The Stronach Group announced in May of 2016 that all 12 of the starting slots for the inaugural Pegasus World Cup had been sold; this year, the company has only managed to sell four of those $1 million slots by mid-August. According to drf.com, three of those shares were purchased by participants from 2016, including Coolmore, which reached a deal to start eventual winner Arrogate.
Despite increasing the purse from $12 million to $16 million, and increasing the guaranteed return to each investor from $250,000 to $550,000, the Stronach Group has not been able to nail down investors. DRF's Matt Hegarty suggests that the fault lies within a “fundamental weakness” of the Pegasus structure: it proved more profitable for owners of top horses to wait until just before the race to strike a favorable deal with an existing slot-holder.
Gun Runner, for example, is considered the second-best dirt handicap horse currently in training. David Fiske, racing manager for Winchell Thoroughbreds, stated that Gun Runner's owners have no intention of buying a slot in the gate, and will instead wait to find an agreeable offer if the horse is doing well at the end of the season.
“We feel very confident we will get to 12 horses,” said Stronach Group's chief operating officer Tim Ritvo.
Read more at drf.com.
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