Wager on the 2021 Pegasus World Cup at TwinSpires

The Pegasus World Cup is a premier, invitation-only event on the global racing calendar featuring some of the finest domestic and international thoroughbreds. Wager on this exciting annual event online with TwinSpires!

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Pegasus World Cup Invitational Race Info

  • 2021 Location: Gulfstream Park – Hallandale Beach, Florida
  • Inaugural Race: 2017 (Pegasus World Cup Turf 1st ran in 2019)
  • Distance: 1 1/8 miles
  • Track Type: Left-handed, Dirt
  • Age Qualifications: Four-year-olds and up
  • 2021 Purse: $3 million
  • 2021 Race Date: Saturday, January 23
  • Post Time: 5:34 p.m. ET
  • Where to Watch: NBC (coverage begins at 4:00 p.m. ET)

2021 Pegasus World Cup Entries and Morning Line Odds

1Sleepy Eyes Todd8-1Jose Ortiz / Miguel Angel Silva
2Coastal Defense15-1Corey Lanerie / Dale Romans
3Independence Hall20-1TBD / Mike McCarthy
4Knicks Go5-2Joel Rosario / Brad Cox
5Jesus’ Team8-1Irad Ortiz Jr. / Jose Francisco D’Angelo
6Kiss Today Goodbye10-1Mike Smith / Eric Kruljac
7Tax5-1Luis Saez / Danny Gargan
8Harpers First Ride10-1Angel Cruz / Claudio Gonzalez
9Last Judgment20-1Paco Lopez / Mike Maker
10Code of Honor9-2Tyler Gaffalione / Shug McGaughey
11Mr Freeze30-1John Velazquez / Dale Romans
12Math Wizard20-1Edgard Zayas / Saffie Joseph Jr.

Watch the 2020 Pegasus World Cup

The Origins of the Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus World Cup, first ran in 2017 at Florida’s Gulfstream Park, is the brainchild of Austrian businessman and award winning owner/breeder Frank Stronach, who proposed the event to infuse some excitement into a part of the year that is traditionally slow for racing. The Pegasus World Cup replaced the Donn Handicap, which had been raced at Gulfstream Park from 1959-2016, and has assumed its grade one status.

Bob Baffert, trainer of the inaugural races’ winner Arrogate, noted the race’s potential for drawing in horses in the sunset of their career, saying:

I think racing usually has a little lull this time of year – we have to wait for something to happen. When I heard about the idea last year, I though wow, American Pharaoh (2015 Triple Crown & Breeders Cup winner) would have been in there for one more try at it.

The race uses a bold style of funding, where 12 shareholders purchase a slot in the race for $1 million. Those shareholders can race a horse or they can recruit another horse to fill the slot by way of lease, contract, share, or similar arrangement. The shareholders also share in any profits from the race.

The inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup featured the two best dirt horses in the world, Arrogate and California Chrome, fresh from their epic 2016 Breeders’ Cup battle. Unfortunately California Chrome didn’t run to his best, though it’s questionable whether he could have beaten Arrogate, who scored a dominant 4 ¾ length victory over Shaman Ghost and Neolithic.

Art Sherman, trainer of 2014 Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome, stated that the chance at a record-breaking purse influenced his decision to forego retirement:

“The (owners) heard about it first, and I said ‘$12 million?  They’re pulling your leg.’ I mean, wow, why wouldn’t you take a shot at that?”

In fact, the race drew interest from people like Dan Schafer, a successful businessman who shelled out the required $1 million for a spot in 2017’s starting gate, even though he had never owned a horse before (he would later partner with Ron Paolucci and his horse War Story, who raced to a 5th place finish). 2018’s race is aiming to raise the stakes even higher, as Stronach and his company are planning to contribute an additional $4 million to the already record breaking purse.

Life-changing money aside, organizers hope the race can help put older horses back in the spotlight. Tim Ritvo, President of Gulfstream stated recently:

“We’re hoping that we can extend horses’ careers or give horses opportunity. We could have this continued schedule, where a horse can make $12 million or $15 million in earnings for the year. He could still be a good stallion at 5 or 6. And we can extend the career of these horses, and really grow a bigger fan base. So, that’s kind of the hope and the thought.”

In 2019, the $16 million purse was split between the main Cup race ($9m) and a new Turf race ($7m) drew a strong field.

In the wake of a rash of thoroughbred fatalities at Santa Anita Racetrack in 2019, a number of changes were made to the Pegasus World Cup in 2020. The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) will be a “medication-free” event as part of a larger industry effort to make the sport safer and more sustainable. Additionally, there will be no entry fee in 2020, and the purses will decline from $9 million to $3 million for the main race and from $7 million to $1 million for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.

 The 2021 event will continue with the same “medication-free” standards and purse amounts as last year, along with offering the winner of the World Cup Invitational an automatic bid to the 2021 $20 million Saudi Cup!