The Friday Show Presented By Woodbine’s Pattison Canadian International: Pegasus Redux?

by | 10.13.2017 | 9:09am
Arrogate cruises home in the 2017 Pegasus World Cup

There were quite a few skeptics last year when the Stronach Group unveiled a new $12 million race for which owners would each put up $1 million to fund the purse.

But the Pegasus World Cup filled and the first running highlighted the rise of Arrogate on the world scene and was the swan song for California Chrome's illustrious career. Is the second edition of the race shaping up to take a step forward?

In this week's Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss what's been a quiet build so far for the 2018 race and some of the issues surrounding the event going forward. Plus, a look at this weekend's big race at Woodbine.

Watch The Friday Show below and share your thoughts.

  • Evelyn Waugh

    Blocked from viewing by La Liga (whoever that is).

  • David Worley

    Hey fyi, you probably figured this out by the fact there are no comments here. But for the first time viewers had to click through to youtube to watch the Friday show. The error said that media pro can’t be viewed on this website.

    • Thanks, David. I believe I’ve fixed the issue, updated version on the site now, so it should be working okay.

      • David Worley

        I checked for you, and ‘yes’, it now works directly from the site.

  • Michael Castellano

    Same here, had to watch on Youtube. As far as the show itself, some excellent points were made. My own view is that the venue cuts out the average fan, and caters only to the well off classes at the event itself. The other weakness is that a weak field many be more competitive, but to draw anyone to spend big bucks, you need some star power. This time star power may be lacking, depending on how the BC races go. Depending on the stud deal made even permitting it, they will only possibly get Arrogate for one more career race if he runs a monster BC race and either wins or gets nosed by Gun Runner. If Gun Runner proves to be a standout, and Arrogate retires, it may discourage the competition and interest. One idea I have to suggest is that post positions are determined by the previous year’s earnings. They sometimes do that in Harness Racing. So that the slot buyers know this in advance. Sees unfair to put up a million bucks for the 12 hole at that track.

    • Flanders

      The timing of the race puts itself at a massive disadvantage for star power. They were super lucky in 2017 that they got the field they did. 2018 I don’t think they will be so lucky. Like you said, stud deals will prohibit a lot of horses from racing. Also most farms want to give the time to the stallions to let down from the track and get used to the new daily routine. I think if Juddmonte was even entertaining the idea that Arrogate may run they would have said he goes to stud next year and not that he retires immediately after the Classic.

    • CEOmike

      Further to point on “star power” it is related to your other point, if all the other races are diminished because there are now a huge disparity in purses and conflicts so half a dozen tracks are each running a 750,000 to million dollar race on the same day, One track should have a million plus race a week. All other sports do this, a fan of Ravens will watch and maybe go to the game on Saturday with the Steelers but the same fan will watch the Patriots play the Chiefs on Monday night.

      Saturday is perfect for horseracing, Reduce all the $750,000 to $1 million races to $500,000 and then run a $1.5 to $2 million, only one, for the whole country, late afternoon.

      Stars will be built, who win more than one of these, then a Pegasus or Breeders will be a big deal.

      The whole thinking is bigger purses mean more interest, yes but shorter interest and less deep interest.

    • David Juffet

      I’d be shocked if he runs another monster race. I believe he’s done. I have my reasons which I won’t say on this site. Gunnevera will run better.

      • Michael Castellano

        I suspect the same reasons. Last years Travers was a case in point. What’s that old expression, “If something look too good to be true . . .”

        • David Juffet

          I’ve been around awhile and have seen a lot of special horses since the mid 60’s. That Travers performance didn’t make any sense.

          • Tom Davis

            I know what you mean. And the Dubai World Cup race didn’t make sense either. What makes a horse run like that? What did they do, change the training manual???

          • David Juffet


  • Tinky

    A $16m joke, and a bad one. They got lucky with two well above-average ‘marquee’ horses taking part in the first event, but that was an anomaly. There are almost never more than one or two top-class horses suited to the conditions in any given year, and many years are completely devoid of such animals.

    When the Arlington Million (the first $1m race) was created, it was done to attract top-quality fields. The same holds true for the Breeders Cup.

    The Pegasus, in sharp contrast, is largely an ego-driven joke, and, as I predicted originally, it will be short-lived, at least in its current form.

    The saddest part is that even a fraction of the money to be again wasted on mostly average “good” horses could be used creatively to help develop new divisions and encourage breeders to begin to re-emphasize stamina and/or soundness.

    • David Juffet

      The Breeders Cup is also guilty of total mismanagement. 2 days of racing is a mistake. More is less. Bogus stakes races for commercial Breeders?

      • Tinky

        I agree completely, and was referring only to the original concept and remarkably high purses (for the day).

    • Michael Castellano

      Big money is being thrown around on selected races at many tracks competing for wagers and attendance. It sometimes draws top names, but it also dilutes the prestige of many of the older classic races. I’m most familiar with the big New York classic races, many of which draw weaker and weaker fields each year, and smaller ones. Can you image what would happen if baseball had ten or twelve different major leagues, with different rules etc.? Or football, which realized after the success of the upstart AFL that a merge was in order. And just look at how football was grown. Baseball also makes big money in its current form. Racing would be wise to figure out a way to franchise itself and divide up both the territories, seasons, and the racing days. Would be difficult, but there really needs for something to be done. Remember the days when racing ended in early November in New York, and resumed in March? The Wood Memorial is one race that has really declined in relevance because trainers have found it better to train and race their best horses in warmer areas than in New York leading to the TC. Seems as though racing has declined and become more diluted with the advent of all year round racing. They may not be the primary reasons for the decline, but they have not improved the situation either.

    • John Cicale

      A “joke” that produced one of the most exciting and anticipated matches in the past 10 years. No paupers are putting up the money for this race so how dare anyone criticize that they’re actually RACING for money instead of prematurely RETIRING and breeding for money. The Pegasus isn’t perfect but the criticism is mostly unwarranted and flat out masochistic.

      • Tinky

        If it produced “one of the most exciting and anticipated match-ups in the past 10 years”, as you suggest, and yet the demand for slots has withered already, what does that say about the structure of the race?

        And again, what part of “anomaly” do you fail to understand? Do you expect it to produce an equally anticipated match-up this time around? Take a look at the horses suited to the conditions that raced over the past 25 years, and tell us how many times a greatly anticipated match-up might have been created by such a race.

        The fact is that with the rare exception of years featuring the likes of Easy Goer and Sunday Silence, or Affirmed and Alydar (notice how far back I’m going?), there is typically only one dominant horse (see American Pharoah), or a bunch of fairly ordinary “top” horses in the division. And it is ludicrous to argue that $8-10m, let alone $16m, should be offered for such races. The Dubai World Cup has proven that point time and time again.

        Now, with respect to the early retirement issue, you’re preaching to the choir. The difference is that I support far more practical, creative solutions to the problem, such as a series of big races for 5yo and up, etc.

        • Michael Castellano

          Like a Triple Crown type competition for 5 year olds, both grass and dirt. With the winner of the biggest bonus determined by their total points for all three races. Horses could miss one of the races, but only those that ran in all three could qualify for the bonus. You could make the races from 7-8 furlongs to a 1 1/2. Those races would justify big purses. Could be invitational, with foreign horses also invited.

        • PointGivenTCL

          About the only way they would have been able to get such an anticipated matchup this year is if they put it on turf, went straight to the connections of Winx and Enable and threw $25M at them, and even that probably wouldn’t work. I will be absolutely shocked if this race has a third year in it and I will bid it good riddance. Agree with everything you say.

  • David Juffet

    This race does absolutely nothing to correct the downward spiral of our sport. Clueless as usual.

  • Jack Frazier

    Stuff and nonsense. One winner and eleven also ran’s. Last year look what happened. The supposed race of the century turned into a walkover by AP so it, instead of a marquee race it was just another overpriced race that assuaged the egos of those who made the race go and management at GP. Not worth the watch.

    • You Mean Arrogate

      Ummmm, AP wasn’t in the race…

      • Tango F

        Right! AP’s trainer doesn’t think he is as good as the winner of past year’s Pegasus.

      • David Juffet

        Jack forgot more then most people know pal. So he’s one year off, who cares?

        • Not AP my friend.

          Because the race has been run once, so his whole statement is inaccurate. The race had 2 formidable horses, at least, on paper. If you don’t care about that, you have forgotten as much as your friend Jack about the word accuracy. Good day sir.

          • David Juffet

            Your 100% right. Please allow me to retort.

    • bhood

      It’s worth watching, it’s just not something that’s going to make a big difference in the grand scheme of racing. If it were still the Donn and they had assembled the same field, we would probably be talking it up on how good a field/race it was. The large purse just skews it a bit.

      • Jack Frazier

        It is a one day, one shot show for the richest of the rich. Maybe interesting, may not be.

  • bhood

    The only negative of the 2018 running is the $4 million Stronach is putting into the race. That money could be spent of far better things.

    As for the rest of it, if the owners want to put up the money, so be it. It’s not hurting anything. It’s just not the game changing idea the Stronach group is trying to tell us it is.

  • Bryan Langlois

    I still say if the owners want to put up some money….put it up in a Handicap Series that keeps the horses in training for the entire next year with a large bonus such as 5 million or something to winner of the series. Have the series link some of the top handicap races in the country and make it mandatory that to be eligible for the bonus horses have to run in so many races in the series. This will bring back those great rivalries that we need in this sport and if owners want to duck other horses they do so at the expense of being eligible for any bonus money at the end of the series. The old concept of the ACRS is a solid one IF (and this is where I know it likely fails) tracks can get over themselves and their greed and do things that will better all the sport, and in turn themselves as well in the long run.

  • McGov

    It is the richest race in the world…..but ….money does not dictate BEST race in the world.
    It certainly is an odd race and it will be interesting to see how it evolves. Never underestimate Frank Stronach ;)

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