The inaugural the Pegasus World Cup Invitational took place in 2016. The world’s richest race was worth a cool $12 Million to the winner. It took the mantel off the Dubai World Cup as the world’s richest race which had held the title for several years.
Frank Stronach of the Stronach group was the man with the original idea to host the richest race in the world. He announced the idea for the race at the Thoroughbred Owners Conference at Gulfstream Park in January 2016. The idea was that this race would be on in January as it would then not interfere with horses training programs for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup. It also fits nicely into the calendar about potential stallion prospects as California Chrome showed last year. It takes place just before the start of the Breeding season so stallion prospects are still able to take their place in this race even if they are going to start their second careers.
The 2017 Pegasus World Cup was a great success. Truly crowning the horse of the year in Arrogate after a commanding performance. He confirmed the form of his brilliant Breeders Cup Classic win. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational was officially announced in May 2016 with the distance of 1 1/8 miles confirmed. This is just short of the Derby trip which is 1 1/4 miles.
Infamously Conor McGregor was signed up to be the ambassador for the Pegasus World Cup. Promoting the event by making four short videos where he is training to become the next superstar jockey. The campaign was considered a success in raising the profile of the race to a younger generation.
After the success of its inaugural year in 2017. The organisers announced that the Pegasus World Cup in 2018 would be for an increased purse of $16 million. $1 million will come in the form of each of the 12 starting horse’s owners. $4 million will be contributed by the Stronach Group.
How much was it to have your horse compete in this race? $1 million. The question must be asked how can an owner pay $1 million for their horse to run in the race. There is a detailed explanation for how this process works.
Last year the race had great fanfare as the rematch between California Chrome and Arrogate was the headline act. Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Arrogate, trounced his rivals to become the highest earning thoroughbred of all time. The remainder of the places fell to Shaman Ghost and Neolithic. California Chrome trailed home in 9th and retired sound as he went off to the breeding shed.
This year the Pegasus could be the rematch of Gun Runner and Arrogate who are competing at the Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. Hopefully these two superstars will come out of that race at Del Mar unscathed and can renew their rivalry at Gulfstream Park. Like the Breeders’ Cup, I would like to be putting my money on Arrogate for the Pegasus World Cup. The only place I will be doing that is at TVG.com.