Pegasus World Cup Card Adds $7 Million Turf Race for 2019

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The paddock at Gulfstream Park at the Pegasus World Cup card in 2018. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes day will in 2019 add a turf race, which like the dirt race that enters its third year in 2019, will feature a purse largely fueled by owners.

The Stronach Group, owners of the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup, announced Sept. 18 that a 1 3/16-mile turf race it hopes will receive Grade 1 status would be added to the card. Meanwhile the original Pegasus World Cup race, scheduled for Jan. 26, 2019, will see a reduction in entry fee and purse.

The addition of the Pegasus turf race aims to attract a dozen of the best older turf horses from around the world. The total purse for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes will sit at $7 million and the winner would receive $3 million. The Pegasus World Cup, to be contested on dirt at 1 1/8 miles, will offer a $9 million purse with a $4 million prize awaiting the winner of the expected 12-horse field.

The cost for owners or other stakeholders to secure an entry spot and enter a horse in either race will be $500,000.

At that rate, $6 million of the $7 million purse for the turf race will be generated by entry fees and $6 million of the $9 million purse for the dirt race will be generated by entry fees. The $4 million total contribution to the two races from the track matches the amount committed to the 2018 Pegasus World Cup.

Gun Runner after winning 2018 Pegasus World Cup. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The purse of the 2019 Pegasus World Cup will see a reduction. The $9 million purse planned for next year is down from $16 million last year and $12 million in 2017. The $500,000 entry fee for the dirt race is half the price of the first two editions, as each required a $1 million entry fee.

“The appetite for a turf race is strong and the decision to include a premier turf race is part of the ongoing evolution of the Pegasus World Cup,” Stronach Group Chairman and President Belinda Stronach said. “We are excited to expand this event for both horse owners and fans, adding to what is already an incredible day of entertainment and world-class racing at Gulfstream Park.”

Any horse owner who purchases a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be given preference to purchase a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. Coolmore founder John Magnier told Gulfstream publicity that he likes the addition of the turf race.

“As an international owner, I am thrilled that the Pegasus World Cup will include a turf race,” Magnier said. “Coolmore, like The Stronach Group, believes in growing our sport and there is no better way to do that than to provide a new platform to showcase the world's best Thoroughbreds.”

As an added incentive and as part of the commitment to provide new, lucrative opportunities for horse owners, The Stronach Group will offer a $1 million bonus to an owner who wins both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.

The Stronach Group also will introduce a new wager, the Pegasus Pick 24. The Pegasus Pick 24 will offer the chance to bet on the exact finish order for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, adding another layer to the race-day excitement. A whopping $5 million bonus awaits a lucky fan who hits on the Pegasus Pick 24.

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