Jan 23 2021: The Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
2021 could be the year when ads for this special day of horse racing promote the fastest horses on the planet rather than the parties and celebrities, given that attendance will be capped at 50 percent of track capacity and tickets will likely sell out quickly.
The Stronach Group, owner of the Hallandale Beach, Florida, track, told the Thoroughbred Daily News that upward of 7,000 fans could be admitted under the half-capacity plan for the 90-day “Championship Meet,” that began on Dec. 2. Fans also will be subject to social distancing and other restrictions.
Whether or not you can attend, the headline races — the $3 million Pegasus World Cup it and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf – should both be well worth watching. The undercard isn’t half bad either, featuring five other stakes races.
The Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8th mile race for 4-year-olds and older on the main track, will be run under its current name for the fifth time after being conducted for decades as the Donn Handicap for lesser money. To the winner goes more than $1.6 million in purse money and a guaranteed spot in the $20 million Saudi Cup – the world’s richest horse race – on Feb. 20.
This year’s running also will usher in what reformers hope will be a new era in U.S. racing, with no race-day medication allowed, including the near ubiquitous Lasix.
The two top races will be broadcast live by NBC Sports from 4:30 pm-6:00 pm ET.
The Pegasus World Cup Horses 2021
With seven of the 10 starters from the Breeders’ Cup Classic retired shortly after the race – including the top three finishers – the World Cup field figures to attract several 2020 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup starters still in training, as well as some fresh faces looking to make an impact in the older horses division in 2021.
The fields for both marquee races are just beginning to take shape, but the connections of Tiz the Law, winner of the Belmont and Travers Stakes, and Jesus’ Team, runner up in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, are both being pointed toward the Pegasus World Cup.
Knicks Go, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile last out, and By My Standards, a four-time Grade 2 stakes winner who finished eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, are under consideration. Meanwhile, defending champion Mucho Gusto, unraced since finishing fourth in the $20 million Saudi Cup on Feb. 29, is working toward his return to the races and also is a possible contender, though the then-5-year-old Bob Baffert-trained horse’s ultimate goal is the Saudi Cup, his connections have said.
In keeping with Gulfstream Park’s overall profile, forwardly placed runners tend to have an advantage in the race, with all four winners since the race became the Pegasus World Cup racing within two lengths of the lead at the first call.
It also typically doesn’t pay to drift too far from the favorite, since previous winners Arrogate, City of Light, Gun Runner and Mucho Gusto were all either first or second in the wagering.
Betting Odds & Picks
U.S. horse wagering sites, such as TVG and Amwager, available in 40+ states, will offer odds and betting lines on the Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park in 2021, Amwager’s experts will offer their best horses predictions and best picks on the favorites. Check out all bonus and promo offers for the horse racing events.