CONTROVERSY has again surrounded the Pegasus World Cup with only nine of the 12 available spots sold before the deadline.
The Stronach Group, which will put on the $16 million event at Gulfstream Park this January, confirmed that they will buy the three remaining slots until they’re sold.
With international interest all but lost on the race, especially considering the strong Japanese contingent pulled out of negotiations last year due to the structure of the race, it looks as though the locals will make up the entire field.
Another point of interest for owners was the prize structure change for 2018. Slot buyers were required to make a deposit of $350,000 before Saturday with the remaining $300,000 to be paid mid-January, but there was some scrutiny over the exact prize money on offer.
The winner of the Pegasus World Cup will receive only $8.2 million of the $16 million purse (which The Stronach Group could contribute $7 million towards). Every runner in the race gets $650,000 in earnings regardless of its position.
Due to a possible conflict of interest, The Stronach Group needs to tread carefully on how they market their three remaining slots.
“I don’t want to speak prematurely on that,” CEO Tim Ritvo said.
“We still think there will be 12 in the race.”
Likely 2018 Pegasus World Cup field
Toast of New York
Game Over/War Story
Seeking the Soul/Forever Unbridled
Toast of New York confirmed for Pegasus
Six-year-old Toast of New York has been confirmed as a starter by Dean Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and the $8 chance with bookmakers looks a solid winning chance.
Trained by Jamie Osborne, Toast of New York recently returned from a three-year layoff to win at Lingfield Park. The run was its first since running second behind Bayern in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Once a retired thoroughbred following its injury, a possible big pay day could be on the cards. Having covered some handy mares, Toast of New York returned in style which pleased its owner.
“I think that he ran so well (in his return) that sort of put him in the picture,” Reeves said. “I had gotten wind of the fact that they wanted to run the horse in the race. Of course we had some other opportunities with some of the other horses, but we really didn’t know if we were going to get anything done.
Dean Reeves of Reeves Thoroughbred Racing confirms they have reached a deal along with Al Shaqab Racing and other partners to start Toast of New York in the Pegasus World Cup.
— Alicia Wincze Hughes (@BH_AHughes) December 15, 2017
“Really in the last 24 hours, it sort of started to come together. We pulled the trigger and got the deal done.”
Reeve raced Breaking Lucky in the 2017 edition of the race, but it managed only eighth behind Arrogate.
“He (Toast of New York) was right there in the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll look pretty smart if he wins it,” Reeves said.
“If he runs up the track, it won’t be any worse than it was last year.”