Cherwa: Want To ‘Fix’ The Pegasus World Cup? Move It To Santa Anita

by | 01.11.2018 | 11:12am
Frank Stronach, creator of the Pegasus World Cup, the world's richest horse race

The second running of the $16 million, G1 Pegasus World Cup will take place at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27.

As of today, there are nine horses confirmed for the race, led by Breeders' Cup Classic winner and leading Horse of the Year candidate, Gun Runner. There are some that believe that this year's race, even with a purse of $16 million, lacks the star power of 2017, when California Chrome and Arrogate squared off.

In his latest column for Racing!/Los Angeles Times, reporter John Cherwa believes that he has the remedy for the race's “lack of luster” – move the race west, to Santa Anita. Cherwa says that one of the reasons Gulfstream Park is not a good location for the Pegasus is the “short run to the first turn.”

“Let's move it to a track where every horse gets a fair chance, regardless of post position,” Cherwa writes.

“Let's move it to a track that can hold more than a handful of rich guys and give the race to the people.”

Read more in the L.A. Times

  • Richard C

    John Cerwa has a free email newsletter that should be a must read for every railbird.

    • Monrovia Damon

      Price is right. He spends a lot of time and effort on it. I disagree with him about this topic but can’t win em all

    • snowchrome

      Agree. The newsletter is cool.

  • Michael Castellano

    Make sense, as long as you like the idea of the Pegasus in the first place.

  • whatl

    I think every race in the US should be at Santa Anita except for a brief holiday at Delmar. Yawn.

    • John Rosmini

      You are a nerk

      • Owlbet

        I think @whatl is making a tongue in cheek remark due to dozens of races being cancelled or rescheduled due to the crazy weather right now in the east.

  • Jeffrey

    Waisted print. This is the last time this fiasco will be run. Like most everything TSG does……,driven by ego and ends in embarrassment.

  • Matthew Fitch

    I think it makes more sense to leave it at Gulfstream, extend the race to 1 3/16 miles, and schedule it so the logical next step is the Santa Anita Handicap. Or how about a series with those two races and the Pimlico Special, covering the big three states in the Stronach portfolio?

    • Henry John

      I like the idea of making it more of a classic distance.

  • Dadnatron

    I don’t think it is the start position which is causing the issue. It is simply the entry fee compared to the likelihood of hitting the board. Few think they actually have a shot at recuperation. Therefore, even with the ego’s in this business, they aren’t stupid. I think if there were more ‘believably legitimate chance winners’ out there, they would be in the race.

    • StrideBig

      I think it has do with both actual. The Outside gate at GS is tough, and if you’re having to pony up a million dollars to get in the race, plus run the risk of having a longer shot to win because of post position…that’s a tough pill to swallow. Unless you have the top horse in the country. Lol ~K

  • Nytex

    California loves the cream.

  • The same horses would be in the race if it were at Santa Anita

  • Move it to Kentucky. A state that actually cares about horse racing

    • really?

      u must be kidding me.
      if they care about it the legislation for slots would have been in place….decades ago.

    • BreakingDeadMen

      Kentucky cares about Kentucky

  • Gulfstream has the worst track configuration in America. Their “short stretch” is an eighth of a mile. How does a mile and an eighth track end up with an eighth of a mile stretch?

  • Jake

    If it was moved to California the field size would drop to 6.

  • Bryan Langlois

    Really want to make the concept work…take that 16 million or whatever and use it as bonus money for a series of handicap races linked together throughout the country…and generate real buzz with the fans and real incentive for the horsemen to keep running through the older years. Generate some real…not percieved…rivalries where horses had to face each other more than 2x a year if that. Put a points system into it that every fan could easily follow. Link 1% of the bonus money into a contest that gets awarded to a fan who is linked to the winning horse throughout the series. That is how you make this concept work…not with what will amount to a pissing contest of who can throw the biggest purse at a race.

    • really?

      Bryan they had that concept back @1990 The horses don’t stay sound long enough to make it work

    • Tom Davis

      Nice thoughts. But this would be tougher to put together than getting a student loan in China.

    • gus stewart

      Your idea is good from the simple standpoint its a differnt option. I said this race could work if marketed correctly. Owners piss away a ton of money by over paying for race horses. Until this business works together across the country to rebrand its perception problem, its never going to grow. Stronach did this 2 try to build excitment in a sport that only gets media coverage twice a year triple crown breeders cup. You will always find an owner or owners to buy an entry to one day of the limelight. If they still are going to buy horses at sales investing in a outdated mismanaged biz, Pegasus will continue for a little longer. The friday show video this week uses the word i have for years entertainment. Combining racing with it gives the sport a chance. Media drives other sports growth for last 25 years. Racing has gone the other way. I cant knock stronach for trying to do this for racing. Its just that the biz cannot work together on all ideas for the future. Such as yours no commsionar in place could even consider your and others thoughts. Why because change in racing may extract the old guard that refuses to change.

    • Indulto

      Wish enough others would support the bonus incentivized series concept at TSG and elsewhere. The fan link idea is a nice touch.

      It seems to me that breeders with high-priced stallions, e.g., Tapit, should be subsidizing purses for top races when their products participate.

    • McGov

      I like the idea of turning the Pegasus into a multi-race event with a points system. I think something simple like the Triple Crown….without age restriction….and most points versus winning all events determines bonus….or maybe just a two race series where you can change horses for each race and the owners points are totalled regardless of which horse earns them, etc.
      It is great that Stronach puts his money where his mouth is and he is an incredible leader for our sport….but he is not perfect and this needs some tinkering IMO.

  • Shasta Sam

    Despite the hype, this race/event has just failed to catch on with the public or the racing community. It is ill-conceived and has failed to generate any excitement beyond a very few exceedingly well-heeled wannabe owners. Yawn.

  • Jay Stone

    Everybody seems to have s negative comment or wants to change a race that will be comprised of the best horses in American thoroughbred racing. Last year this race was the reason we got to see CC one last time and a great performance by Arrogate. This year we get to see the brilliant Gun Runner in his last race. Every horse who belongs in race is running. Mr Stronach has put up a lot of his money to try and make this concept work and many sportsmen have a tied up their money to start s horse. I for one am tired of the negativity surrounding a great race that people are trying hard to make a success. Thinking out of the box is the only way to bring racing out of the doldrums. The principles should be applauded for their efforts rather than criticized by anonymous knockers.


      He’s had no choice but to put up his own money nobody else is interested. Races like this need an entire card of quality races that appeals to every racing nation not just the rock hard dirt track horses of the United States. Marketing 101 says know your demographics. 90+ % of the world’s racing take place on turf. There’s a reason why Dubai and Ascot can attract the top horses in the world year after year.

      • Lehane

        Sadly, Australia has followed the Pegasus concept with its $10million race named The Everest, first held in October last year. Not one international horse took part. Believe prizemoney will increase to $12million for 2018. Throwing a ridiculous amount of money at one race in an effort to boost racing’s image is not the way to go, imo.


          Horse racing is done in Europe by October but with the exception of Japan Cup hopefuls and horses aimed at the big races from Hong Kong I don’t think many are keen to take on the Australians going 6f on turf. Australians have been deadly sprinting on the turf for close to 15 years.

  • mailswaps

    Hi Frank!!! really enjoyed the 20 years under you tutelage.

  • admiral

    There’s nothing wrong with the present location. The problem is the quality of the fields. The world’s largest purse should be contested by the world’s best horses and that means somehow attracting the Euro champs along with the Japanese champs into this race


      The race is run at the wrong time of the year to attract Europe or Japan. The Uk, Ireland and France are resting ahead of the 2018 season that kick’s off in March. The race was written in haste. No thought was given as to whom it may attract especially when the Americans have a down year as far as quality. It maybe the richest race in the world but if that’s your main selling point it’s not going to work. Most racing nation’s will wait for world cup night or the magnificent Royal meeting at Ascot.

  • J. Nasium

    Move it to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  • J. Nasium

    Standing room in the breezeway on the track apron is $150…..great way to “open” up the sport to the average Joe and family. They are so full of it. The patron that goes once of twice or even every day has to pay $150 minimum just to get in to watch Gun Runner in a workout.

    • Monrovia Damon

      Dang that’s more than clubhouse entry ticket for Breeders Cup out here!

      The one and only time I visited Gulfstream I ended up hanging out at that cabana bar near the eighth pole. Not much grandstand seating as I recall — something I take very for granted here at SA. It’s another reason I don’t really care for heading down to Del Mar, as much as I enjoy the scenery the seating options are thin.

    • Lehane

      That’s daylight robbery.

  • snowchrome

    I agree they have to do something with the Pegasus World Cup, but everybody has their own opinion where it should go. With that said, sign up for John Cherwa’s e-mail newsletter. It’s free and informative.

  • OklaHandicapper

    So move it to Santa Anita in California where they can’t fill fields for the races they already run? I’m sorry but if the Pegasus were moved to CA, they wouldn’t see a cent of wagering from me.

  • the buzz23

    Bad idea and No facility or location going to make it right.

  • J


  • Neigh Sayer

    Lacks star power? Why do peoples say that. The race has the soon to be HOY and the first 6 finishers in the BC Classic minus the one that was retired. It has overall at least and probably more quality throughout than the BC Classic.
    What does a short run to the first turn and a smaller crowd due to space have to do with “lack of luster”? We can all talk about what we would like or should be about the race but the race will have the best field of any race in this country and those complaints have nothing to do with the quality of the field so any complaint about lack of luster just means you don’t like the best horses we have to offer.

  • jeff

    Get rid of it!!!

  • talkingman17

    Take your million and buy stock in Netflix, Boeing , Bank of America or Google instead of wasting it here….

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