 2019 – City of Light (ridden by Javier Castellano, completed in a time of 1:47.71)
  • 2020 – Mucho Gusto (ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., completed in a time of 1:48.85)

The Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes has been unfolding much longer, albeit under it’s previous name of the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Despite running since 1986, however, only one horse has won this event twice.

Einstein crossed the post first in 2006 (ridden by Rafael Bejarano) and 2008 (ridden by Jose Lezcano). In both instances, Einstein was trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi. Eistein also went on to win the 2008 Turf Classic Stakes on the day of the Kentucky Derby, and the Clark Handicap – also held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Most Successful Jockey

Just as the Pegasus World Cup has seen four different winning horses each year, it has also seen four different victorious riders. This is perhaps unsurprising. No owner would pay $1 million to enter an invitational series unless they had confidence in their man riding their thoroughbred. Irad Ortiz Jr. was the winner of 2020’s $3 million prize.

The Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes, meanwhile, has a handful of names inscribed in legend. Jerry Bailey rode to victory seven times in eleven years between 1992 and 2003. Bailey’s closest rival is José A. Santos, who notched up four wins between 1986 and 1998.

Most Successful Trainer of the Pegasus World Cup

As the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes is a new event, no trainer has really had the opportunity to become a legend of Gulfstream Park.

Bob Baffert is the first trainer to claim two wins though, in 2017 with Arrogate and 2020 with Mucho Gusto.

Before the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap became the Pegasus World Cup Turf, William I. Mott was the undisputed king trainer. Mott trained five winners of the event between 1993 and 2001 – including three successive victories either side of the millennium.

Pegasus World Cup 2024 Odds

The odds are not available for the Pegasus World Cup in January 2024 just yet.

Prize Money at the Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes was the world’s most lucrative horse race for the first two years of its existence. This event superseded the Dubai World Cup, peaking in 2018 with an eye-watering $16 million purse.

The prize money at the Pegasus World Cup 2019 dropped to ‘only’ $9 million. Still not bad for two minutes of work, but no longer the richest race in the game. The prize money understandably dropped further in 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. pocketing the lion’s share of the $3 million purse.

It’s not all bad news for entrants, though. As the prize for winning the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes has dropped year on year, so has the entry fee for getting a shot to do so. Runners in 2017 and 2018 needed to lay down a cool $1 million to enter in 2017 and 2018. By 2019, this had been halved to $500,000. In 2020, it was free to enter the race.

Attending the Pegasus World Cup

If you’re keen to attend the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes, book yourself a flight to Florida in the winter of 2021.

The fifth annual World Cup race is currently scheduled to be run on January 31st of this year, preceded by the Pegasus World Cup Turf Stakes. As always, these races will be held at Gulfstream Park. The nearest airport is Fort Lauderdale (FLL), which is just six miles from the track.

Pegasus World Cup Betting 2024

Looking for the best odds?

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Summary of Pegasus World Cup

Both Pegasus horse racing events are major players in the US equestrian calendar.

If you’re a racing enthusiast that is looking for a sunshine break in the winter, a trip to Gulfstream Park in January could become a fine annual pilgrimage.

You’ll witness some hugely competitive racing, and get to bask in the unique atmosphere provided by the ever-impressive Gulfstream Park venue.

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