With a purse of 12 million dollars the Pegasus World Cup has the destinction of being called the richest horse race in the world, surpassing the Dubai World Cup. It is a thoroughbred race for horses four years and older whose inaugural run was held on January 28, 2017, at the Gulfstream Park which is situated in Hallandale Beach, Florida. A grade one horse race, it runs over a dirt course at a distance of 9 furlongs with participants allowed to carry 124 pounds along with an allowance of three pounds for fillies and mares.
In 2017 the prize money set aside for the Pegasus World Cup was $12 million, in 2018 this rose to $16 million. In 2019 though the prize money will reduce to $9 million, with the remainder set aside for new Pegasus World Cupturf race.
The idea behind the race was first proposed by Frank Stronach through the Thoroughbred Owners Conference conducted at Gulfstream during January 2016. The proposition consisted of an annual 10-furlong race to be run by the riders which were planned to be held in either Gulfstream or the Santa Anita Park. The time period from mid to late January for the race was proposed so that it did not conflict with the Breeders’ Cup and the Dubai World Cup. Also, it was deemed important to give a fair opportunity to the horses to run the last race during the North American breeding season before retirement.
After a series of back and forth discussions the official announcement was made for the race to be run at a distance of 9 furlongs in mid 2016. The initial running of the race acquired Grade one status and there was extensive promotion done by using the titles of California Chrome who had won the American Horse of the year twice and Arrogate who had been ranked by IFHA as the World’s Best Racehorse in the year 2016. The 2017 race was indeed later won was by none other than by Arrogate who won by almost five lengths, showing his class in the process. Shaman Ghost finished in second place.
In the 2018 Pegasus World Cup was won by Gun Runner ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Steve Asmussen. They took home $7,000,000 in winnings. West Coast trained by Bob Baffert finished second. Baffert of course also trained the winner of the previous year’s Pegasus World Cup, Arrogate.