CITY Of Light won the $9 million Pegasus World Cup dirt race at Gulfstream Park, Miami on Saturday, running away from Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Accelerate for an emphatic victory in the final race before retirement for both horses.
City of Light and Accelerate were neck-and-neck on the lead as the 12-horse field turned for home on a rain-soaked track and under a very dark, stormy sky. But Accelerate didn’t fire, and City of Light under jockey Javier Castellano simply took off.
Seeking the Soul got up for second. Accelerate wound up third.
City of Light finished with six wins in 11 career starts, with earnings of just under $5.7 million.
“This horse is a gift,” City of Light trainer Michael McCarthy said. “Amazing.”
“I think I rode the best horse in the race,” Castellano said. “Thank God everything worked out.”
Accelerate’s retirement was postponed after the Breeders’ Cup just for a chance to run in the Pegasus. Had Accelerate prevailed, he would have retired with career earnings of nearly $10 million and been ranked among the top 10 thoroughbred earners in North America.
“We’ve enjoyed him for three years,” Accelerate trainer John Sadler said. “We ran a really good race today in tough conditions. … And City of Light is a very good horse also.”