On January 26th we see the third running of what had become the world’s richest horse race, the Pegasus World Cup.
Staged at Gulfstream Park in Florida, the idea was thought up by prominent owner and tycoon David Stronach with the premise being that 12 owners will pay $1million each to buy a gate which they can then enter a horse in, sell or lease.
As of last year, the prize money had been added to by the Stronach Group and so the race was worth an incredible $16million but things are different this year. Much to their credit, the organisers have decided to split the $16million purse over two races, adding a turf event.
The 1m1f dirt race will now be worth $9million and the turf race $7million. This means that the Dubai World Cup at the end of March retakes its place at the top of the world’s richest horse races list at $12million.
The advent of this race (now races) has been a major success right from the off. Dirt horses in the States having raced at the Breeders’ Cup in November are kept going with a view to taking in the Dubai World Cup in March but have nothing tangible to target in between.
Some are bound for the breeding sheds after the Breeders’ Cup but with the season not getting going until mid-February, this race has given those types one last chance of raking in some major prize money before they cover any mares.
This year’s race is intriguing with Breeders’ Cup Classic (1m2f) winner Accelerate and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, City Of Light clashing over the nine furlong trip. It’s unclear which horses will be going for the inaugural turf race, though it’s hoped in time the organisers can tempt some of the best of Europe and personally I’d love to see a slight change in the way horses from here are trained and targeted.
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