05/12/2016 7:06AM

Gulfstream Park announces plans for $12 million Pegasus Cup

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The Stronach Group on Wednesday announced plans to host a new $12 million race, the Pegasus Cup, on Jan. 28, but the announcement seems only a very early step toward making the race actually happen.

The Pegasus Cup, to be run at 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Gulfstream Park, would be the world’s richest race, surpassing the $10 million Dubai World Cup, but unlike the World Cup and all other important global stakes, participants would supply all the purse money.

Twelve entrants would each pay $1 million in exchange for a spot in the starting gate. The entrant purchaser would be permitted to sell shares of the berth, or even the entire berth, or seek sponsorships to fund participation. The Stronach Group’s press release said participants would share equally “net income from handle, media rights, and sponsorships” associated with the race in addition to collecting purse money earned by the highest-placed horses.

What’s unclear is whether sufficient participants could be attracted, whether the race would be run for a lower purse with fewer than 12 entrants, or what would happen, for instance, if a horse was forced to defect from the race after seeking entry. Perry Martin, part-owner of California Chrome, already has expressed interest in running if the race takes place.

The Stronach Group said it positioned the prospective race to give ample spacing after the Breeders’ Cup Classic and before the Dubai World Cup, but the Pegasus Cup would surely usurp Gulfstream’s historic older-horse winter Grade 1 dirt-route fixture, the Donn Handicap.

Jack Wolf, the founder of Starlight Racing, has been retained as the chief executive of the Pegasus Cup, according to the release, with Tom Ludt, a Breeders’ Cup board member, assisting and consulting.

mark More than 1 year ago
what a ponzi scheme!
Harriet Stone More than 1 year ago
Stronach and his advisers are insane. The racing community is so thankful he built Pegasus. All he does is come up with terrible ideas. Where'd we find this guy?
Frank More than 1 year ago
Great idea from Stronach - this is the Sport of Kings -- this is how HR was formed many many years ago....
Dave Wielhouwer More than 1 year ago
If Chrome enters, and Nyquist after a huge 3 year old season retires to stud, who would want to face Chrome? Who will put up a million bucks if they know they will be 25-1? I like the idea, but when there is a dominant horse, it will be a tough sell. If the filys like Songbird and Beholder can enter, then it becomes a great race......but still, getting 12 entrants will be a challenge
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I really hate to see the Donn Handicap be lost for this. It's a prep for Dubai, that's all.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
At least the guy is trying things and being innovative. If it wasn't for Stronach tracks, I wouldn't be involved in racing. The product is so watered down at so many tracks it's getting to be unplayable. Gulfstream beats NY racing by a lot. 
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
You answered your own question... Close NY on inner track season and you'll freshen the game greatly.
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
There's Frank as usual, won't spend/invest his money but more than willing to spend others, I've always said it's great to use OPM (other peoples money) when possible but there are limits, surprised he's not charging a fee and giving him a cut
Michael Nickens More than 1 year ago
Won't work
Eleanor Sniegowski More than 1 year ago
Still an absolute pipe dream from the 1st time it was floated.At best you would get is 6 people willing to put up 1 million.The older handicap ranks are too thin and frail to ever get 12 and I dont think the euros would bite.