Arrogate earned $7 million for winning the richest Thoroughbred race in history, the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the four-year-old beat out his rival, California Chrome, who has retired to stud.
Ridden by Mike Smith and trained by Bob Baffert, the odds-on favourite won with 4 3/4 lengths between himself and the second placed Shaman Ghost. Ridden by Jose Oritz, Shaman Ghost is the Ontario-bred owned by The Stronach Group, who conceived of and staged the event at the Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
The race presented an opportunity for a rematch between Arrogate and California Chrome, who battled it out in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic, where California Chrome lost by a half a length. This was the final race for the two-time Horse of the Year, who finished 12th, and was later diagnosed with a bone chip in his right knee. He arrived at Taylor Made farm to enjoy his retirement on Sunday.
Twelve spots were available for the race, for which owners paid $1 million each to secure, in the hopes of winning the $7 million purse, claimed by Arrogate’s owner, Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms.
The event was a success for Gulfstream Park which saw a $40 million handle, a record for the track (not counting days it hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships) and $8 million more than last year’s Florida Derby brought to the track.
In addition to handle, the event also attracted a strong television audience. According to NBC, who broadcasted the event, aside from Triple Crown races, it was the most watched afternoon horse race since American Pharoah contested the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015.