A patron wagers at Gulfstream Park, where the Pegasus World Cup Day handle set a record

A patron wagers at Gulfstream Park, where the Pegasus World Cup Day handle set a record

photos by Z

Pegasus Day Handle Clears Record Mark

All-sources handle Saturday was $41,983,881, a 4.39% increase over last year.

There was no sophomore slump for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1).

The card that featured the first edition last year handled $40.2 million, a Gulfstream Park record for a non-Breeders' Cup program. It was a high bar, but the Jan. 27 card featuring the second edition of the world's richest race vaulted over it.

All-sources handle Saturday was $41,983,881, a 4.39% increase.
   
Asked if the Pegasus will be run at Gulfstream next year, Belinda Stronach, president and chairman of The Stronach Group, responded instantly and emphatically, "yes."

She joked that the gargantuan Pegasus statue at Gulfstream, commissioned by her father, The Stronach Group founder and honorary chairman Frank Stronach, is "too big to move, so we can't move the race."

There has been speculation that the Pegasus might be relocated to the Stronach-owned Santa Anita Park, a more spacious facility, or the company's Laurel Park. Even though that isn't in the works, Belinda Stronach said The Stronach Group might add races that complement the Pegasus at the other tracks.

"Stay tuned. There is more to come," she said.

Gulfstream made some minor tweaks this year to make the day less expensive for fans. General admission was $75, down from $100 in 2017. General parking was cut from $50 to $20.

There were no long lines at betting windows, automatic teller machines, and concession stands. It was possible to find an unoccupied window even in the final minutes before the start of the headlining race.