Saturday marks the second running of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the richest race in thoroughbred racing. Running at Gulfstream Park, this year’s race features a record-setting purse of $16 million, which is well more than the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes combined.
The undercard races will start at 11:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast on TVG, while coverage of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (the $16 million race) will start at 4:30 p.m. ET and be broadcast on NBC. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a television, TVG can be watched live online via DirecTV Now, while NBC can be watched live online in select markets via DirecTV Now, FuboTV or Sling TV. They all cost a monthly but all come with a free trial, allowing you to watch all of Saturday’s Pegasus World Cup coverage at no cost:
DirecTV Now: NBC (live in 15 markets) is included in all four channel packages, while TVG is included in the “Go Big” and “Gotta Have It” bundles. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial no matter what package you choose, and you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app
FuboTV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and then you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
Sling TV: NBC (live in 11 markets) is included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and then you can watch on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app
While the inaugural race had a purse of $12 million, this year’s prize pool is being bumped up to an astounding $16 million. Like last year, each of the 12 stakeholders paid $1 million for a spot in the race, but this time around, Gulfstream owner The Stronach Group is throwing in an extra $4 million.
Now, the prize payouts are as follows: The winner gets $7 million, the runner-up gets $1.6 million, third place gets $1.3 million, fourth place gets $1 million, fifth place gets $850,000 and the sixth- through 12-place finishes all get $650,000 each.
The clear favorite to follow in the hoove-steps of Arrogate, who won last year’s inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational, is Gun Runner at 4-5. The Steve Asmussen-trained horse won the prestigious Breeders Cup Classic in November, giving him his fourth consecutive (and fifth overall) Grade-1 victory. Racing in his final race before retirement, he’ll start from the No. 10 post.
“I’ve always said you don’t know to complain about a post position until after a race is run,” Asmussen said. “So it might work out perfectly for him. The horse is doing extremely well, in the capable hands of (jockey) Florent Geroux, and hopefully we’ll have a big day Saturday and send the 2017 Horse of the Year out on top.”
Sharp Azteca, fresh off a win at the Grade-1 Cigar Mile in December, is considered the second-favorite at 6-1, followed by Collected and West Coast, who are both 8-1. Also joining the 12-horse field are Gunnevera (15-1), Toast of New York (20-1), War Story (25-1), Seeking the Soul (25-1), Singing Bullet (30-1), Stellar Wind (30-1), Fear the Cowboy (30-1) and Giant Expectations (30-1).