09/14/2017 11:30AM

Pegasus World Cup, Florida Derby top $28.6 million stakes schedule at Gulfstream meet

Ronnie Betor
The Pegasus World Cup's purse has increased by $4 million to $16 million for the event's second running.

The world’s richest race, the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, and the $1 million Florida Derby highlight a record $28.6 million stakes schedule released Thursday for the 2017-2018 Gulfstream Park championship meet, which opens on Dec. 2.

The purse for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup has been increased $4 million since the inaugural running, won earlier this year by Arrogate over a field that included two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. The 2018 Pegasus World Cup will be decided on Jan. 27.

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The Grade 1 Florida Derby, captured this year by Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, tops an outstanding afternoon of racing on March 31. Seven other stakes will be run that day, including four Grade 2 races – the Gulfstream Park Mile, Gulfstream Park Oaks, Honey Fox, and Pan American.

The 2017-18 schedule kicks off with the Claiming Crown on opening day and will be followed one week later by the Clasico del Caribe. Gulfstream Park is the first facility outside Latin America or the Caribbean to host the Clasico del Caribe, which features five of the region’s most prestigious races contested by horses from eight Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The Grade 2 Holy Bull and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth, traditional Florida Derby preps, will be run along with several other graded stakes on Feb. 3 and March 3, respectively. The Sunshine Millions, for Florida-breds, will be run on Jan. 20. Gulfstream Park will host the Eclipse Awards for a sixth consecutive year on Jan. 25.

“We are proud once again to host events like the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Florida Derby, as well as the Clasico del Caribe for the first time, and excited to have the Eclipse Awards back.” said P.J. Campo, vice president of racing for the Stronach Group and general manager of Gulfstream Park, in a press release.

“We look forward to bringing fans the best in racing and world-class entertainment, and look forward to the great support of horsemen throughout the world that has truly made our Championship meet so special.”