The Stronach Group announced Wednesday that the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup will be held at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28, 2017, becoming the world’s richest Thoroughbred race.
The Pegasus World Cup is the vision of Frank Stronach, founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group. It will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for horses 4 years old and up and is expected to attract the world's biggest stars while promoting and generating excitement and worldwide attention for Thoroughbred racing.
“I think they’ve been discussing this in-house for about a year and a half, two years now,” said Jack Wolf, founder of the ownership group Starlight Racing, who has been retained as CEO of the Pegasus World Cup. “They invited me in to try and tweak the model and try and get out and market and produce some things. I’ve been working with them the last three months and now we’re ready to kick this thing off. Hopefully there will be some interest and there will be a fancy race.”
The Pegasus World Cup will feature 12 entrants who will pay $1 million each to buy a spot in the Pegasus World Cup starting gate. The entrant can then race, lease, contract or share a starter or sell their place in the starting gate.
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Original entrants will also have the first option to participate in future Pegasus World Cup races. All entrants will not only be competing for the world’s largest purse but they will also share equally in 100 percent of the net income from handle, media rights, and sponsorships from the Pegasus World Cup.
“Let’s say Starlight Racing buys a slot for $1 million and let’s say Starlight doesn’t have a horse that we feel can compete in that race,” Wolf explained. “We can make arrangements to lease a horse that doesn’t have a slot or we can buy a horse or do a number of things. I think the cool thing about it is for the $1 million, you’re buying a slot, not a horse. And you have the privilege of having a slot right now and first right of refusal for the second year.”
The Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse currently stands as the world’s richest Thoroughbred race with its $10 million purse.
Wolf added that the Pegasus World Cup will have Grade I status and that the 12 slots will be sold on a “first come, first served” basis effective immediately.
“The first 12 in are off to the races,” Wolf said.
Tom Ludt, who is a board member of the Breeders’ Cup, will also be assisting with the marketing and coordination of the Pegasus World Cup.