Pegasus World Cup Attracts Worldwide TV Coverage

by | 01.25.2019 | 10:31am
Gun Runner takes the 2018 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park

Saturday's blockbuster $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series program of 12 races at Gulfstream Park will feature some of Thoroughbred racing's biggest human and equine stars performing before a live, national and international audience.

A total of 143 horses were entered, an average of 11.9 starters per race, on a card that features the third running of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the debut of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), the richest races on either surface in North America.

On television, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf will be featured during a live, national 90-minute telecast on NBC from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

ESPN will be taking the live show internationally to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.

In Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean, the international show will be televised on ESPN Play, while it will air on WatchESPN in Brazil and ESPN3 in areas such as Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Marshall Islands.

Journalists from Germany, Japan, South America, Canada, Ireland, England and Spain have also arrived to cover the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.

Other major territories airing the Pegasus internationally will be China, Ireland, Japan, the Middle East, Russia and the United Kingdom. Sports Unlimited will be showing highlights throughout their monthly magazine show, on major channels around the globe.

Four winners at the 2018 Breeders' Cup World Championships are among Saturday's runners. Classic (G1) winner and Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate is the 9-5 program favorite in the Pegasus, with Dirt Mile (G1) hero City of Light – the only horse to beat Accelerate in 2018 – second on the morning-line at 5-2.

Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal will go up against Turf Sprint runner-up World of Trouble and Pay Any Price, the track and world-record holder for five furlongs on turf, in the $150,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint. Shamrock Rose, 25-1 upset winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), is favored at 2-1 in the Fasig-Tipton Hurricane Bertie.

The meeting of Stormy Liberal and World of Trouble is not the only rematch set to take place on Pegasus Day. In addition to Accelerate, City of Light will face fellow Grade 1 winner Seeking the Soul – second the Dirt Mile – in the Pegasus, a race where Seeking the Soul was fifth in 2018. Gunnevera, third in last year's Pegasus, was second by a length to Accelerate in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame will be represented on Pegasus Day by such legends as trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Bill Mott and jockeys Javier Castellano, Edgar Prado and John Velazquez; internationally acclaimed rider Frankie Dettori; Luis Saez, two-time defending Championship Meet leading rider on pace to break his record of 137 wins from last winter; star brothers Jose and Irad Ortiz Jr., the last two winners for the Eclipse Award as champion jockey; and Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown, who together have won 10 of the last 15 Eclipse Awards as leading trainer.

The undercard includes seven stakes, four graded, worth $1.125 million in purses led by the $200,000 W.L. McKnight (G3) and $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3) on turf and the Fred W. Hooper (G3) and Fasig-Tipton Hurricane Bertie (G3) on the main track.

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