The Pegasus World Cup

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The Pegasus World Cup is a Grade 1 stakes race for four-year-old and upwards thoroughbred horses. Is is staged yearly in January at Gulfstream Park, Florida.

The race covers 1 1/8 miles on dirt. It will normally stage the rematch between the victor and the second placed horse of the Breeders’ Cup. Colts and Geldings will carry 124 pounds (56Kg) and fillies and mares will get a 3 pound allowance.

After just one year of running, the race has firmly established itself as one of the most anticipated sporting events of the calendar year. With a total prize pool of $16 million it makes it the most valuable race in the history of the sport. The crowd of over 16,000 last year turned out to see California Chrome take on his victor Arrogate. There was a huge tote handle of over $15.6 million. This made it one of the most bet upon races of the year.

Arrogate won the 2017 Pegasus World Cup in a new track record time. Almost the speed of sound, Arrogate clocked a time of 1:46.83. It was one of the fastest run races ever run over 1 1/8 miles. Arrogate received an exceptional Beyer Speed Figure of 119. Putting him in the elite echelons of the sport.

There are 13 races over the weekend with 4 races on Friday the 3rd of November where the highlight is the Longines Distaff. This race will bring together the best fillies and mares who compete on dirt for a championship showdown over 1 1/8 miles. There is a direct link between this race and which horse is crowned the champion Filly or Mare at the end of season awards.

The track that hosts this infamous event is Gulfstream Park. The park was opened to the public on February 1st 1939 when it orchestrated a 4-day meeting. The initial meeting was a great success with over 18,000 people attending over the 4 days. The Florida Derby which is still being run today and is a major trial for the Kentucky Derby was first run in 1952. The same year the clubhouse and the grandstand seating was expanded. The Florida Derby was the first race in Florida that had a purse of $100,000 in 1953.

Gulfstream Park has always been at the front of new innovations in the industry. In 1959 it opened it’s acclaimed turf course and following on from this in 1961 it constructed the world’s largest tote board.

The board at Gulfstream continued to make improvements to the grandstand and clubhouse in the 80’s and was completed with the beautiful domed dining terrace known as the Gulfdome. All this investment in infrastructure led to the Breeders’ Cup being awarded to the track in 1989, 1992 and 1999. The Breeders’ Cup is one of the greatest racing events and is a great honour for a track to be able to host it.

In 2004 slot machines were approved for the track for the first time and it started a $130 million renovation of the grandstand and clubhouse once again. The Stronach Group are the current owners of the track and created the hugely popular Pegasus World Cup, and it is considered alongside the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes to be one of the prominent races of the year.

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