Pegasus World Cup 2020 | Mucho Gusto

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Pegasus World Cup Press Release | OTB Writer
Updated: January 27, 2020
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When is the Pegasus World Cup?


The Pegasus World Cup is on Saturday, January 25, 2020.

Where is the Pegasus World Cup?


The Pegasus World Cup is raced at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

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Mucho Gusto Rolls to Victory in 2020 Pegasus World Cup

Mucho Gusto won with complete authority Saturday at Gulfstream Park, giving his Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his second victory in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy.

The 1 1/8-mile Pegasus World Cup, run medication free, co-headlined Saturday's 12-race program with nine stakes, six graded, with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) presented by Runhappy.

Mucho Gusto's first Grade 1 victory after several close calls capped a sun-splashed afternoon of world class Thoroughbred racing, entertainment, food and fashion.

Baffert had previously won the Pegasus with multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Arrogate, who dominated the 2017 edition by 4 ¾ lengths as the 4-5 favorite. Mucho Gusto entered the Pegasus with four graded-stakes wins but had previously finished second in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), second in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth and third in the Travers (G1) at Saratoga in top-class company.

"Those are the most exciting ones, when you don't expect it," said Baffert by phone from California.

Mucho Gusto, who was saddled by assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, broke alertly and showed the way into the backstretch before Mr Freeze made a three-wide sweep to the lead at the top of the backstretch under Luis Saez. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rated Mucho Gusto behind Mr. Freeze, who cut fractions of 23.77 and 47.78 seconds for the first half-mile under pressure from Bodexpress while showing the way into the far turn.

Higher Power, the 5-2 favorite ridden by Flavien Prat, joined the fray briefly but came up empty as Mucho Gusto was eased to the outside on the turn into the stretch. The 4-year-old son of Mucho Macho Man quickly advanced three-wide on Mr Freeze and Bodexpress to take the lead at the top of the stretch, drawing away to a 4 ½ -length victory.

"I had a great trip. He got a great start and felt good. He relaxed so well and we were able to save ground," said Ortiz, the two-time defending Eclipse champion who rode Mucho Gusto for the first time Saturday. "At the three-eighths pole I tipped him out and he took off. He was much the best. I think he just took off and opened up easy. He's a nice horse."

Mr Freeze held gamely to finish second three-quarters of a length ahead of late-rallying War Story and jockey Joel Rosario, who finished another three-quarters of a length ahead of Diamond Oops and Julien Leparoux. Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power faded to last in a field of 10.

Mucho Gusto ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.85 while winning for the fifth time in 11 career starts.

"He has a lot of speed but the key was to get a good break and get over right away. And I just left it up to him (Irad), just keep him in the clear," Baffert said. "When he was down inside I thought, `I hope he knows what he's doing,' but he did, he knows that track really well. It was a great performance by him and the horse."

Mucho Gusto was purchased following his last start, a fourth-place finish at the 4-5 favorite in the Sept. 28 Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park, by His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bid Khaled.

"You know what, the horse shipped really well and I wasn't really planning on taking him there but he worked really well the other day. I was going to run in the San Pasqual [at Santa Anita] next week but after he worked so well, I thought you know what, I'm just going to take a shot at the mile and an eighth and maybe that will get him ready," Baffert said. "He didn't get an invite to the Saudi Cup, so I thought maybe if he runs well enough he'll get an invitation."

Mr Freeze, a multiple graded-stakes winner who most recently finished third in the Clark (G1) at Churchill Downs, didn't demonstrated his usual early speed as he broke a step slowing from the gate but recovered quickly to take the lead.

"That was the plan (to go to the front). He didn't break as clean as I would have liked but he got there and he had a good pace and ran a good race," trainer Dale Romans said. "He was training as good as a horse can train and he ran huge. I thought he ran a beautiful race. We've had confidence in him and he ran the way we thought he would."

War Story, the 8-year-old veteran who captured the Harlan's Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream in his last start, ran in the Pegasus for the third time to produce his best finish in the race Saturday.

"He had a good trip. He went back like the way he wants to run and he came running nice in the end," Rosario said. "I thought for a second we'd get second, but he ran well."

Favored Higher Power had finished third in the Nov. 2 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita in his most recent start.

"We had a good trip. I thought I was in a good position and when the race started to develop by the half-mile pole, he just dropped the bit and sat back," jockey Flavien Prat said. "I don't know why."

Pre-Draw News

G1 Pegasus World Cup Will Be Last Race For Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach is scheduled to race for the final time Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where the multiple Grade 1 stakes winner will have the opportunity to produce a career-defining performance in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1).

The Pegasus World Cup will co-headline Saturday's 12-race program with the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) The $4 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be supported by seven other stakes, including four other graded stakes, worth an additional $1.2 million in purses. First-race post time is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday, kicking off an exciting day of world-class racing, entertainment, fashion and food.

There will be a $1 million guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 4 and a $750,000 guaranteed pool in the Late Pick 5.

G1 Pegasus World Cup Adds Three Horses to List of Invitees

Graded-stakes winners Tenfold and Midcourt and Grade 1-placed Bodexpress, a popular local favorite, were added Sunday to the formal list of horses invited to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) Saturday, Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.

C R K Stable's Midcourt, based in California with trainer John Shirreffs, was placed among a dozen horses on the main list. A 5-year-old son of champion sprinter Midnight Lute, Midcourt put together four straight wins last summer and fall capped by the Native Diver (G3) Nov. 23 Del Mar. Most recently, he finished third in the San Antonio (G2) Dec. 28 at Santa Anita.

Also new to the Pegasus lineup are Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC's Tenfold and Top Racing LLC, Global Thoroughbreds LLC and GDS Racing Stable's Bodexpress, each added to the list of reserve invitees.

Winner of the 2018 Jim Dandy (G2) and 2019 Pimlico Special (G3) and third by a half-length to eventual Triple Crown champion Justify in the 2018 Preakness (G1), Tenfold is trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen, who won the second renewal of the Pegasus in 2018 with 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner.

Bodexpress, trained by Gulfstream Park West-based Gustavo Delgado, ran second behind Maximum Security in the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1) last spring and made headlines after losing Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez at the start of the Preakness. After some time off, he returned with back to back victories against maiden special weight and allowance company prior to a third-place finish in the Harlan's Holiday (G3) Dec. 14 at Gulfstream.

Maximum Security, Gift Box, Roadster and Bravazo are no longer on the list of invitees.

Three horses that had been on the reserve list were moved up to the main body of the race - Diamond Oops, True Timber and War Story. Imaginary Stables and Glenn Ellis' War Story, a multiple graded-stakes winner of nearly $3 million, ran fifth and 10th, respectively, in the 2017 and 2018 Pegasus.

Calumet Farm's True Timber has placed in seven career graded-stakes including the Cigar Mile (G1), where he ran second in 2018 and third behind Maximum Security Dec. 7 in his most recent start. In 2019, Diamond 100 Racing Club LLC, Amy Dunne, D P Racing LLC and Patrick Biancone Racing LLC's Diamond Oops won the Smile Sprint (G3) and Mr. Prospector (G3) in 2019 at Gulfstream, the latter over Imperial Hint, and was second in the A.G. Vanderbilt (G1) and Shadwell Turf Mile (G1).


2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitees

Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 25

Horse Trainer
DIAMOND OOPS PATRICK L. BIANCONE
HIGHER POWER JOHN W. SADLER
MATH WIZARD SAFFIE A. JOSEPH, JR.
MCKINZIE BOB BAFFERT
MR FREEZE DALE ROMANS
OMAHA BEACH RICHARD E. MANDELLA
SEEKING THE SOUL DALLAS STEWART
SPUN TO RUN JUAN CARLOS GUERRERO
TAX DANNY GARGAN
TRUE TIMBER KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN
WAR STORY ELIZABETH DOBLE

2020 Pegasus World Cup Reserve Invitees

Gulfstream Park on Saturday, January 25

Horse Trainer
MUCHO GUSTO BOB BAFFERT
MAGIC WAND (IRE) AIDAN P. O'BRIEN
TENFOLD STEVEN A. ASMUSSEN
BODEXPRESS GUSTAVO DELGADO

Pegasus World Cup 2020 Invitees

January 07, 2020 - Gary and Mary West's Florida Derby (G1) winner and disqualified Kentucky Derby (G1) first-place finisher Maximum Security, and Fox Hill Farm's Omaha Beach, a three-time Grade 1 winner and the Kentucky Derby favorite before being scratched three days before the race, lead a list of 17 horses formally invited Sunday to the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

The fourth running of the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus, won previously by Longines World's Best Racehorse Arrogate (2017), Horse of the Year Gun Runner (2018) and Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) winner City of Light (2019), will be run Saturday, Jan. 25 along with the second running of the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).

The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced the equine athletes in both races would compete free of any medications on race day, heralding a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. The medication-free policy is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards. Two percent of the purses will go back to Thoroughbred aftercare.

Omaha Beach, who shipped from California to Gulfstream Park on New Year's Eve, is trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Mike Smith. The son of War Front was favored in the Kentucky Derby off victories in the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Rebel (G2) before being scratched three days before the race because of complications from an entrapped epiglottis. The 4-year-old colt returned in the fall to win the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) and finish second in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). He enters the Pegasus off an impressive victory Dec. 28 in the Malibu (G1) at Santa Anita.

Maximum Security, undefeated in four starts at Gulfstream, broke his maiden Dec. 20, 2018 at Gulfstream under a claiming tag. The 4-year-old would go on to win the Florida Derby before being the only horse in the history of the Kentucky Derby to be disqualified from first on race day. The Jason Servis-trained colt would go on to win the Haskell Invitational (G1), Bold Ruler (G3) and Cigar Mile (G1). The colt is currently training at Gulfstream's satellite training facility Palm Meadows in Palm Beach County.

McKinzie, trained by Bob Baffert, who conditioned inaugural Pegasus winner Arrogate, has earned more than $3 million and is a four-time Grade 1 winner. Second in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), the 5-year-old won the Whitney (G1) last summer at Saratoga. McKinzie's stablemate, Roadster, has also been invited to the Pegasus. Winner last year of the Santa Anita Derby (G1), the 4-year-old colt has since finished second in the Malibu and Affirmed (G3).

Spun to Run, a 4-year-old son of Hard Spun who defeated Omaha Beach in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, followed that performance with a second-place finish behind Maximum Security in the Cigar Mile. The colt also won last year's Smarty Jones (G3) and was third in the Haskell.

2020 PEGASUS WORLD CUP RACE DAY SCHEDULE

Stakes Grade Restrictions Distance/Surface Purse
South Beach F&M 4YO & Up 7 1/2 Furlongs Turf $150,000 USD
Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint 4YO & Up 5 Furlongs Turf $150,000 USD
Ladies Turf Sprint F&M 4YO & Up 5 Furlongs Turf $150,000 USD
Fred W. Hooper Stakes III 4YO & Up 1 Mile Dirt $150,000 USD
La Prevoyante Handicap III F&M 4YO & Up 1 1/2 Miles Turf $200,000 USD
W.L. McKnight Handicap III F&M 4YO & Up 1 1/2 Miles Turf $200,000 USD
Inside Information II F&M 4YO & Up 7 Furlongs Dirt $200,000 USD
Pegasus World Cup Turf I 4YO & Up 1 3/16 Mile Turf $1,000,000 USD
Pegasus World Cup I 4YO & Up 1 1/8 Miles Dirt $3,000,000 USD

Hronis Racing, LLC's Gift Box and Higher Power, both trained by John Sadler, were offered invitations. Gift Box would enter the Pegasus off a victory Dec. 28 in the San Antonio (G1) at Santa Anita. He's also a winner of last year's Santa Anita Handicap (G1).

Higher Power would enter the Pegasus off a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic. The 5-year-old previously won the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar and finished third in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita. Higher Power is a son of Medaglia d'Oro and a winner of $1.376 million.

Magic Wand, a winner of $4.1 million, had been invited to both the Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). Trained by Aidan O'Brien and based in Ireland, Magic Wand finished second last year in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1). The 5-year-old has raced in France, England, the U.S. and Japan. Second in last year's Arlington Million (G1), Magic Wand comes to Florida off a second-place finish in the Longines Hong Kong Cup (G1) in December.

Graded-stakes winner Tax has raced against the best during his career. A winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) last year at 3 and the Remsen (G2) at 2, the Danny Gargan-trained 4-year-old was second last year in the Discovery (G3) and Wood Memorial (G2) and fourth in the Belmont (G1).

Locally-based Math Wizard, a former claimer trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., was fifth last time out in the Breeders' Cup Classic. He previously won the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and was second in the Ohio Derby (G3).

Mr Freeze, trained by Dale Romans, finished third last time out in the Clark (G1). The 5-year-old won the Ack Ack (G3) in September at Churchill Downs and was second in the Fayette (G2) in October at Keeneland.

Seeking the Soul is hoping the third time in the Pegasus will be the charm. The 7-year-old finished second to City of Light in last year's Pegasus and was fifth in the 2018 edition. Winner of the 2017 Clark and second in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Mile (G1), the 7-year-old is being prepared at Fair Grounds with trainer Dallas Stewart.

Horses on the also-eligible list are Calumet Farm's Bravazo and True Timber, Diamond Oops, War Story and Mucho Gusto.

Bravazo, bred and owned by Calumet Farm and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, was fourth in last year's Pegasus. The 5-year-old's resume includes a second-place finish in the 2018 Preakness (G1) and Clark and third-place finishes in the 2018 Breeders' Cup Mile and Travers (G1). The son of Awesome Again has only raced once since last year's Pegasus, finishing eighth in the Nov. 29 Clark at Churchill Downs. True Timber, seventh in last year's Pegasus, was third last time out in the Cigar Mile.

War Story, a son of Northern Fleet who has earned nearly $3 million, was a winner last time out of the Harlan's Holiday (G3) at Gulfstream. He was fifth in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup. Mucho Gusto, trained by Baffert, finished third last summer in the Travers.

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for our fans and guests at the race track and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Arrogate (2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), Gun Runner (2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), City of Light (2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion) and Bricks and Mortar (inaugural 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Champion).

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6:00pm EST on Saturday, January 25th.

Pegasus World Cup 2020 purses reduced and will run Medication-Free

The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced today a new era in the sport of Thoroughbred racing in North America. On January 25th, the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) will provide new and exciting opportunities for horse owners to showcase their equine athletes by competing free of any medications on race day.

This year's medication-free format, for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and will go one step further by giving back two-percent of the purse winnings to Thoroughbred aftercare.

"We are investing in the future of our sport by creating new opportunities for horsemen and horses to run without medication," said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. "The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series has always been about innovation. The new and exciting medication-free format, along with giving back to horse care, showcases the leadership our industry is taking together to evolve beyond past achievements to create a more modern, sustainable and safer sport."

"The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is evolving toward a single goal - to provide a level of safety deserving of every horse and every rider, reflecting the new standard of care, on race day and beyond, while providing a lucrative opportunity for horse owners." said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group.

The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series aims to attract the world's best horses and riders, including top tier Grade 1 stakes horses, owners, trainers and jockeys. Owners of horses age 4 and up from North America and beyond will be invited to participate for their chance to showcase their medication-free horses and the opportunity to compete for their share of $4 million USD in purse winnings.

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles and will offer a $3 million total purse with 2 percent of the purse donated to Thoroughbred aftercare. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles and will offer a $1 million purse with 2 percent of that purse also donated to Thoroughbred Aftercare. The $4 million total purse contribution is entirely provided by The Stronach Group.

The Stronach Group, in collaboration with industry partners from around the country, has been at the forefront of unprecedented reforms touching all areas of the sport of Thoroughbred racing to prioritize the safety and welfare of horses and riders above all else.

"Running the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational medication-free is a stepping stone to what will be the eventual phase out of the use of race day medications for all graded stakes races by 2021 and puts this event squarely in line with the changing culture of our sport," said Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, The Stronach Group. "The health and safety of our athletes, equine and human, are our top priority."

Dr. Benson will be overseeing the Pegasus World Cup race day with an expanded team of veterinarians to monitor all horses, including those entered on the undercard races, in the barns, during training and on race day. The house rules at Gulfstream Park, are consistent with IFHA standards and reflect the rules in place at other Stronach Group properties, including Santa Anita Park. In addition to stringent out-of-competition testing and enhanced medication protocols, including a 14-day stand down on intra articular injections and a 48-hour stand down of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory injections, the complete transparency of veterinary records for the 14-day period leading up to the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series races will be required for all horses.

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for our fans and guests at the race track and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Arrogate (2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), Gun Runner (2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), City of Light (2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion) and Bricks and Mortar (inaugural 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Champion).

Past celebrity attendees include Snoop Dogg, Mark Ronson, Bella Thorne, Evander Holyfield, Dennis Rodman and Amanda Cerny (2019), Pharrell Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Olivia Culpo, Prince Royce, Wilmer Valderrama, Post Malone, Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Carson Kressley and DJ Ruckus (2018) and Thomas Rhett, Vanessa Hudgens, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Aaron Paul, Gene Simmons, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Maria Menounos (2017), to name just a few.

For a third year, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will partner with Groot Hospitality, owners of the world famous LIV Nightclub, to offer a one-of-a-kind trackside party, the Pegasus LIV Stretch, featuring top tier entertainment, unique food and beverage concessions and the ultimate race day views. Past performers at the Pegasus LIV Stretch include Snopp Dogg and Mark Ronson (2019), and Post Malone, Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri (2018).

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6:00pm EST on Saturday, January 25th.

OffTrackBetting.com is proud to be an online betting platform for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.

    Pegasus World Cup Quick Facts

  • The Pegasus World Cup Invitational, first run in January 2017, is the vision of The Stronach Group founder, Frank Stronach.
  • The 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Championship Series will offer a $16 million purse split between two Grade 1 stakes races.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Invitational is contested at 1 1/8 mile on the dirt and will offer at $9 million purse with $4 million awarded to the winner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational is run at 1 3/16 miles on the turf and will offer a $7 million purse with $3 million awarded to the winner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will replace the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.
  • The cost to secure an entry spot for both the Pegasus World Cup and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational are $500,000 per race.
  • A $1 million bonus will be awarded to any horse owner who takes first place in both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.
  • Past winners include Arrogate, the 2016 Eclipse Award Winning Champion Three Year Old Male and the top earning Thoroughbred of all time, and 2017 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner.
  • The Pegasus World Cup Championship Rings, are awarded to the winning owner, trainer and jockey for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and are valued at over $50,000 a piece!

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