The horse racing world will focus its attention on the Sunshine State next week as one of America’s richest races returns to Florida for a sixth consecutive year.
The Pegasus World Cup kicks off on Saturday, Jan. 29 at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Throughout the seven races, horse owners are looking for their piece of the combined $5.2 million purse.
Florida horse racing bettors can try and cash in on the action by wagering on the TVG app. TVG is one of the only legal horse racing apps in the state. It features insights and analysis from racing experts, as well as up-to-the-minute odds and instant results.
The first race is scheduled to start at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast live on NBC and online through the TVG app.
History of the Pegasus Cup
The series is named after the winged horse from Greek mythology. There is a 110-foot-tall statue of the mythical creature battling a dragon in the parking lot of Gulfstream.
The inaugural Pegasus Cup was held in 2017. It made headlines as the Pegasus World Cup Invitational became the world’s richest horse race.
The 2017 series featured a $12 million purse for its main event and the next year was bumped to $16 million. By comparison, the Dubai World Cup was previously the richest race on the planet with a purse of $10 million.
However, in 2019, the Pegasus Cup dropped its purse to $9 million. The move gave back the title of the world’s richest horse race to the Dubai World Cup. It bumped its purse to $12 million in 2019, where it has stayed ever since.
After one more purse decrease to $3 million in 2020 for its marquee event, it gave up its spot as America’s richest race. That title belongs to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which has a $6 million purse.
Despite the declining purse, the series’ main attraction is still a must-watch for horse bettors as many of the top horses in the sport compete on the 1 1/8-mile dirt track.
2022 Pegasus World Cup races
|Fred W. Hooper Stakes||III||4 Years Old & Up||1 Mile Dirt||$125,000
|La Prevoyante Handicap||III||F&M 4 Years Old & Up||1 1/2 Miles Turf||$125,000|
|W.L. McKnight Handicap||III||F&M 4 Years Old & Up||1 1/2 Miles Turf||$150,000|
|Inside Information||II||F&M 4 Years Old & Up||7 Furlongs Dirt||$200,000|
|Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf||III||F&M 4 Years Old & Up||1 Mile Turf||$500,000|
|Pegasus World Cup Turf||I||4 Years Old & Up||1 3/16 Miles Turf||$1,000,000|
|Pegasus World Cup||I||4 Years Old & Up||1 1/8 Miles Dirt||$3,000,000|
All eyes on Knicks Go
The 2022 Pegasus Cup marks the end of a career for defending champion Knicks Go. The thoroughbred won the Invitational last year to kick off the start of a monster year.
He went on to win three other major races and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He is the front runner for the 2021 American Horse of the Year.
However, following the final race of the day, Knicks Go will end his 40-race career at six years old and retire to a farm in Kentucky to become a stallion.
That’s not stopping the bettors from putting the money on him in the race. Sportsbooks and horse racing betting apps have him listed at 3-1 odds.
Knicks Go’s major victories:
- Breeders’ Futurity (2018)
- Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (2020)
- Pegasus World Cup (2021)
- Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (2021)
- Whitney Stakes (2021)
- Lukas Classic Stakes (2021)
- Breeders’ Cup Classic (2021)
Don’t sleep on the competition
Despite being the defending champion, Knicks Go isn’t the bettors most popular pick. Books list Life Is Good as the favorite for the race at 3-5 odds.
At four years old, 2022 is the first year Life Is Good is eligible to compete in the Pegasus Cup. It will be just his seventh career race. However, he already has amassed quite a track record.
Of his six starts, Life Is Good has five victories and a second. Those results netted his owners more than $1.05 million in the process and the horse bettors took notice.
Previous Pegasus Cup winners
|2018||Gun Runner||$16 Million|
|2019||City Of Light||$9 Million|
|2020||Mucho Gusto||$3 Million|
|2021||Knicks Go||$3 Million|