Next month’s Pegasus World Cup is set to be the richest race ever staged in the world, with $16 million in prize money on offer in the contest at Gulfstream Park. Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Gun Runner is expected to head the quality field.
The appearance of the prolific American thoroughbred should ensure there is a big crowd at Gulfstream Park for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup. Tickets remain available for the event Hallandale Beach, Florida, with a $100 Simulcast Arena pass including entry into the Finish Line Deli and casino, with numerous table games on offer alongside conventional sports betting. Punters can practice in any online casino with games for real money or just fun before they attend the racecourse, while betting on the big race is already open.
The Pegasus World Cup took place for the very first time last January, where Arrogate established himself as the top-rated dirt horse on the planet with victory in Florida. Gun Runner has the opportunity to follow in the former champion’s footsteps next month. The four-year-old made all at Del Mar in the leading race at the world championship meeting. He asserted control of the contest inside the final 200 meters, where he was able to put just over two lengths between himself and the runner-up, Collected.
Gun Runner has now won his last four races, all of which have been at Grade One level. Steve Asmussen’s runner has shown the best form of his career in 2017, with the step up in distance working in his favor. Collected is second best in the Pegasus World Cup betting, and appears to be the biggest rival to Gun Runner in the richest race in the world. The four-year-old had some good horses in behind him when he crossed in the line in second place at Del Mar, including the defending champion Arrogate, so connections will be delighted with his run.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will want to add the Pegasus World Cup to his extensive list of victories in Grade One races around the world which includes the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup. A change in racecourse from Del Mar to Gulfstream Park may help his horse’s chances as the bookmakers’ favorite has never raced at the Florida course before.
Collected proved he was good enough for the Grade One level when he won the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar back in August. Baffert’s horse upset the odds-on favorite Arrogate as he made all from the gates. Jockey Martin Garcia opted to ask his runner to go for home with 400m to go and he was game in holding on by half a length ahead of the former Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.
West Coast will be one of the youngest horses in the 2018 Pegasus World Cup field and will join his stablemate Collected in having another shot at Gun Runner. The three-year-old came home third at Del Mar, where he took on the older generation for the first time in his career.
The highlight of 2017 for West Coast was his victory in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. Baffert’s runner went on to record his fifth success of the year in the Grade One Pennsylvania Derby at Parx. At Del Mar he tracked the leaders in the early stages of the Classic but unfortunately for his connections, he got outpaced with 400m to go. The three-year-old rallied under the hands of Javier Castellano late on to close to gap to just over three lengths, but he had to settle for third place.
The Pegasus World Cup takes place on January 28 and is sure to be one of the races of 2018, despite coming so early into the calendar.
Possible Pegasus World Cup Starters:
Seeking the Soul