Arrogate Romps Home to Win Pegasus and World’s Richest Race
The inaugural running of the world’s richest horse race – the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational – had quite a buildup. And Arrogate made it quite clear that he’s the best race horse in the world. Breaking from the rail in the 12 horse field, Arrogate went off as the 4/5 favorite and delivered in a big way. With Mike Smith aboard, the Bob Baffert-trained big gray beauty made his move around the far turn and cut loose down the stretch to win by 4 3/4 lengths over runner-up Shaman Ghost. Another 3 ½ lengths behind in 3rd was Neolithic.
The showdown racing fans anticipated between horse of the year California Chrome and horse of the world Arrogate failed to materialize Saturday in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park. California Chrome broke from the far outside and was running fourth down the back stretch alongside Arrogate. But California Chrome never fired, fading badly nearly 30 lengths behind in 9th place at the finish. A potential knee issue with x-rays pending could have caused the poor race.
“He didn’t look real comfortable,” California Chrome trainer Art Sherman said. “He didn’t break as sharp as he usually does and then he got hung out so wide. But down the backside he had no excuse.
“He looked like he was listless. I don’t know why. This is the first bad race he’s ever run for me.”
But like the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the race belonged to Arrogate. Under the South Florida sunshine, Arrogate was awesome, galloping home to victory and the $7 million first-place prize. His final time covering 1 1/8 miles was 1 minute 47.61 seconds, and Arrogate paid $3.80 on a $2 win bet.
“Once I got going into the far turn, I knew we were going to be very tough to beat,” Smith said. “He had a lot of run today, and I was very happy. As far as winning the world’s richest race, I’m absolutely numb.”
Shaman Ghost, raced by Gulfstream Park’s owner, Frank Stronach, finished second and paid $8.60 and $5.80 to earn $1.75 million. Neolithic took home $1 million for third and paid $6 to show.
The Pegasus had a purse provided entirely by entry fees, with owners paying $1 million for a spot in the starting gate, making it more like a poker game than a horse race.
The other finishers each received $250,000, and participants will also split earnings from sponsorships and wagers on the race, including multirace bets. The 12-race program amassed more than $40 million in handle, most likely enough to ensure that the 4th through 12th place finishers will earn back at least half their entry fees.