The second running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational is fast approaching, and below we’ve outlined all you need to know about the world’s richest race from the contenders to Conor Mcgregor.
When: Sunday 28th January
Where: Gulfstream Park - Hallandale Beach, Florida (Half an hour from Miami).
Distance: 1 Mile 1 Furlong
Value: $16 million
The Horses(In Draw order)
- Singing Bullet - Trained by Dale Romans. This 4 year old had everyone talking recently following his morning workout. With the fastest time recorded, he's certainly earning his "bullet" title.
- West Coast - Trained by Bob Baffert. 3rd in the 2017 Breeders Cup Classic. Indeed, never finished worse than 3rd in his career.
- Stellar Wind - Trained by Chad Brown. Won six Grade 1 races and more than $2.2 million in her career.
- Sharp Azteca - Trained by Jorge Navarro. Won 3 of 5 races at Gulfstream Park. Runner up in the 2017 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile.
- Collected - Trained by Bob Baffert (who saddled last year’s winner - Arrogate). Runner-up in the 2017 Breeders Cup Classic.
- Gunnevara - Trained by Antonio Sano in Gulfstream Park. Multiple graded stakes winner.
- Fear The Cowboy - Trained by Efren Loza Jr. Multiple graded stakes winner who won last month's Harlan's Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
- War Story - Trained by Jorge Navarro. Graded-stakes winner, will enter off a fourth-place finish in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic.
- Toast of New York - Trained by Jamie Osborne. Runner-up in 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic who recently returned with a win at Lingfield. The big British fancy for the race who will be partnered in the race by Racing Breaks ambassador - Frankie Dettori.
- Gun Runner - Trained by Steven Asmussen. 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner who won 5 of 6 races in 2017. Probable 2017 Horse of the Year.
- Seeking The Soul - Trained by Dallas Stewart. Recent Grade 1 winner at Churchill Downs.
- Giant Expectations - Trained by Peter Eurton. Recent winner of the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita Park beating Collected.
What Makes the Race so Unique?
Most obviously, the most unique element of this race is that to enter the race, owners must be invited and have to stump up $1 million which makes up the prize fund. This is different to most races where the purse is made up from a combination of money from TV rights, sponsorship, the racecourse itself and the horse entry fees. Additionally, because the owners effectively buy a position in the stalls as a pose to entering a horse, should an entered horse suffer an injury and be unable to race, the owner will be allowed to select another horse to replace it.
Also of interest is the five-pound allowance for horses running without ‘Lasix’, a substance that is banned in the UK. This is hoped to attract more international horses in what has so far been a predominantly American race.
To boost awareness of the race, last year organisers enlisted the help of one of sport's biggest characters - UFC champion Conor Mcgregor. Mcgregor featured in a series of adverts that went viral worldwide. Never before has the sport of kings marketed a race in such a manner before.
Finally, the Pegasus World Cup is so special for many racegoers as, due to its’ timing, it is often the last time many of these horses will race before retiring to stud in February.
Fingers crossed for a thriller and best of luck to Racing Breaks ambassador Frankie Dettori and Toast of New York!