One of the most lucrative events on the horse racing calendar takes place on the 23rd January, as the Pegasus World Cup 2021 Invitational is the race that all eyes will be on. The Grade I race will take place at Gulfstream Park, but which of the high-profile runners will claim the win in the 2021 installment?
The Pegasus World Cup first took place on January 28, 2017. At the time, it was the richest racing event in the world, having a purse of $12 million. This record is no longer active. The idea for this race was first proposed in January 2016 by Frank Stronach at the Thoroughbred Owners Conference that was taking place at Gulfstream Park.
The timing of the event deliberately was set in order to avoid a potential clash with the likes of the Dubai World Cup or the Breeders’ Cup. It was also good timing for any horses looking to have one more race before the retirement stud kicks in during February.
The first race was announced in May 2016. Each of the entrants was asked to pay an entry fee of $1 million. As well as having the right to sell these positions, the entrants also take home a share of the race’s net income. A shareholder can enter as many as two horses.
For the 2019 renewal, there was an overall purse of $19 million with the extra race in the meeting. Of this sum, $9 million was for the traditional Pegasus World Cup dirt race, whereas the turf race had a purse of $7 million, with an additional $1 million worth of bonus money also being up for grabs.
The entry fee dropped to $500,000 in 2019, with a dozen entrants available for each of the races. If the same owner is victories in both of the races, they will get the $1 million of bonus money.
With the Pegasus World Cup 2021 iteration being keenly anticipated by racing fans all across the world, you can pass some of the time by checking out some of the previous winners of this race. This will also allow you to prepare for your Pegasus World Cup betting picks.
- 2020 – Mucho Gusto (2/1)
- 2019 – City of Light (5/2)
- 2018 – Gun Runner (5/7)
- 2017 – Arrogate (4/5)
The current favorites to win the 2021 Pegasus are:
- Knicks Go: 5/2
- Code of Honor: 9/2
- Tax: 5/1
- Sleepy Eyes Todd: 8/1
- Jesus’ Team: 8/1
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go is the early favorite at 5-2 for the $3 million Pegasus World Cup. He is trained by Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer finalist Brad Cox and will be ridden by Joel Rosario, a finalist for the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.
The 2019 Travers Stakes winner Code of Honor, who was most recently second in the Clark Stakes (G1), is on Knicks Go’s heels at 9-2. Danny Gargan’s Tax comes in at 5-1 after finishing 9th in the 2020 Pegasus World Cup. Trainer Dale Romans fields two horses in the dirt race: the 15-1 Coastal Defense and 30-1 longshot Mr Freeze, who finished second in last year’s edition.
Todd Pletcher’s Colonel Liam (7-2) leads the turf field. This will be his first graded stakes race after making his first start less than a year ago. Irad Ortiz Jr., another Eclipse finalist, has the ride.
RELATED: 2021 Pegasus World Cup: Knicks Go
Miriam Lee has always been a horse racing fan thanks to trips to the tracks in her home state of Maryland with her father as kid. She owns an OTTB and is an advocate for promoting the sport among her peers. Miriam studies communication arts at Hood College and will receive her master’s degree in 2021, which she plans to use for a career in screenwriting. Her all-time favorite racehorse is Man O War.