Pegasus World Cup raises record prize to $US16 million

The Pegasus World Cup will be run for $US16 million (Dh58.7m) next year after organisers cemented the invitational stakes race as the world’s most valuable.

Jockey Mike Smith, atop Arrogate, is congratulated by assistant trainer Jim Barnes after riding Arrogate to victory in January’s Pegasus World Cup. Lynne Sladky / AP file
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The Pegasus World Cup will be run for $US16 million (Dh58.7m) next year after organisers cemented the invitational stakes race as the world’s most valuable.

The inaugural running of the race, which replaced the Grade One Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in January, was staged for a record purse of $12m.

The level of prize-money was achieved by owners paying $1m to enter a horse in the race, but the increased funds will be achieved next year by an additional $4m being paid in by the Stronach Group that set up the 12-horse contest.

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■ Read more: Sheikh Mohammed vows to make Dubai World Cup world's most valuable race once more

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“The 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational surpassed our expectations and we believe took the sport of Thoroughbred racing to an exciting new level,” Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of the Stronach Group, said in a statement.

“Our company is committed to building on the momentum that was inspired by our founder and honorary chairman, Frank Stronach. In 2018, we will bring an even bigger, more modern and unforgettable entertainment experience to a global audience.”

The Pegasus World Cup was won by Arrogate, who won the Dubai World Cup last month.

The World Cup was run for $10m, but after Arrogate’s success Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, stated that it was his intention to “definitely” make the Meydan event the most valuable race in the world once again.

Sheikh Mohammed added last Saturday: “I always want to be one step ahead. I am always optimistic. We want to be No 1 and I am meeting with my people to be No 1.”

Arrogate’s victories in both races, in addition to his power-packed display to beat California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup in November, has resulted in the four-year-old now being the highest-earner of all-time at today’s currency exchange values.

Arrogate has amassed $17m in his eight career starts.

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