Pegasus World Cup on January 26 offers an array of ‘irresistible’ bets
Horse racing unfurls another version of the World Series, Super Bowl and March Madness.
The Pegasus World Cup, January 26 from Gulfstream Park, takes a mammoth leap. It added a lucrative turf race and a crazy, irresistible bet that everyone should try at least once.
The big add: A turf race at 1 3-16 miles, aims to attract and showcase 12 of the best older turf horses from around the world turning the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational into a Championship Invitational Series. The total purse for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will sit at $7 million, with $3 million awarded to the winner. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational contested on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, will offer a $9 million purse with a $4 million prize greeting the winner of the 12-horse field.
Each of these purses, $9 million and $7 million, represent the highest of any race in the United States. Each, for instance, is bigger than the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Pegasus was $16 million last year, making it the richest race on the planet. That honor will now revert to the Dubai World Cup, $12 million, but the Pegasus gains two monster races and is, effectively, a good split of the atom.
The purse will naturally attract horsemen: Arrogate and Gun Runner, champions in 2017 and 2018, respectively, went on to become horse of the year.
And now for the crazy part: The Pegasus Pick 24. It will offer up the chance to bet on the exact finish order for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, adding another layer to the competition. A whopping $5 million bonus awaits the fan who hits on the Pegasus Pick 24.
To prove it’s not just a two-trick pony, Gulfstream loads its Pegasus card with strong races. They include the $200,000 La Prevoyante and $200,000 W.L. McKnight handicaps, the $150,000 Fred Hooper and Hurricane Bertie, the $150,000 Ladies Turf Sprint and Park Sprint (rare payouts for five-furlong races) and the $125,000 South Beach. That’s one awesome card.
Casual fans associate major horse racing with the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) in the spring, along with the Breeders’ Cup races in the fall. The Pegasus brings a winter anchor and it would not be surprising for future editions to unfurl like a Super Bowl, as in Pegasus Week.
By the way, keep glued to the Gulfstream Rainbow Pick Six pools. They are usually the last six races of the day and feature fields big enough to make it difficult, but not impossible to hit. Carryover pools expand rapidly and with events like the Pegasus and, later, the Florida Derby, immense money goes into these races—it jumped from $78,000 to over $123,000 on January 13 alone.
NFL Money Line Thoughts
While favorites and underdogs take turns covering the championship game spreads, no home team has lost this key game outright since 2012.
Weather could play a role in the AFC championship game in Kansas City, but won’t be a factor for the NFC. Two great matchups involve the Saints and Rams, along with the Chiefs and Patriots. The Pats and Chiefs combined for 83 points the first time. Maybe this one’s in the 50s.