Stronach Shrinks Purses of Pegasus World Cup Races

Pegasus World Cup

The Stronach Group announced major purse cuts to the Pegasus World Cup races. (Photo credit: Gulfstream Park).

Regarding the horse racing industry, we spend way too much time shaking our heads and I did plenty of that over the last week.

Part of it was my fault for whiffing in the final leg of Sunday’s Pick 5 at Aqueduct after having Krewe Chief at $23.40 and A Freud of Mama at $48.20 on all of my tickets in the earlier races. If you are looking to cash look for a ladbrokes bonus bet code before opening a new betting account.

And we had two jockeys at Golden Gate Fields who thought it would be a good idea to share a whip, each getting suspended for 30 days, the incident likely changing the outcome of the trifecta and superfecta.

Then we had the good news/bad news coming out of the Stronach Group regarding the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park which is just over a month away.

The good news was 2% of the purse is now going to help thoroughbred aftercare. Entry fees, which started at $1 million and reduced to $500,000 are now waived.

Check out USRacing for the latest Pegasus World Cup betting odds. 

Pegasus Purses Reduced

The bad news?  A race that had a purse of $12 million for the inaugural running, was boosted to $16 million, then dropped to $9 million last year will now carry “just” a purse of $3 million.

When Frank Stronach first came up with the idea of the World Cup with owners putting up $1 million to run, it sounded crazy. However, it actually worked. Instead of top horses retiring after the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), staying in training for the Pegasus and Dubai World Cup seemed like the logical thing to do.

Now, the first running of the $20 million Saudi Cup is set for Feb. 29 and the $12 million Dubai World Cup is scheduled for March 28. Will the top horses in the U.S. just elect to bypass the Pegasus World Cup for the richer races?

The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), which had a purse of $7 million last year has been reduced to $1 million.

Announcement Comes Late

This announcement was made just 41 days before the race, which can’t possibly sit well with the connections of contenders pointing for the race, and it certainly did not with Gary West, owner of Maximum Security.

“Cutting the purse to $3 million is an absolute game-changer. I wasn’t thinking about the Saudi Cup, but why should I run for $3 million when I can run for $20 million four weeks later? That’s a substantial change, and we don’t know what we’re going to do,” West told Bloodhorse. “There’s now a better than 50/50 chance we’ll go to the Saudi race. You don’t get a horse like Maximum Security that often, and when you have a chance to be one of the favorites in the richest race in the world, you have to consider it.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher was more diplomatic, telling Mike Welsh of The Daily Racing Form, “In some ways it’s more owner friendly, more attractive, structured this way as an invitational with no fees,” said Pletcher. In the past there was such a significant payment necessary to get into the race, which was favorable if you had a Gun Runner or Arrogate, but not if you were taking a shot with one.”

The Stronach Group had plenty of time after last year’s running to plan out a strategy on how to proceed with the Pegasus. Changing the purse structure and the fact that it will be run medication free is not something you tell horsemen 41 days before race day.

Pegasus World Cup 2020 Early Betting Odds via USRacing:

Maximum Security 3/2
Omaha Beach 5/2
Mckinzie 11/4
Midnight Bisou 9/2
Spun To Run 6/1
Elate 10/1
Higher Power 16/1
Bravazo 16/1
Tacitus 20/1
Roadster 20/1
Gunnevera 20/1
Prince Lucky 28/1


NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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