WITH only a month to go to the inaugural $12-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational over 1800m at Gulfstream Park in Miami, Florida, there are a number of wealthy owners trying to get their horses into the race.

US furniture magnate Jim McIngvale, who had been under the false impression he could get his sprint champion Runhappy to fill his $1 million spot in the new race, has ventured down below the equator to find his replacement in Argentina.

McIngvale has privately purchased a three-time group I-winning Argentine-bred runner with the hopes of making the race. Eragon (ARG), a soon-to-be 6-year-old son of Offlee Wild from Express Time, by Shy Tom, arrived in the United States on 19 December – he will spend seven days in quarantine in Miami. He will be trained by Laura Wohlers.

The thinking is sound in that it would appear the best way to go about upsetting both the pre-race favourites California Chrome and Arrogate (if the latter runs) is to attempt it with an unknown commodity no one knows anything about. Chrome and Arrogate have shown on more than one occasion that there does not appear to be a U.S.-trained horse capable of beating one of them, never mind both.

Steve Haskin writes in Bloodhorse: “Such is the perplexing nature of this first Pegasus World Cup. Who will wind up raking in the mega bucks? Which owners have found themselves with a one-million dollar investment now just hoping to break even or minimize their losses, not realizing at its inception that the race could be pretty much a rematch between California Chrome and a then unknown Arrogate? How much grovelling will there be at the feet of Juddmonte Farms and what kind of arrangement would they be interested in?”

Headline photo: “Mattress Mack” McIngvale: “Have a ticket, have a chance!”


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