$16 Million Pegasus World Cup (G1) Tops $28.6 Million Stakes Schedule Top Classic Prep $1 Million Florida Derby to be Run Saturday, March 31
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The second running of the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) – the world’s richest race – and the 67th running of the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) highlight a 2017-2018 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park with a stakes purse total of $28.6 million.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be contested Saturday, Jan. 27. The inaugural running of the world’s most innovative and unique race was won last year by Longines World’s Best Racehorse Arrogate and featured many of the country’s top older horses, including two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome. Celebrities attending the race included Usher and Vanessa Hudgens, and the entertainment was provided by Thomas Rhett and Trombone Shorty.
The Florida Derby, to be contested Saturday, March 31, has been a leading producer of classic winners. In the first 66 runnings of the Florida Derby, 44 starters have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown events. Three of the last five Florida Derby winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1).
The Florida Derby will be one of seven stakes races on Derby Day including four Grade 2 events – the $300,000 Gulfstream Mile, $250,000 Gulfstream Oaks, $250,000 Honey Fox and $250,000 Pan American.
Gulfstream will be the epicenter for world-class racing, dining, and events throughout the winter. Along with the Florida Derby and Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Gulfstream will roll out the red carpet when it hosts the prestigious Eclipse Awards for the sixth consecutive year Jan. 25. It will also become the first facility outside Latin America or the Caribbean to host the Clasico del Caribe, five of the region’s most prestigious races contested by horses from eight Latin American and Caribbean countries. The popular Sunshine Millions will be held Jan. 20 and the Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Selected 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale will be held Wednesday, March 28.
Gulfstream will open the Championship Meet Saturday, Dec. 2 with the $1.1 million Claiming Crown.
During the Championship Meet’s 18 weekends, 13 of them will be Super Saturdays featuring between three and 12 stakes races.
“The Championship Meet at Gulfstream has evolved into one of the world’s most spectacular sporting events,” said P.J. Campo, Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group and General Manager of Gulfstream. “The Stronach Group continues to reinvent the sport of Thoroughbred racing for all generations with great races, exceptional facilities, the finest in dining options and world-class events. Beginning in December, Gulfstream will be the place to be. We are proud to once again host the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Florida Derby, Clasico del Caribe, and excited to have the Eclipse Awards back.
“We look forward to bringing fans the best in racing and world-class entertainment, and look forward to the great support of horsemen throughout the world that have truly made our Championship Meet so special.”
The Florida Derby, the centerpiece of Gulfstream’s much-heralded 3-year-old program, will have several preps leading up the 1 1/8-mile event including the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man Jan. 6, the $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) and $200,000 Swale (G2) Feb. 3, the $100,000 Hutcheson (G3) March 24, and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) March 3.
The country’s top 3-year-old fillies will also be featured at Gulfstream with the $75,000 Glitter Woman Jan. 6, the $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) Feb. 3, $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) March 3 and the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) March 31.
The Pegasus will be part of a robust program for older horses on the main track which includes the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) Dec. 16, the $100,000 Skip Away (G3) Jan. 13, the $125,000 Fred Hooper (G3) Jan. 27, $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) Feb. 24, and the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) March 31. Fans will get to see older females on the main track Dec. 16 in the $100,000 Rampart (G3), Feb. 19 in the $200,000 Royal Delta (G2), and March 17 in the $200,000 Inside Information (G2).
Older turf horses will begin the Championship Meet Dec. 16 with the $100,000 Tropical Turf (G3). The turf schedule also includes the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2) Jan. 13, $200,000 W.L. McKnight (G3) Jan. 27, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf (G1) Feb. 10, $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3) March 3, and $250,000 Pan American (G2) March 31. Races for older females on the turf kick off with the $100,000 My Charmer (G3) Dec. 16 and continue with the $75,000 Via Borghese Dec. 30, $150,000 Marshua’s River (G3) Jan. 13, $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3) Jan. 27, $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) Feb. 10, $150,000 The Very One (G3) and $100,000 Sand Springs March 3, and the $250,000 Honey Fox (G2) March 31.
Gulfstream’s world-class turf course will also host a number of 3-year-old stakes, including the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby and $75,000 Tropical Park Oaks March 30, the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3) and Sweetest Chant (G3) Feb. 3, $75,000 Texas Glitter and $75,000 Melody of Colors Feb. 24, $100,000 Palm Beach (G3) and $100,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) March 3, and $75,000 Captiva Island and $75,000 Silks Run March 10.
There will also be plenty of opportunities for sprinters of all ages on the main track and turf course. Highlights include the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) Dec. 16, $125,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3), $125,000 Ladies’ Turf Sprint, and $125,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint Jan. 27, $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) March 3 and $75,000 Any Limit March 24.
For the full stakes schedule go to: http://www.gulfstreampark.com/racing/schedules/stakes-schedule