07/22/2016 12:11PM

Pegasus World Cup granted Grade 1 status


The Pegasus World Cup, the planned $12 million race announced this year by The Stronach Group, has been assigned a Grade 1 rating for 2017 by the committee that assigns grades to U.S. stakes races, the committee announced on Friday.

The American Graded Stakes Committee of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association voted to assign the highest rating in the U.S. to the race after noting that the Pegasus is expected to replace the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., on the U.S. racing calendar.

While the decision by the committee was not unexpected, the assignment of a Grade 1 rating lends cachet to a race that is being run under highly unusual conditions. For the race, The Stronach Group, the owner of Gulfstream Park and a handful of other tracks, has said it has sold 12 berths in the race to individuals and partnerships for $1 million each. The berths guarantee the holders a spot in the starting gate and a cut of the net revenue from handle and sponsorships connected to the race.

With a purse of $12 million, the Pegasus will be the richest race held in the world, provided the race goes off as planned. Scheduled for Jan. 28, the race is for horses ages 4 and up and will be run at 1 1/8 miles. The Donn Handicap, which last year had a $500,000 purse, was also run at 1 1/8 miles.

If the owners of the berths do not own horses who fit the conditions or level of competition, they are expected to cut deals with other owners to sell the berths outright or lease horses for the purposes of the race. No other race in the U.S. has ever been run under such conditions.

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I don't like the concept of this race . I think once an owner has poneyed up 1 million dollars his horse is committed and that dangerous.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Frank is the MAN.
Ian GW More than 1 year ago
Need some better stewards. They just missed an easy take down. Very Stella clearly came out two paths and stopped whisper on the wind who was going by. 
Justin Glagola More than 1 year ago
Stewards in general need to be more consistent all across the country and there should be a national guideline for how stewards should make rulings. Too many times the stewards flip-flop on how the rule DQ"s, just look at the BC classic win Bafferts horse wiped out half the field to win then look at a races where horses get DQ because they bump, broke in or out and they get taken down. 
Blaine MacMillan More than 1 year ago
Attention seeking desperation has been taken to its highest heights....
Rob Tolliver More than 1 year ago
One of the best ideas in racing history.
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
Richard Kennedy More than 1 year ago
Great idea by Stronach!!