Updated on 10/17/2016 1:22PM

High prices for tickets to Pegasus World Cup


It will cost more to get into the gates to see the inaugural Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park than it has ever cost to get into Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.

The cheapest ticket available to get into Gulfstream on Jan. 28 for the Pegasus will be $100, officials for The Stronach Group, which owns the track, announced Thursday. By comparison, a general-admission ticket for the Derby this year was $50 in advance and $60 on the day of the event. General-admission for this year’s Breeders’ Cup, scheduled for Nov. 4-5, is $25 for the Saturday card if the tickets are purchased in advance and $40 when purchased on the day of the race.

The high prices for tickets to the event – which is in part related to the small number of tickets that The Stronach Group is planning to sell – is yet one more ambitious element to the $12 million Pegasus, which is the brainchild of Frank Stronach, the owner-breeder who controls The Stronach Group.

The race has already attracted outsized attention in the relatively small racing world because of its unusual structure. The purse of the Pegasus is being provided by 12 individuals or groups who have purchased a starting berth in the race for $1 million each, and those stakeholders are entitled to a share of some of the revenue raised from the race. Ticketing is not one of the revenue sources, according to officials for the company.

A spokeswoman for the Pegasus, Julie Fogel, said the track plans to offer 12,000 tickets for the event. All of the tickets will be made available for purchase in advance through the event’s website or at Gulfstream on live race days, Fogel said, though any unsold tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the race at the track.

According to the event’s website, ticket prices will top out at $765 per person for some seats in the track’s Ten Palms restaurant, while the price for any seat in the track’s paddock-adjacent Fountain Club will be $750. Gulfstream is selling tickets to 12 other areas on the property, including a simulcast area in the track’s casino.

The minimum price for a seat in the grandstand will be $180, according to the site. Box seats will go for $220 per person.

As the ticket pricing indicates, officials for The Stronach Group are confident that the Pegasus will be one of the most popular sporting events on the annual racing calendar. The Stronach Group has already purchased a two-hour window on NBC to televise the Pegasus and several races on the undercard, and it is heavily promoting the event on the website.

While the race will offer the largest purse in the world if it goes off as planned, it is so far unclear whether the unique structure of the race will result in a field of top-class horses, given that the berths can be marketed or sold by the present owners. Several owners of berths have said they will begin to actively market their stakes after the Breeders’ Cup is run this year.

The world’s top racehorse, California Chrome, is being pointed to the 1 1/8-mile race, as is Stronach’s Shaman Ghost, the winner of the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes this year, and Runhappy, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion who ran fourth in his 2016 debut two weeks ago when stretching out to one mile. Paul Reddam, the owner of this year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Nyquist, also bought a share, as have the principals in Coolmore, which owns stakes in leading horses worldwide.

A previous version of this article misstated the cost of a general admission ticket to the 2016 Kentucky Derby. The cost was $50 for an advance ticket, not $40, and a ticket purchase day of the event was $60.