The Stronach Group’s inaugural running of the $12 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational was held on Saturday, January 28th, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, to a crowd of more than 12,000 fans.
Total handle on the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Florida was $15.68 million when including all multi-race wagers that ended with this race, according to Equibase’s official chart.
Bob Baffert (trainer Arrogate, 1st): “Yeah. I thought he might be on the lead. You know Mike, he was pretty comfortable there.
“He broke well, as well as he could. He just ran his race. I kept
waiting for the matchup with Chrome, but he just didn’t bring his race
today. It’s too bad.”
“We expected to win, but he got a little tired at the end., He probably
needed it badly.”
Mark Casse (trainer Noble Bird, 6th): “We did all we could do. That’s the only way he can run. What a good horse Arrogate is. We were setting some fractions and he was just sitting there lapping.”
Todd Pletcher (trainer Keen Ice, 4th, and Neolithic, 3rd): “For Neolithic we wanted to establish some position into the first turn and we wanted possibly to make the lead if he could the right way. When he didn’t we thought he got into the spot we needed to be. I thought he ran really well.”
“Keen Ice got a little further back than we wanted. It seemed like it took him awhile to get on track. Finally in the last eighth of a mile he finished up well. It was one of things we were concerned about him was Gulfstream at a mile and eighth is probably not his perfect distance. He really is a mile and a quarter horse. It takes him awhile to get going. But I think he ran really well.”
“The winner is very good. We were hoping to maybe beat him to the punch the first turn and take a little dirt on him. But he got into a good spot and Mike [Smith] was able to move him out in the clear on the backside. He was too good.”
Dale Romans (trainer Prayer for Relief, 10th): “I think that we watched a fabulous horse race. My horse is an old horse who tried. He ran around there and it looks like he came back good. We knew we were up against it but bigger than that, this thing worked what Frank [Stronach] did. It’s one of the most enjoyable days I’ve ever participated in in horse racing.”
Art Sherman (trainer California Chrome, 9th): “It looks like he scrambled away from there and couldn’t get his footing. It looked like he wasn’t getting a hold of the racetrack, like maybe his feet were getting out from under him. I don’t know why, he worked good over it. I need to talk to Victor and go back to the barn to make sure he’s alright.”
“It’s been an unbelievable journey with him, even in defeat. You have such a good run. Not every horse can keep the record up like he has.”
Victor Espinoza (jockey California Chrome, 9th): “He faded by the half-mile pole. I was pretty much done by that point, but the whole race he never really got into the race. I sent him from there to get position but I didn’t want to get too wide, and I was perfect. I was just third and so nice and at the five-eighths pole I didn’t feel like I had that power. There wasn’t enough gas in there. He was empty. I hope he’s OK. It looks like he’s OK. He might have bled or something, who knows what happened. The main thing is he came out of the race good, sound. There’s nothing we can do. Honestly, there’s nothing I can tell you I could have done different. He was just empty today. At the first turn I thought I was good but when we hit the five-eighths, he just completely shut down. I just couldn’t keep up with the ones in front of me. He just started backing up and just wasn’t the same. It looks like he’s OK. Sound-wise I think he’s good. He’s done a lot. Sometimes he’s going to throw in one of those bad races and one of those bad times was today.”
Jose Ortiz (jockey Shaman Ghost, 2nd): “I had a perfect trip. That’s what we wanted to do, kind of be in the second group mid-pack and it worked out well. When I saw California Chrome at the half-mile pole getting done, I knew I had a good chance to run second or maybe win, but Arrogate drew off so I knew I got second. My horse was running really, really hard underneath of me and I couldn’t get even close. In the end, [Arrogate jockey] Mike [Smith] wrapped up but it was a huge effort by my horse. I’m really, really impressed with how he ran. It was my first time on him and it was a great training job by Mr. Jerkens. I have to thank Mr. [Frank] Stronach and Jimmy for giving me this opportunity.”
Luis Saez (jockey War Envoy, 11th): “My horse stumbled when he broke from the gate. He tried to break so fast, he’d been running on the turf and that’s why he stumbled. He made a nice move at the 5/8 pole, but that was it.”
Mike Smith (jockey Arrogate, 1st): “Once I got out going into the far turn I knew we were going to be very tough to beat. He had a lot of run today and I was very happy. As far as winning the world’s richest race, I’m absolutely numb.
John Velazquez (jockey Neolithic, 3rd): “Perfect. He didn’t break as good as I wanted and I had to use him. I put him in a nice position going into the first turn. He was pretty good on the first turn but once we got to the backstretch he got into the bridle and that was it. He ran as good as he could today.”
“The inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational is on the books and what a day!” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “The energy and excitement of the race of the decade, between the winner Arrogate and fan favorite California Chrome, was matched only by an incredible South Florida day of entertainment, celebrities, fashion and fun.”
Guests included Aaron Paul, Bobby Flay, Carson Kressley, Charlie Crist, DJ Cassidy, DJ Ruckus, Eddie Olczyk, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gene Simmons, Hannah Bronfman, Ingrid Hoffmann, Juanes, Karolina Kurkova, Kelly Klein, Ki-Jana Carter, Laffit Pincay III, Maria Menounos, Matt Iseman, Mike Ditka, Mike Tirico, Nic Roldan, Patrick Knapp Schwarzenegger, Randy Moss, Ray Allen, Ray Lewis, Thomas Rhett, Tony Dorsett, Trombone Shorty, Tyrod Taylor, Usher and Vanessa Hudgens, among others.
Champion Arrogate, with Jockey Mike Smith, proved why he is the world’s number one horse. Arrogate won the richest race ever run by 4 3/4 lengths over Shaman Ghost, and the only reason it was that close is because Smith took his foot off the gas long before the wire.