The Road to Kentucky Handicapping Contest, featuring the top 3-year-olds headed toward the first Saturday in May, continues each Saturday through May 2 but takes an occasional diversion on weeks when there are no Kentucky Derby prep races. This coming Saturday is an example when the contest with a $300 weekly top prize will feature the Pegasus World Cup card at Gulfstream Park, the equivalent of a road trip pull over to the world’s largest frying pan or biggest ball of twine, a roadside attraction well worth a stop. Canterbury will pay the best of the best to join in.
The 12-race card is void of a Derby prep thus no double-point contest race but there is plenty of action with the main event being the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes backed by eight additional stakes. The Pegasus replaced the Grade I Donn Handicap, a longtime fixture at Gulfstream. The Donn was won twice by the great Cigar in 1995 and 1996 and then by Skip Away in ’97. For decades the Donn attracted the top older horses in training.
In 2017 came the Pegasus with the Grade I status of the Donn being passed along. The ante was upped. Participants paid $1 million to run for a $12 million purse, at that time the richest in the world. Arrogate won the inaugural Pegasus followed by Gun Runner in 2018 when the purse was increased to $16 million. In 2019 the purse was $9 million and the 1 1/8 mile dirt race was won by City of Light. This year the purse was reduced to $3 million and will have a 10-horse field after it was announced that Omaha Beach and Spun To Run are to be scratched.
Last season, the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational was run for the first time, replacing the Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf Stakes. It offered a $7 million purse with Bricks and Mortar pulling away to win by more than two lengths. On Saturday the purse will be $1 million.
Find the entire Road to Kentucky schedule online, review the rules and check out the prize money. On Saturday, entry deadline is 10:30 AM.
For a look at last week’s results, click here.