The brainchild of Gulfstream Park owner Frank Stronach, the Pegasus is a unique horse racing event in that horse owners are required to purchase a starting spot in the gate – with the price for 2019 set at $500,000 – that they can then use to race one of their own horses or enter into an agreement with another owner to run one of their horses.
The race is limited to 12 starters, and for 2019 the Pegasus offers a total purse of $9 million, of which $5.4 million goes to the winner, making it the single richest horse race in North America.
In the first two years of the Pegasus, the horse that won the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the previous November (Arrogate in 2017 and Gun Runner in 2018) returned to win the Pegasus in Janaury. The 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Accelerate, has been entered in the 2019 Pegasus and is expected to go off as the race favorite.
2019 Pegasus World Cup Contenders
Although the final entries for the race have not yet been officially announced, two weeks before the race the field is essentially set, and online racebooks like Bodog are currently taking future bets on the race.
Here’s a look at the top contenders with odds. Horses not listed in Bodog’s’s racebook but that are expected to run can be bet on request.
Trained by John Sadler, he’s doing his best running the older he gets. He comes in off the win in the Breeders’ Cup, his fourth consecutive Grade 1 win in 2018, and fourth consecutive win. Overall in 2018 he won six-of-seven starts, all at the graded-stakes level. He has 10 wins and 20 in-the-money finishes in 22 career starts. The one to beat.
City Of Light (+350)
He’s another 2018 Breeders’ Cup winner, having won the Breeders’ Cup Mile by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths, taking the field wire-to-wire while setting a very fast pace through the first six furlongs. He came from off the pace to beat Accelerate by a neck in the 2018 Oaklawn Handicap. Serious contender.
Third in the Pegasus in 2017, he’s had a erratic career with no graded-stakes wins since early 2017. But he always shows up for the big races, and can’t be ignored in exotic bets like trifectas and superfectas. Outside chance.
He has finished in the money in all eight of his lifetime starts, with five wins. Included in that streak is a third-place finish in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Prior to the Derby he won the (G1) Florida Derby on the Gulfstream Park dirt, the only Grade 1 win of his career. Might be the upsetter.
Seeking The Soul (+1600)
Along with Gunnevera, he’s the other 2018 Pegasus runner back to take another shot at it in 2019, after finishing fifth one year ago. More recently he was second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile behind City Of Light, and since then ran third in the (G1) Clark Handicap. Could grab a minor reward.
Pegasus World Cup Long Shots
Tom’s d’Etat (+6000)
He’s very overmatched on paper in this field, with eight of his lifetime races at the claiming or optional claiming level, and only one lower-stakes level race to his name. At the same time, he’s won six of nine, and his last four in a row, and his owners obviously feel he has a chance to get a least some of thier money back. Would be a huge upset.
He’s the true unknown entity in the race. A Mexico-bred, he won the Mexico Triple Crown for 2018 and is unbeaten in 14 career starts. The last of those came at Gulfstream Park, his first effort on US soil, where he easily won a race restricted to horses bred in countries that border the Caribbean. Complete wild card.
Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational
As organizers tinker with the Pegasus format, a big change for 2019 has been the addition of the Pegasus World Cup Turf race, to be run at 1 3/8 miles on the Gulfstream grass and offering a total purse of $7 million.
Set to be run just prior to the main event, the Pegasus Turf will feature runners such as Next Shares, winner of the recent (G2) San Gabriel Stakes; the Japan-bred Yoshida, a Grade 1 stakes winner on both turf and dirt; and Catapult, the runner-up in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Mile.
Betting the Pegasus World Cup
Whether you’re looking to catch a big price on a future bet, or want to wait until race day to pick the winner, you can check out the top-rated online racebook listed below, open an account and wager the full Pegasus World Cup race card from home with the convenience of using your PC or mobile device.