Richest horse race in history comes to Gulfstream Park
California Chrome looks to retire a winner at Pegasus World Cup Invitational
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Named after the mythical winged-horse, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational is not only the richest race in history, it is also innovative in other ways, like how it came up with that amazing purse.
When the Pegasus World Cup Invitational was first announced, it took less than two days for all 12 spots to be purchased at $1 million each.
"We call them stakeholders," Stronach Group president Belinda Stronach told Local 10 News about the upcoming race at its Gulfstream Park. "And some of them had horses. Some of them did not have horses at the time. So part of the appeal was they could find partnerships to acquire the best possible horse the day of the race."
The powerhouse purse attracted California Chrome, who will, win or lose, retire as the richest racehorse in history.
"It is going to be different, because it is going to be the last race for California Chrome, and I want him to go out a winner," California Chrome's jockey, Victor Espinoza, said.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational also secured Arrogate, who came from behind in last year's Breeders Cup to beat California Chrome.
"You could say I am a little bit nervous. (It is) a lot of pressure," Espinoza said.
Add to that a marketing blitz with 5 million views, featuring celebrities like UFC champion Connor McGregor, and it is sure to be a marquee event with star power.
"We wanted to introduce the sport to a new, younger fan base," Stronach said. "We need to broaden that fan base, and Connor, we felt, was the perfect person to do that. He is a showman. He has a sense of humor."
The excitement surrounding the race at Gulfstream Park is reaching a fever pitch. Nearly all 15,000 seats in the grandstand are sold out. It is going to be broadcast in 120 different countries around the globe.
The race is scheduled to begin at 5:40 p.m. Saturday.
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