2018 Pegasus World Cup To Boast Record-Setting $16 Million Purse

by | 04.05.2017 | 12:28pm
Frank Stronach, creator of the Pegasus World Cup, the world's richest horse race

Fresh off the heels of the inaugural running of the $12 million USD Pegasus World Cup Invitational, The Stronach Group announced today that the world's richest Thoroughbred horse race is about to get even richer. On January 27th, 2018, the world will again turn its attention to South Florida in anticipation of an extraordinary, new record-setting, $16 million USD purse.

The 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational, to be held at The Stronach Group owned Gulfstream Park, is open to twelve domestic and international owners who will put in $1 million USD each for a spot in the starting gate. The additional $4 million USD will be contributed by The Stronach Group.

“The 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational surpassed our expectations and we believe took the sport of Thoroughbred racing to an exciting new level”, said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “Our company is committed to building on the momentum that was inspired by our Founder and Honorary Chairman, Frank Stronach. In 2018, we will bring an even bigger, more modern and unforgettable entertainment experience to a global audience.”

With the commitment to an enhanced purse, The Stronach Group aims to attract the attention of an international audience marking the resurgence of North American Thoroughbred racing.

  • Linda Daly

    This “whose got the richest race” battle is getting ridiculous. IMO.

    • smoof

      i imagine that after 3 owners got burned last year buying posts for their super star horses all of whom were retired by dec, there was less enthusiasm–esp. since chrome reminded them that even if their super star gets to post, he might still finish out of the money.

      if they want this to succeed it seems like a better bet would be to allow a 100% refund up until oct 31, a $500,000 refund up to dec 31st, and a $100,000 refund up until the day before posts assignments, and no refunds after that.

      one good thing about this race is its timing. the lure of the purse provides incentive not to retire at 3 if the horse is sound.

      it would be great if the race could be used by breeders as a hedge for backing a potential sire with less than ideal breeding. have the owner pony up the $1 million, and have the breeder take the purse, less owner’s $1 million.

      • Judoon

        If refunds were allowed, the field would be tiny. Awful idea.

        • Lehane

          Except perhaps for a veterinary scratching. Chrome should not have started in the Pegasus, his behavior displayed all was not right with him and it was extremely lucky he didn’t break down.

          • Mr J

            He ran out because Arrogate broke him. He was fine

          • June Glick

            He had a swollen right knee which they posted on facebook! He was not himself before the race with acting up all day and he did not even want to go into the gate, That was not vintage Chrome!

          • Play Nice

            He didn’t have a much of a swollen knee when turned out in Kentucky two days later…

          • Lehane

            That was two days later…..

          • Pete Slaughter

            Chrome wasn’t himself that day. You could easily see that heading into the first turn. He was the only horse in that field capable of giving Arrogate any sort of run for the money. If anyone thinks the knee was just an excuse, why do you believe he lost to Semper Fortis or even War Story? Two fairly nice horses but ones who could never even warm Chrome up if he was right.

          • Lehane

            Rubbish.

          • Mr J

            More excuses.Yawn

          • Play Nice

            She said with the aid of rose colored 20/20 vision.

          • Lehane

            No, not rose coloured 20/20 vision……just experience with racehorses.

          • Wixby

            Nothing wrong with that horse.

          • Lehane

            Immediately prior to the race?

        • Tommy

          YES 2 HORSES

      • davecydell

        Absolutely, smoof: “one good thing about this race is its timing. the lure of the purse provides incentive not to retire at 3 if the horse is sound.”
        A tantalizing treat for Arrogate’s connection’s. Then Dubai will up the anty for another Gold Cup try.

        • Gary Collins

          The last two world Cup nights at Dubai , for each group race were excellent,. 2016 card was close to steller . What other races are on the day of the Paegus. Not sure why Dubai should really bother rising the purse of just one race. They will though. It is getting a bit ridiculous though

      • Big daddy

        Sure

  • J. Nasium

    Why not just round it off to an even zillion bucks and dare the Arabs to go to a zillion and one !

  • michael baldwin too

    Who cares if it’s becoming a d*ck measuring contest. Pegasus was a great race and is even a better idea. In a sport that seems to always shoot itself in the foot, it is very refreshing that these d*ck measuring competitions are even taking place. Props to Frank Stronach and his “crazy” ideas.

  • CheltenhamHill

    I find this rather obscene really. Prize money has never been the main indicator of a race’s prestige or quality in my view, otherwise basically none of the races in Europe would qualify!

    • Clyde Veltmann

      What is wrong with big money in our sport….keep giving it all to the football thugs???

      • Convene

        Or the hockey thugs!

    • Gary Collins

      Europe has HISTORY ! Something our American friends lack

  • SusieQ

    I love it! We went this year and had a blast, even though our horse didn’t win. Gulfstream did a great job and I’m looking forward to returning for the 2018 Pegasus.

    • David P.

      We went to and it as a,ot of fun, but I was taken aback by how few seats there are. it’s a small track.

  • Casey Laughter

    So a more rich version of the Donn Handicap. and then, it is too short. Needs to be 1-1/4 mile…

    • Mr J

      1 3/16 works on that track.

  • Leonard

    I bet the Sheik in Dubai didn’t see that coming…. LOL 16mil, I’d like to see him top that..

    • aardvark6

      And he probably will.

    • Gary Collins

      He would just reach between the cushions of his couch and find the extra few quid. Pocket change to that man

  • Bryan Langlois

    All I can think of is how at least some of that money could help to boost the every day racing products. This pissing contest of who has the richest race is getting kind of ridiculous. I did go this year and it was quite enjoyable. I’m not denying it was an interesting concept and they got lucky the first year with CC vs Arrogate. Let’s see what happens this upcoming year.

    • venetian

      Why for one second would you think that this money would go to any other part of racing?
      This is what it is, enjoy it or don’t watch it. As always, some of these comments aren’t worth reading. BTW owners put up $12 mill of this

      • SPA

        They do, but then they turn around and punish the everyday racing fan and $2 bettor by charging them $375 to walk through the doors and sit at a cramped table. Want to go see the horse in the paddock…that’s another $200. They can claim it’s their own money they are putting up and in the short term it is, but in the end the fans get it…in the end.

        • venetian

          ever paid to get into the Kentucky Derby?

          • SPA

            Never been. I’ve been to the Belmont and that was when it cost $10 to get in.

        • Tommyboomer1

          It’s not an event for the everyday racing fan. If it was, it would be at a larger venue. I’d suggest the ticket revenue represents a tiny fraction of the revenue.

          No one forces anyone to see it. Watch it on TV for free!

          • SPA

            Where did I say anyone was forced to see it. Talk about putting words in people’s mouths.

            This year I actually watched it at NJIT in their media relations room while scouting a basketball game between Lipscomb and NJIT. Of about 30 people in the room I was the only one who know the race was happening or for that matter even knew where Gulfstream is located. I was in a vast minority in interested people.

        • Judoon

          No one is forcing you to attend. Can’t afford it? Stay home. Easy.

          • Mr J

            Absolutely

          • SPA

            Learn to read, I never said I attended, I asked why they have to gouge people.

            I also made the statement that these people recoup some of their money off the backs of the everyday fan.

      • Bryan Langlois

        Owners put up 12 million of it and Stronach group puts up the other 4 million. It is that 4 million that I am talking about. I am all for having an amazing race like the Pegasus, but we have seen all the pieces come together in an amazing way for the first year. Hopefully you will get that as well in future years. If CC and Arrogate had not run this year…you would have had a 12 million dollar race that in class was equal to a high level allowance or grade 3 type race. I realize times are changing and apparently the big race day approach is what seems to be what everyone wants.

        • venetian

          Look Bryan, he puts up the $4 mill and its his money
          Its no diff than raising donor’s money for college programs, people wanna complain that the money could go for bldg’s, prof’s etc…BUT that’s not what the donors signed up for!!!!!

          • Bryan Langlois

            You are right….it is his money and he is free to do with it what he wants. It doesn’t mean that we as fans who want to see racing thrive on more than one or two days a year can’t desire other things as well.

          • Mr J

            Its you people that like to tell people what to do with their money,but are the biggest cheapskates of all that are concerned

          • Bryan Langlois

            I’m not exactly sure how to respond to that comment since the last part of it does not exactly make grammatical sense. I contribute plenty to this sport both in admissions fees and gambling dollars, so I’m not exactly a cheapskate with it.

  • RACEHORSING

    We need to remember what a professional athlete, ie hockey player, foot ball player, soccer player is paid to entertain the masses. A racehorse is a professional athlete and why do they have to risk their lives for peanuts? What about all the people that work in the industry that makes the race horse able to race? The purses are paid to multiple workers & their families including the farmers that produce the feed. How many workers does an individual hockey player, foot ball player or soccer player support? Think about the obscene wealth their contract gets those individuals.

    • Bonnie Holder

      And does the horse get any of it? No.

      • venetian

        gosh Bonnie, is the horse going to the supermarket with it?
        what a stupid statement

  • jacob.bratcher

    Where I come from, this is what you would call a “Measuring contest” (in certain terms).

  • tony1162

    Need to move distance to 1 1/4 miles

    • David P.

      Agreed, but I believe they claim the configuration at GP doesn’t make that ideal.

      • Tom Davis

        GP is a 1 1/8 mile oval. 1 1/4 race would be no problem.

  • Richard C

    Next up — some organization will begin a crowdfunding campaign to raise all or a portion of the entry fee.

    • That would be interesting and a good possibility. The more I think about it the more I like it
      wonder what the entry will be 1.3m ?

  • some organization will begin a crowdfunding campaign to raise all or a portion of the entry fee.

  • tony a

    Congrats, now just add one 5-10 million dollar purse in the summer and the best will run only 4 times a year.

  • Tinky

    Mindless excess; a sign of the times, and certain to end badly.

    • Lehane

      Agree, Tinky. Not good for the image of racing at all.

      • Mr J

        Rich people vying for big money ?Its always been the image

        • danylson

          so true

        • Lehane

          I know that. But throwing ridiculous amounts of money at a race just doesn’t seem right.

    • Play Nice

      I pray that Sheikh Maktoum declares that he will raise his purse to 12 million, and then also match the 4 million. Except instead of rewarding excess and greed, he is donating 500k to eight horse racing charities for each of the first eight Gr. 1 winners that enters the DWC. And if Arrogate returns to defend his crown in 2018, he will donate an additional 4 million:-)

  • Bonnie Holder

    Why these boys have to get into a pissing contest over something so stupid escapes me. There are so many better ways to spend that money on great racing.

    • JustJoe

      How? Players like big events.

    • Judoon

      Then use your own money on those supposed other great ways.

  • ofmyownaccord

    May affect whether older horses stay in training. $16 million PWC, + whatever Dubai decides to raise their purse to may sway owners into delaying the breed shed. I always thought that the industry had to make racing more profitable than breeding if they wanted older horses to stick around. This may be one way of doing it.

    Pegasus, Dubai, and BC Classic could become the Triple Crown for Older Horses.

    • Bryan Langlois

      And means that these horses would run 3-4 times in their handicap year max. It deprives the fans of a chance to see these horses do what they were bred to do…RUN!!! You can’t build a fan base around horses that stay in the barn and only run if the purse money is over 10 million. The news that Arrogate may only run two more times and the next one not till the end of August is sad to hear, especially since they said that he did not come back tired from his race.

      • Tommyboomer1

        The only thing this race does is mean that a horse that would have retired will run one more. It has no impact on how many times a year they run. That’s a training philosophy issue.

        • Mr J

          Or 2 times.DWC

      • JustJoe

        There or four times is a lot more then zero.

      • ofmyownaccord

        As opposed to winning one G1 race their 3 yr old year and then retiring with “soundness” issues? BTW, when they retire at 3, they also don’t RUN!! So as it stands right now, the fans don’t have a chance to see what these horses were bred to do.

        Since you’re so opinionated on what Frank Stronach should do with HIS $4 million…..what is your business plan for convincing owners to keep horses in training past their 3 yr old year and pass up an immediate windfall in the breeding shed.

        How does spreading $4 million among allowance and cheap claiming races at Gulfstream attract any new fans to the sport? How does that convince farms and consignors to abandon their business model based on young horses and instead concentrate their efforts on older ones?

        • Jay Stone

          All good points.

        • Bryan Langlois

          My idea of what would work would require tracks to play nicey nicey with each other which we all know won’t happen. You want to keep them around, revamp the now old and forgotten American Championship Racing Series. Have it linked to the Breeders Cup if you want, and have all the win and your in races point based, but only for 4 year olds and up (at least in the Classic Division races…the others I could see 3 and up). Then link those races with point values to a large bonus at the end of the year for the horse that gets the most points in each division, with the caveat being you have to run in so many of the series races to be eligible for the bonus. Again, this would require tracks to agree to adjust their stakes schedules accordingly to make it so the top horses would have to run against one another more than once a year if they want the bonus money. We all know that any hope of tracks agreeing to do what is better for the sport over what is better for them in the short term is a pipe dream. Link the series with a huge social media presence that fans could get involved in (heck, involve Draft Kings if you want for the gambler). Have contests that keep the fans engaged. Have some trash talking too if you want between horses connections. I would wager more owners would put up money for a bonus structure like that than a 1 chance opportunity of maybe breaking even if you are not running a sub par horse against a world beater. If you want to somehow add in what Frank did and give the owners back some of the handle wagered on those particular races maybe that could be done too.
          Would this make the financials more lucrative than the breeding shed?? maybe not for the top horses (you are right…in todays US world they breed to breed and not breed to race), but I would think it would give other older horses a chance at some nice black type races that would look better in their breeding portfolios later.
          What could he do on the more allowance level with 4 million dollars?? The same exact thing. Create a points series for state breds that would also bring incentives for the breeders to get some money back and maybe urge the owners to keep their horses racing a little bit longer. It can be done and structured properly. It is just that no one wants to take the chance and do it. Profile some more of the local trainer and jockey groups so local fans can get involved as well in following them.
          That is what Frank could do if he wanted. Like you said. It is his money and hope that it does turn out to be an amazing race that draws in the best in the world. History will show whether that truly happens or not.

      • Jay Stone

        Remember that if not for races like this these horses would retire early and the fans would not get to see them run again. This particular race will extend the careers of horses that would immediately go to the breeding shed.

        • tony a

          Extend a career? One race? I’m all for the money but if rather see a series such as 2,3,5 with a 5 mil bonus for sweeping,2 mil for highest point total if compete in all 3.

          • Tommy

            NO A FULL YEAR AND MAYBE 2 OR 3 KNOWING THERE’S 36 MILLION IN 2 RACES AT THE END

        • Gary Collins

          Who put on a Group 1 in January when top class horses from May to November , when the real Group 1s are held, should be resting or going back into training for the next season?

          There is no telling as to whether a classic winning horse that goes on to win a Breeders Cup will hang around for a race in January. Too soon to assume that .

      • Gary Collins

        Owners don’t run their horses to give fans a warm fuzzy feeling inside. They run to prove themselves as horses (and increase their sire’s worth, if they also owned the sire) and to make them very valuable for stud, where , they can make more money in one year than they made in 2-4 years of racing

  • lastromantibune

    this is turning into a rich mans pissing contest….everyone ends up smelly and wet

  • gus stewart

    Arrogate, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh if he is in race, unless you get some good stuff to pass around and get some of the older wealthy owners on a poker table and get them hammered enough to believe its 50 50 that arrogate runs, good luck on getting the million. I think its a great concept but this year will be difficult to sell with arrogate. and yes I understand its not about the money for these owners it about the brief moment in the lights, which they rarely get in the race biz. And a side note, Belinda why don’t you get Santa Anita out of being a secondary track. Field sizes marketing etc… I have been told your never there but have time for speeches’ and working on other things at Gulfstream. If you don’t want the job, give it to someone else to blow out the baggage and the 20 year old ideas that ruin California racing. Hey, I have a few younger people that would make that track a center piece in 3 to 5 years, in Arcadia and surrounding areas, Pasadena Etc. So please, if you don’t want to help, then stay all the time in Florida or Canada and let someone else fix it. Hey and you can take the credit if you want it!!!!!!

  • john&veronica dawson

    It should have been winner take all.

  • Judoon

    Wish I had $4 million. Then I’d spend MY money any way I wanted and laugh at anyone jealous enough to tell me what to do with my own cash.

  • Jay Stone

    This should be applauded rather treated with negativity. The move rather than a reaction to the Dubai increase is a fair and honest way to give the original investors their shot to go back in which they have first priority to do. The Stronach group has put up their own money to make sure that no matter where an investor’s horse finishes they will recoup most of their money. This will insure that most if not all of the original 12 investors will go right back in.

    • Bryan Langlois

      That is a fair point. I think the negativity comes in a little bit of is keeping a horse running, and perhaps not running in other races where more fans would have the means to see and support them, for just one more race really accomplishing anything in the long run? It is great for the owners and connections from a monetary incentive as I will not argue with that. However, is it doing much for the sport overall in the long run?? I think it might depending on how it is marketed and linked to things in the future. Seriously, how many even in the sports fan world know the name Arrogate? He may have the distinction of going down in racing history as one of the best horses that no one ever really heard of.

      • Jay Stone

        Without this race and one or two others a once in a generation talent would go unrecognized. This particular race when marketed and promoted as it will be will enable Arrogate to get his just due. Without it the breeding shed beckons. If Pegasus creates just one more start it will accomplish much.

        • Tinky

          What a load of rubbish! Please do name a single “generational talent” that went unrecognized prior to the creation of either the DWC or this race.

          • Jay Stone

            Tinky, with the demise of print coverage of racing and the attendance withering on track, the only way to get superstars like Arrogate the exposure they deserve is in very rich races such as Pegasus, Breeders Cup, and Dubai.

          • Tinky

            C’mon, Jay, Arrogate wasn’t going to be retired. Everyone knew who he was after the Breeder’s Cup, and he hasn’t beaten a single meaningful horse in either of the two big-purse races that he wouldn’t have faced him in more traditional races.

            Please, stop with cheerleading.

          • Gary Collins

            Demise of racing attendance. How many attended the Kentucky Oaks day despite the horrible weather , and the Kentucky Cup. I understand there were record crowds, you can correct me on that

            Gulfstream is tiny for crowds (of course, you have to run it there in January)

        • Gary Collins

          Lesser horses will now be deemed great horses based on an inflated prize money race at a less than Group 1 standard race track in the middle of the off season

      • Gary Collins

        “Seriously, how many even in the sports fan world know the name Arrogate?”

        The Travers and Breeders Cup Classic did that. As did Dubai (bigger global coverage). You are tripping if the world was watching a race in Florida in January

        The knew who American Pharaoh was with the Grand Slam

        They even should respect for California Chrome in the way he won the Dubai WC

  • danylson

    Hey That Miami money is that Miami money…nothing surprises me in Miami anymore..Great Idea and I am all for it..Let Arrogate Break Sunday Silence record at 1 1/4mile or establish it next year..

  • Ty Wyant

    Money talks … Your turn Sheikh Mo

  • slvrblltday

    Anything incentivizing racehorses racing instead of retiring to breed prematurely is okay by me.

  • Ida Lee

    Keep this up, we’re going to be talking real money ….

    • kuzdal

      Ida, dear heart….as an (admitted) non-wagering fan, is this really your “ballpark”?

      Let us carry on

      • Ida Lee

        kuzdal darling…my comment was made “tongue in cheek” …..but let me be perfectly clear, I loved the Pegasus …. hope it continues and the bigger the purse, the better….it’s great fun for the fan…for the sport? …I’m not so sure ….

        • kuzdal

          I’ve hoped for the growth of this game; the numbers clearly suggest something else ha happened.

          Something like the Pegasus doesn’t (to me) show growth.

          Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong about “thinking outside the box” before. But, until we find a way to entice the younger generation to take a risk (something beyond 10 cent supers), we’ve lost.

          BTW. You from NC?

          • Ida Lee

            This year will be the 143rd running of the KY Derby….I’m a firm believer that horse racing’s demise has been greatly exaggerated….for the true blue sport fan, the ridiculous purses are probably “unseemly” but really, these billionaires and their toys, not only bring a lot of money to the sport, but an awful lot of fun and excitement ….The Pegasus was a huge success…I know I was anxiously waiting for it….and we know it attracted our 2 biggest Superstars….so if they offer it, we will come and have a hell of a good time in the process…. NC is my home… originally from NYC….

  • Michael Beauregard

    My Dad and his brother went 2016
    . He said never again he felt the Stronach group tried to get into his pocket at every turn 100 entry to the track 20 to park 150 for a seat most people there got comped there seats and entry. Horse players that play there every day had to stay home or at there hotel. He said he did not like getting ripped off and will never vacation in FL again.

  • Play Nice

    Oh! But there is never enough for horse retirement/ retraining programs or backstretch workers/retirement or disabled jocks? Check, yup, and yep.

  • forestwildcat

    The Sport of Kings

  • McGov

    BAHAAHAahahahahahahahaaaa……..
    Shameful (not).

  • kuzdal

    I think this addition to the purse for the Pegasus is a great idea!!

    Honestly, I don’t.

    My politics picked up on the Stronach re-work of the “Make America Great Again” theme; let’s see how that works out. Make America Bet Again seems self-serving, especially when you can miss post-time by 9 minutes….but still get your bet down. And, while I agree that the thoroughbred game needs an infusion of excitement, I don’t think it comes from multi-million dollar payoffs for unknown investors.

    Show me rivalries, show me competition. I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of dollars inside a craps table (yeah…so what). Show me everything that’s drawn me a the sport.

    You rich guys wanna race? There’s only so much oil in the ground….

  • David

    Great. Now they’ll have a really good non winners of three other than.

  • Lost In The Fog – Robert Lee

    Does this relegate the status of the BC Classic to nothing more than a prep race for the Pegasus and Dubai World Cup?

    • SPA

      I hope not, I thought that’s what the Queens County Handicap at Aqueduct was!!! LOL

  • Tom Davis

    I’d like to sit down and have dinner with Frank Stronach and pick his brain and find out what’s going on in his head.

  • MA

    So which Stronach Group track does this put out of business?

  • Smitty

    How about instead of adding 4 million to owners give the fan 25 percent of his bet back on race if he loses.The fan is what determines if this race is a success or a failure,idea is way outside the box but that’s what racing needs outside the box thinking.

  • Gotchagold

    I agree with the post by Whatever. In a post about disabled riders that appeared in this site earlier this month I suggested the very same thing. All that money could help so, so many riders that depend on help from the PDJF and others. I thought a suggested amount of purse money could be dedicated each year from these sky high purses such as the BC and then this money could do some good and not fatten the bank accounts of these very rich owners.

  • Ls Gina

    And so it begins. The MONEY WARS. Stronach vs Sheikh Mohamed’s Dubai World Cup. EXCEPTION: The respectable Sheikh and great Horseman puts up his own funds ;-)

  • kuzdal

    Somewhere, I have to believe that Robert Brennan is laughing his tail off.

  • derbycy

    GOOD GRIEF!!!…when will it stop?

  • Audrey Gulla

    Good grief! This is rich ( pun intended ). Has Dubai announced their new purse yet? It would be nice if these races could be capped & then competition could be for who gives the most to thoroughbred aftercare…….just a thought…..

  • Pete Slaughter

    I love the Pegasus, it’s proven hugely successful thus far. With The Stronach Groups commitment, I can see this becoming a showcase for worldwide talent. Although, Arrogate may scare many away in 2018, even though 9 furlongs is not his optimal distance.

  • Gary Collins

    Trainers are in the game long enough to know that horses are not “monsters” or “machines” and even the best can be beaten

  • Charles Fraschilla

    hire me CFO/Controller

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram