The Stronach Group announced Wednesday afternoon the date for inaugural running of the world’s richest thoroughbred race: It’s the $12 million Pegasus World Cup, set for Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.
The race will be contested at 1 1/8 miles on dirt and was the idea of Frank Stronach, founder and honorary chairman of The Stronach Group. He’s also the guy who thought it’d be great to build a multi-million-dollar statue outside Gulfstream.
The Pegasus World Cup is designed to promote horse racing. There will be 12 entrants who will pay $1 million each to buy a spot in the Pegasus World Cup starting gate, and the financial structure makes it worthwhile for the top 12 horses to compete, even if, say the 11th-best horse feared entering for nothing.
That’s because all entrants will not only be competing for the purse but they will also share equally in 100 percent of the net income from handle, media rights, and sponsorships from the Pegasus World Cup. So it’s going to be a net win.
The entrant can also race, lease, contract or share a starter or sell their place in the starting gate. Original entrants will also have the first option to participate in future Pegasus World Cup races.
Stronach, in a press release, noted the Jan. 28 date avoids a conflict with either the Breeders’ Cup or the Dubai World Cup.
Jack Wolf, founder of Starlight Racing, has been retained as the CEO of the Pegasus World Cup to assist with the marketing and coordination. Tom Ludt, who is a board member of the Breeders Cup, will also be assisting.
Organizers note that Stronach has been working on the plan for more than a year. It surpasses the Dubai World Cup, which has a $10 million purse.
Stronach, who made his fortune as a Canadian auto-parts magnate, has seen his reputation among horse racing fans change from demon to savior. The owner of Santa Anita, outside Los Angeles, Pimlico Race Course in Maryland, and other tracks, Stronach created Frankey’s Sports Bar at Gulfsteam, as well as the Adena Grill steakhouse, which he stocked with beef from cattle grown on his farm in central Florida. Then he oversaw every table and light fixture and flew in artists to paint the décor.
He also spent $30 million to install a statue of a Pegasus standing astride a dragon. It’s 11 stories tall, and weighs 715 tons. He has also launched “Frank’s Energy Drink,” and the outdoor bar near the beach is called “Frank’s Beach.”