After a stellar debut in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup is back with even more thrills in South Florida for the 2018 edition this weekend. Saturday’s race has attracted the top horses in the world, headlining a day full of fashion, celebrities, and fun north of Miami. Get ready for the big event with nine things you might not know.
1. This year’s Pegasus World Cup features five of the top six finishers in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Winner Gun Runner is joined by runner-up Collected, third-place finisher West Coast, fourth-place finisher War Story, and Gunnevera, who finished in a dead heat with Arrogate for fifth.
2. The Pegasus World Cup is worth $16 million, more than any other Thoroughbred race on the planet and $4 million more than last year’s edition. The winner will take home $7 million, with $1.6 million for second, $1.3 million for third, and the rest reserved for the other finishers, depending on the entry fee paid.
3. The race is hosted by Gulfstream Park, the premier South Florida racetrack and an entertainment destination. The track also has shops, restaurants, a casino, a bowling alley, and a 473-ton statue of a winged Pegasus slaying a 242-ton dragon.
4. The 11 announced Pegasus World Cup competitors have won 75 races and earned more than $24.5 million in their careers. Gun Runner leads the field with 11 wins and career earnings of $8,988,500.
5. Ludacris will perform at this year’s Pegasus. In addition to the racing, Pegasus World Cup day will be highlighted by a concert from Ludacris as well as rapper Post Malone.
6. The Pegasus contenders include two probable Eclipse Award winners in Gun Runner and West Coast. Gun Runner is expected to be named champion older dirt male and Horse of the Year, while West Coast is a leading contender for champion 3-year-old male. Collected and Stellar Wind also are Eclipse Awards finalists.
7. The race has drawn competitors from as far away as England. British-trained Toast of New York arrived in Hallandale Beach, Fla. last week ahead of his run at the $16 million purse.
8. There are eight total stakes races worth at least $125,000 each at Gulfstream on Pegasus day. Total purses of $17,225,000, including the Pegasus, will be awarded for those stakes.
9. Seven of the 11 confirmed entrants for the race have never competed at Gulfstream Park before. Three of the four that have raced there have won at least one race at the track: Fear the Cowboy, Gunnevera, and Sharp Azteca.