How about a blizzard of bucks from a warm place?
Colorado bettors can observe a Winter Wonderland that won’t unfold on the ski slopes.
It will emerge Saturday, Jan. 29, from warm and sunny Gulfstream Park in Florida, with a multi-hour horse-race festival called the Pegasus World Cup Invitational.
The headlined event for $3 million features the nation’s top thoroughbreds and includes a card sporting $5.2 million of graded races.
Colorado horse racing bettors can access the action via TVG. They also can indulge in off-track betting at Arapahoe Park, located on the outskirts of Aurora, or any of the other 11 OTB sites in the state.
The Pegasus World Cup post time is approximately 3:45 p.m. MT. The overall card will start around 10 a.m. with several big races unfolding that day.
Check for exact post times via the TVG horse betting app throughout the afternoon.
The lineup includes:
- Pegasus World Cup Invite: 1 1/8 miles, dirt ($3 million)
- Pegasus WC Turf: 1 1/8 miles, turf ($1 million)
- Filly and Mare Turf: 1 1/6 miles ($500,000)
- Inside Information: 7 furlongs ($200,000)
- William McKnight: 1 1/2 miles ($200,000)
- La Prevoyante: 1 1/2 miles ($150,000)
- Fred Hooper: 1 mile ($150,000)
Pegasus kicks off the winter season
The Pegasus World Cup highlights industry efforts to enhance its winter season.
This signature event complements the spring Triple Crown series, (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes), major summer races at Saratoga Park and Santa Anita and the multi-million-dollar Breeders Cup in November.
The Pegasus also is a timely event for owners who want to run their horses here and still enter the industry-leading $12 million Dubai World Cup on March 26.
This is the sixth year of the Pegasus, originally designed to serve as the world’s richest horse race.
With a purse of $12 million for its inaugural running, it surpassed the Dubai World Cup as the richest horse race in the world in 2017 and 2018.
The purse rose to $16 million in 2018, but dropped to $9 million in 2019. Pegasus’ fourth running in 2020 carried a $3 million purse.
The current levels are considered more sensible for the track to recoup its investment in betting handle.
Here are a few key facts about this year’s event:
- What: Pegasus World Cup (6th running)
- When: Saturday, Jan 29
- Where: Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, Fla.
- 2022 purse: $3 million
- Distance: 1 1/8 miles
- How to watch: NBC, with approximate post time of 3:45 p.m. MT
- Field: 9 horses
- Favorites: Knicks Go, Life is Good
Knicks Go is favorite after drawing rail
Knicks Go landed post No. 1 in Tuesday’s Pegasus WC Invite draw and was established as the morning-line favorite at 6-5.
Life is Good, another Breeders Cup winner, drew post 4 and was the second morning-line choice at 7-5.
Each of the remaining seven horses have odds at 10-1 or lower. Chess Chief (starting in post 2) and Sir Winston (post 6) lead that bunch at 10-1 and 12-1, respectively.
Knicks Go adds immediate pedigree to the event. He won his last four races, taking the Cornhusker Stakes, the Whitney, the Lukas Classic Stakes and the Breeders Cup Classic.
Knicks Go will likely be named the Horse of the Year at the Eclipse Awards next month. He is expected to break in front in this, his farewell race.
Life is Good was a runaway victor in the Breeders Cup dirt mile, leading every step of the way and winning by six lengths.
He has won five of his last six races and already has been listed as definite for the Dubai World Cup.
One handicapping variable at the Pegasus will surround the length of this race. Life is Good has never run this exact distance. The furthest he’s run is 1 1/6 miles.
Another is that the presence of these horses will establish the possibility of a speed duel that could benefit the stalking horses.
Sir Winston, who won the 2019 Belmont Stakes, certainly is one to watch. He won the $150,000 Valedictory Stakes in December at Woodbine Racetrack outside Toronto.
Colonel Liam has been confirmed for the $1 million turf event, which he won last year.
Breaking down the common bet types
Here’s a quick review of the primary wagering menu available to horse racing bettors:
WIN: Horse must cross the line first.
PLACE: Horse can finish second or first.
SHOW: Horse can finish third, second or first.
Payouts are better on the win line, while the chance to collect is higher on the place and show wagers.
EXACTAS: Bettor must pick the first two finishers in exact order.
Exacta boxes are highly recommended. They allow the horses to finish in either position (i.e., a 2-1 exacta box pays whether the finishing order is 2-1 or 1-2),
TRIFECTAS: The top three finishers in exact order.
SUPERFECTAS: The top four horses in finishing order.
Lucrative, but elusive and expensive.
PICK 3, PICK 4, PICK 5 or PICK 6: Selecting the winners of three, four, five or six consecutive races.
Some of the best value offered in horse racing because the takeout percentage is relatively low.
RAINBOW PICK 6: Where available, this is Gulfstream Park’s famed six-race finale. The bet is a 20-cent wager, multiplied by how many horses a player selects in trying to pick the winner of six consecutive races.
The strategy is to have multiple entries in a number of races. But a bettor often must take one “single”, a race with just one pick, to keep the cost reasonable.
And unless one ticket hits the entire pool, a percentage is carried over each day. The pool routinely exceeds $1 million a couple of times each meet.
It has already been hit for $1.2 million this year.
Due to the high-level attractions on this card, Pick 6 betting pools will be abundant.