The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (G1T) will be run free of race-day medication for purses of $3 million and $1 million, respectively, The Stronach Group announced Dec. 15. Both races are scheduled for Jan. 25 at Gulfstream Park.
The format is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities standards and will go one step further—giving 2% of the purse winnings to Thoroughbred aftercare.
"We are investing in the future of our sport by creating new opportunities for horsemen and horses to run without medication," said Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of TSG. "The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series has always been about innovation. The new and exciting medication-free format, along with giving back to horse care, showcases the leadership our industry is taking together to evolve beyond past achievements to create a more modern, sustainable, and safer sport."
"The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is evolving toward a single goal—to provide a level of safety deserving of every horse and every rider, reflecting the new standard of care, on race day and beyond, while providing a lucrative opportunity for horse owners," said Craig Fravel, TSG's CEO of racing.
TSG's chief veterinary officer, Dr. Dionne Benson, will oversee the Pegasus World Cup with an expanded team of veterinarians to monitor all horses, including those entered in the undercard races, in the barns, during training, and on race day. The house rules at Gulfstream Park are consistent with IFHA standards and reflect the rules in place at other Stronach Group properties, including Santa Anita Park.
In addition to stringent out-of-competition testing and enhanced medication protocols, including a 14-day stand-down on intra-articular injections and a 48-hour stand-down of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory injections, the complete transparency of veterinary records for the 14-day period leading up to the Pegasus World Cup races will be required for all horses.
"Running the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational medication-free is a steppingstone to what will be the eventual phaseout of the use of race-day medications for all graded stakes races by 2021 and puts this event squarely in line with the changing culture of our sport," Benson said. "The health and safety of our athletes—equine and human—are our top priority."
Pegasus World Cup Entry Fees Waived
The combined $4 million total purse contribution for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series for horses age 4 and up is provided entirely by The Stronach Group. All entry fees for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be waived.
The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles, and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles.
The Pegasus World Cup, inaugurated in 2017 with a sole dirt race, offered a $12 million purse in its first year and a $16 million purse in 2018. The Pegasus World Cup Turf was added in 2019, and the purse was split—$9 million for the dirt race and $7 million for the turf race. Entry slots cost $1 million in 2017 and 2018, and $500,000 in 2019.
The Pegasus races will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.