$16 Million Series Televised to National, International Audience
Saturday’s blockbuster $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series program of 12 races at Gulfstream Park featured some of Thoroughbred racing’s biggest human and equine stars performing before a live, national and international audience.
A total of 143 horses were entered, an average of 11.9 starters per race, on a card that featured the third running of the $9 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the debut of the $7 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1), the richest races on either surface in North America.
On television, both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turf were featured during a live, national 90-minute telecast on NBC from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday.
ESPN took the live show internationally to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
In Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean, the international show was televised on ESPN Play, WatchESPN in Brazil and ESPN3 in areas such as Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Fiji and the Marshall Islands.
Journalists from Germany, Japan, South America, Canada, Ireland, England and Spain arrived to cover Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series.
Other major territories airing the Pegasus internationally were China, Ireland, Japan, the Middle East, Russia and the United Kingdom. Sports Unlimited showed the highlights throughout their monthly magazine show, on major channels around the globe.
Four winners at the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships were among Saturday’s runners. Classic (G1) winner and Horse of the Year finalist Accelerate, Dirt Mile (G1) hero City of Light.
Thoroughbred racing’s Hall of Fame was represented on Pegasus Day by such legends as trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Bill Mott and jockeys Javier Castellano, Edgar Prado and John Velazquez; internationally acclaimed rider Frankie Dettori; Luis Saez, two-time defending Championship Meet leading rider; star brothers Jose and Irad Ortiz Jr., both finalists for the Eclipse Award as champion jockey; and Todd Pletcher and Chad Brown, who together have won nine of the last 14 Eclipse Awards as leading trainer.
The undercard included seven stakes, four graded, worth $1.125 million in purses led by the $200,000 W.L. McKnight (G3) and $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3) on turf and the Fred Hooper (G3) and Fasig-Tipton Hurricane Bertie (G3) on the main track.
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