The first ever $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (gr. I) was not only buzzworthy for its set up, showcasing an Arrogate-California Chrome rematch, or its $12 million purse. It also afforded an opportunity to showcase the aftercare industry.
The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) was one of three charity partners of the Pegasus World Cup and that gave them a presence among a group of industry bigwigs. The other two partners were the After The Impact Fund for Veterans and Legends and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Thanks to their charity partners status, the TAA presented an award — Best Turned Out Horse, was featured in a commercial, and hosted a meeting between California Chrome and Nic Roldan.
Prior to the Pegasus, the TAA was the Eclipse Awards’ official aftercare partner and received a donation funded through a LUXAIR Jets travel package.
“The Pegasus and the Eclipse Awards were some of the best exposure the TAA has had,” said TAA operations consultant Stacie Clark. “(The events) were a lot of work, but it was really rewarding to get the word out and get people interested in what we’re doing.
“There was a whole lot of buzz; it was a great event. Just being able to participate in big days is important for the TAA.”
While the TAA has been involved in similar events in the past, Clark said the Pegasus was a special day.
“They are pretty good to us at The Stronach Group on Preakness weekend and we’ve got things going forward there. Ellis Park has done an aftercare day, Tampa Bay Downs is going to let us do one on Tampa Bay Derby (G2) day, and we’ve done charity days at Saratoga,” said Clark. “Not the same magnitude, but it’s baby steps.”
The hope for Clark is that the positive buzz from being involved in the Pegasus will continue and that aftercare will have a large presence in future large race days.