One of the first big horse races of the year is coming up later this month at Gulfstream Park.
The Grade 1, $3 million Pegasus World Cup is set for Saturday, Jan. 29 and it has attracted some of the top Thoroughbreds in the country.
That group includes the likely 2021 Horse of the Year, as well as another runner that cruised to victory in the Breeders’ Cup race a few months ago.
Sports bettors in CA can live-stream and place bets on the premier racing event with TVG.
Here’s more on what horse racing fans can expect later this month.
One final start for Knicks Go
A year ago, Knicks Go came to Gulfstream Park and started a campaign that ended with him standing head and shoulders above the rest of America’s older dirt horses.
His win in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup was the first of five in seven starts last season. A stretch which also included scores in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar and the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga.
The 2022 Pegasus will be the final career start for Knicks Go before he retires to a second career as a stallion.
He already boasts a resume that includes five Grade 1 scores. With a win in his finale, he’d become the first horse in the young history of the Pegasus to win this race twice.
Life is good…very good
The horse many see as Knicks Go’s primary competition is Life Is Good. He burst onto the scene with a series of eye-popping wins in late-2020 and early-2021.
But he missed last year’s Kentucky Derby due to an injury and was subsequently moved to the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher due to controversies surrounding former conditioner Bob Baffert.
With Pletcher at the helm, Life Is Good was second to Jackie’s Warrior in the Grade 1. Allen Jerkens at Saratoga, but rebounded to win the Grade 2 Kelso and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile to end his season.
Now a freshly-turned 4-year-old, Life Is Good could be one of the most prominent horses to run this year. And if he’s at his best, the Pegasus World Cup could represent a passing of the torch.
The history of the Pegasus World Cup
When the Pegasus came to fruition in 2017, it did so with a $12 million purse. That purse made it the world’s richest horse race.
One year later, that purse increased to $16 million. But it has dipped down to $3 million in recent years due to a change in the race’s entry fee structure. The first two races commanded a $1 million entry fee, which helped fund the gigantic purse.
In the race’s short history, it has drawn some of the most accomplished horses of this era.
In addition to Knicks Go, the list of winners includes Breeders’ Cup Classic winners Arrogate and Gun Runner. And also, Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner City of Light (who bested Classic winner Accelerate in their highly-anticipated 2019 showdown).
What else to expect?
The Pegasus World Cup headlines a full day of world-class racing at Gulfstream Park. It’s one of seven graded stakes races on the program, which also includes the Pegasus World Cup Turf for horses who do their best running on the grass. You can bet on and watch the Pegasus World Cup on TVG Jan. 29.
Gulfstream Park’s Carousel Club will also feature live music. Acts such as Ja Rule, Lil’ Kim, and Mase will take the stage. And the Pegasus World Cup website promises several surprise guests during the event.
Other ticketing options for fans include the Ten Palms premium dining area, burlesque and cabaret shows in the Flamingo Room, VIP suites with high-end dining and bar packages, and traditional trackside options with viewing access to the track and walking ring.