For every horse racing fan, every event is thrilling and exciting. They can watch their favorite horses dominating the race track and are given a chance to gamble and take home their wins during the race. It’s both an exhilarating and fun moment for every enthusiast, and they are looking forward to every race there is.
A great way to make every fan excited is to create more racing events that will keep them on their toes, and that’s where the Pegasus World Cup comes in. But what is the reason why the Pegasus World Cup is created? What induced Frank Stronach to create another major event when the Triple Crown is one of the most anticipated horse racing events?
Let’s dive into the Pegasus World Cup’s history and learn about how the event is as successful as it is today.
A Dreamy Inaugural Start of Pegasus World Cup
The Pegasus World Cup is the brainchild of Austrian-Canadian businessmen and award-winning owner and breeder Frank Stronach. Stronach is the CEO of the Stronach Group, which primarily holds famous race tracks such as Santa Anita Park, Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park, and Gulfstream Park, where the Pegasus World Cup held its first run.
Stronach thought that it would be a good idea to create a horse racing event in the time of year where it’s traditionally slow. He proposed giving every horse racing fan a striking race to start the year and allow horses to run before the Triple Crown Leg starts.
Before the pandemic hit, Triple Crown Leg tips off May, with Kentucky Derby running the first part of the leg. The Pegasus World Cup held its first run on January 28, 2017. Following the tradition, the Pegasus World Cup will take its place every first month of the year.
Pegasus World Cup’s Ambitious Beginnings
With Stronach’s proposal, the Pegasus World Cup took its form, replacing the long-time running race in Gulfstream Park, Donn Handicap, and assuming its Grade 1 status. The name Pegasus was coined from the vast and towering 100-feet statue of a mythical winged divine horse in Greek mythology found in the Gulfstream Park.
Now that the Pegasus World Cup has been established, Stronach designed a bold funding style for the race.
The race is open for 12 shareholders that will purchase a slot in the race worth $1 million. The shareholders can either be a breeder or not as they can race a horse by recruiting. Shareholders are granted a share in any profits from the race. With this, the Pegasus World Cup’s first run had purse earnings amounting to $12 million.
Because of the grand opening of the Pegasus World Cup, the best horses and trainers worldwide were thrilled. During the inaugural run in 2017, Arrogate, the 2016 Breeders Cup champion, and California Chrome, the 2014 and 2016 Best Horse of the Year, both came back from their retirement and joined the race.
The extravagant entry fee structure continued, and it even rose to $16 million in 2018. However, during 2019 and 2020, the entry fee structure is lowered. The staggering $1 million in 2017 and 2018 reduced to $500,000 in 2019 and was free in 2020.
The Proud Champions of Pegasus World Cup
As the Pegasus World Cup attracts many of the best horses and trainers, it assembles 12 top of the line horses, which makes an exciting year for all horse racing fans every year. The odds for each horse are impeccable and tight knitted, considering they are one of the finest horses in the horse racing industry.
Arrogate was declared champion and proved his prowess as the 2016 Breeder’s Cup champ. Many fans expected that he would have a tight run with California Chrome. However, Arrogate dominated the racetrack and scored a 4 ¾ length victory over Shaman Ghost and Neolithic.
Making a big final wave for his career, Gun Runner scored the Pegasus World Cup 2018 title and bagged $7 million. Two days after being announced as the Horse of the Year, Gun Runner dominated the Gulfstream Park, leaving behind Bob Baffert’s contender, West Coast.
City of Light won the $4 million grand prize after defeating Seeking the Soul and Accelerate. It was a tough run as the weather didn’t cooperate, and the track was sloppy, making it more difficult for the crowd favorite Accelerate to run near City of Light.
After Bob Baffert’s close race with West Coast in 2018, he came back and earned his second title in Pegasus World Cup, this time it’s with his favorite horse, Mucho Gusto. The Hall of Famer horse trainer celebrated his first Pegasus World Cup run with Arrogate, who also dominated the race.
The Pegasus World Cup had a simple dream: to create a more exciting and thrilling horse racing event for every fan. The race also gives veteran horses a chance to extend their careers and challenge them to greater heights before retiring.
But even more so, the race shows that horses still have a great value even after running prestigious races in their career. It’s a showcase of every horse’s prowess in the field, assembling fans worldwide and showing that horse racing isn’t going away.