On Saturday, January 26, Gulfstream Park in Hallendale, Florida will play host to the third running of the Pegasus World Cup horse race. The race carries a total purse $9 million, making it the richest horse race in North America. Twelve of the top thoroughbreds in the country will go to the gate to race 1 1/8 miles on the Gulfstream dirt.
On the same day, Gulfstream will also host the brand new Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational which has drawn an international field of 10. They'll be running 1 3/16 miles on the Gulfstream grass, racing for a share of the $7 million total purse.
Under a unique format in racing, starting spots in the Pegasus World Cup gate have been purchased by the 12 horse owners for a cost of $500,000. Out of the $9 million purse, the winner will receive $4 million, while the Turf winner will pick up $3 million.
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Pegasus World Cup Odds
The field has been set and post positions have been drawn for the Pegasus World Cup, and the race will include 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Accelerate. Here's a look at the field with current Bovada odds.
Pegasus World Cup Favorites
- Trained by John Sadler, he's coming off a near-perfect 2018 season in which he won six-of-seven races and was second in the other. He took command at the top of the stretch in the Classic and and won easier that the one-length finish would suggest.
The one to beat.
City Of Light (+300)
- He's faced Accelerate twice, getting up to win by a neck in the (G2) Oaklawn Handicap, but was then well-beaten next out in the (G1) Gold Cup at Santa Anita. His wire-to-wire win in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile was one of the most impressive performances of the 2018 BC, and by all accounts his training up to the Pegasus has been excellent.
In with a solid chance.
- Third in the 2018 Pegasus - although more than 12 lengths behind the top-two finishers - he doesn't win a lot but is usually a factor, as he was in running second in the BC Classic at odds of 30-1. Gulfstream is his home track.
Should be right there at the wire.
- Third-place finisher in the 2018 Kentucky Derby has had some health problems, but came off a long layoff to win the Cherokee Run Stakes in early November. Prepped for the Pegasus by running second in the the (G3) Harlan's Holiday Stakes on the Gulfstream dirt.
A contender at his best.
- The only Florida-bred in the field, he only made his graded-stakes racing debut in September with a win in the (G2) Kelso Handicap and followed that up with a win in the (G1) Cigar Mile. Drew the very tough outside post.
Distance could be a question.
- He doesn't win a lot, but he always runs in the tough races and usually has something to say about the outcome, with seven in-the-money finishes in Grade 1 races for his career.
Can't be ignored in exotic bets.
Pegasus World Cup Long Shots
Seeking The Soul (+1600)
- Fifth in the 2018 Pegasus, he's had a very erratic career, with only six wins in 24 lifetime starts, but with 17 in-the-money finishes. He has a Grade 1 win on his resume from 2017, and was second in the BC Dirt Mile behind City Of Light.
Can't recommend for the win.
True Timber (+2500)
- The runner-up behind Patternrecognition in the Cigar, he's had some results but no wins so far at the graded-stakes level.
A cut below the top ones here.
- The veteran of the field at age nine, he was very badly beaten in his last two graded-stakes starts, and was ninth last out in an allowance-level race at Gulfstream.
Dead last a possibility.
Something Awesome (+4000)
- Eight-year-old Ontario-bred will represent Pegasus founder and Gulfstream owner Frank Stronach in the race. Won the (G2) Charles Town Classic three starts back, but would need a huge step up to compete here.
Running for a minor reward.
Tom's d'Etat (+4000)
- Injuries have de-railed his career, and this will be his first start in a graded-stakes race, but he does come in with four consecutive wins at the lower levels of racing, so he knows how to get to the winner's circle.
Consider in trifectas and superfectas.
- The 2018 Mexico Triple Crown winner, he is undefeated in 14 lifetime races, including last out when he easily won a restricted-stakes race at Gulfstream, his first start on US soil.
A complete wild-card.
Pegasus Turf Invitational Top Contenders
- Japan-bred has done all his racing in the US, where he has wins on both turf and dirt. Tried dirt last out to run fourth in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic after winning the (G1) Woodward Stakes on dirt where he beat Pegasus contender Gunnevera.
- Just missed the win in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Mile by a 1/2 length coming from off the pace, he's also trained by John Sadler who has Pegasus favorite Accelerate. Distance could be a question.
Magic Wand (+450)
- Irish-bred filly was the runner-up in two consecutive Group 1 races in France before running fourth in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Gets a huge break in the weights, carrying 12 pounds less than most of her rivals.
Pegasus Turf Live Long Shot
Channel Maker (+1200)
- Disappointed in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Turf when he finished 11th, prior to that he won two-of-three against very strong fields in the (G1) Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and (G2) Bowling Green Stakes and was second in the (G1) Sword Dancer. If he can find his best form he has a serious shot at the upset.
Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream will feature a total of nine stakes races on the 12-race card. The Pegasus Turf Invitational has a post time of 4:57 PM Eastern, and will be followed by the Pegasus World Cup at 5:36 PM Eastern. Both races will be broadcast live on NBC TV, and live streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 4:30 PM Eastern.