Pegasus World Cup Soars

For racing media, one of the fun parts of the job, believe it or not, is waking up at ungodly hour, rain or shine, and visiting the barns of the players from the previous day’s big race.

As expected, mostly the winners laugh, tell stories, and the losers say deal. Temporarily sidelined myself, I wonder what happened when my colleagues this morning only to find nobody was home.

That didn’t happen, of course. With winners and losers celebrating or commiserating over dinner late into the South Florida night, Mike McCarthy and John Sadler still needed to show up and check on their horses before watching them be loaded onto a Lexington-bound van.

So it’s not likely that City of Light or Accelerate would have been among this missing this am, but they won’t be around for long, leaving the racing’s stage forever–fertility issues notwithstanding.

While City of Light separated himself from the 2018 handicap champion in the gloaming at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, both will soon arrive at the same stud farm to begin a second career.

Some guys have all the luck.

On a day better suited to Netflix binging than going to the races, the building was hopping despite the elements. Stakeholders, horseplayers and fans showed up brought money, and weren’t shy about spending …

Industry Profile: Chuck Fipke Mining for Success in 2019 Pegasus World Cup

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Seeking the Soul figures to be a price at the betting windows when the Grade 1-winning 6-year-old horse competes in Gulfstream Park’s $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1). But owner-breeder Charles “Chuck” Fipke has made a career out of long shots. Actually two careers.

Fipke, who grew up dirt poor in British Columbia in Western Canada, became a multi-millionaire by literally finding diamonds in the rough throughout the world as a geologist and prospector. For the past quarter-century, he has done the same in racing and breeding thoroughbreds.

Seeking the Soul — winner of Churchill Downs’ Clark Handicap (G1) in 2017, most recently second in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and fifth in last year’s Pegasus — is a good example. He is a son of Perfect Soul, the Fipke homebred who gave the breeder his first American Grade 1 triumph in the 2003 Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile in a still-standing course record 1:33.54. Perfect Soul sired Fipke’s first Breeders’ Cup winner in Perfect Shirl, the 2011 Filly & Mare Turf heroine at 27-1 odds, and Golden Soul, second in the 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) at 34-1.

For Fipke, the thrill …

Gunnevera Has a Seat in the 2019 Pegasus World Cup

Gunnevara Fountain of YouthSalomon Del Valle’s Margoth purchased a spot in the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), confirming multiple graded-stakes winner Gunnevera for North America’s richest race Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park.

Gunnevera, who finished third in last year’s Pegasus World Cup, most recently ran second in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Nov. 3.

The Pegasus World Cup will be accompanied by the inaugural running of $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) on the Jan. 26 program in the newly created $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series. Owners can secure a spot in the starting gate for the Pegasus World Cup for a $500,000 fee and will be given preference in purchasing a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf for $500,000. A $1 million bonus is being offered if an owner should win both races.

“I’m paying all the money myself,” said Del Valle, a Venezuelan businessman who entered Gunnevera in a partnership in last year’s Pegasus. “I’m happy to be in the race.”

Gunnevera, who has $4.1 million in career earnings, captured the 2017 Fountain of Youth (G2) at Gulfstream. The Antonio Sano-trained 4-year-old son of Dialed In has also won the 2016 Saratoga Special (G2) and the $1 million Delta Jackpot (G3) and has been Grade 1 stakes-placed in the 2017 Travers (G1) and the 2018 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga.

“I have a good chance. He just got beat by a length in the Breeders’ Cup,” Sano said. “Maybe, there will be more speed in the Pegasus. One more chance. It’s in my house.”

In addition to Gunnevera, Hronis Racing’s Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate, Charles Fipke’s Seeking the Soul, and Calumet Farm’s Bravazo and True Timber are confirmed for the Pegasus World Cup. Tabor, Magnier and Smith’s Coolmore has also purchased a spot for a horse to be determined.

Audible, the 2018 Florida Derby (G1) winner, is also being pointed to the Pegasus World Cup and is scheduled to be entered in next Saturday’s $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream to prep for the 1 1/8-mile Pegasus. Owned by China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm, Starlight Racing, and Head of Plains Partners, Todd Pletcher-trained Audible finished third in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1).

Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s Patternrecognition, who defeated True Timber by three-quarters of a length in the Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct last time out, is also under consideration for the Pegasus.

The Stronach Group, currently negotiating with other groups, has only a few open spots remaining.

$7M Turf Race Added. Pegasus Tickets Open Today

The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup, announced an exciting new element to what has become, in just two short years, one of the premier events on the Thoroughbred racing calendar. The Pegasus World Cup 2019, to be held on January 26, will be adding a Grade 1 turf stakes to this year’s race-day festivities.

The addition of the turf race, which will be run at 1 3/16 miles, aims to attract and showcase twelve of the best older turf horses from around the world turning the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational into a Championship Invitational Series. The total purse for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will sit at $7 million with $3 million awarded to the winner. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational, to be contested on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, will offer a $9 million purse with a $4 million prize waiting for the winner of the twelve-horse field.

“The appetite for a turf race is strong and the decision to include a premier turf race is part of the ongoing evolution of the Pegasus World Cup,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “We are excited to expand this event for both horse owners and fans, adding to what is already an incredible day of entertainment and world-class racing at Gulfstream Park.”

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Any horse owner who purchases a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be given preference to purchase a spot in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational. The cost to secure an entry spot and enter a horse is $500,000 per race.

“As an international owner I am thrilled that the Pegasus World Cup will include a turf race,” said John Magnier, Founder, Coolmore. “Coolmore, like The Stronach Group, believes in growing our sport and there is no better way to do that than to provide a new platform to showcase the world’s best Thoroughbreds.”

pegasus world cup logoAs an added incentive and as part of the commitment to provide new, lucrative opportunities for horse owners, The Stronach Group will offer a $1 million bonus to the owner who wins both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.
The Stronach Group will also introduce a new wager, the Pegasus Pick 24. The Pegasus Pick 24 will offer up the chance to bet on the exact finish order for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, adding another layer to the race-day excitement. A whopping $5 million bonus awaits the lucky fan who hits on the Pegasus Pick 24.

Blending entertainment, innovation and Thoroughbred horse racing like no other event of its kind, the Pegasus World Cup has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world. Past winners include Arrogate, the Horse of the Year for 2017 and the top earning Thoroughbred of all time, and 2018 Horse of the Year, Gun Runner.

Tickets for the 2019 Pegasus World Cup will be available at www.pegasusworldcup.com starting today October 1.