Pegasus World Cup to be Lasix-free in 2020

by | Dec 15, 2019 | Breaking, National news, Racing

Gun Runner

Gun Runner, 2018 Pegasus World Cup winner, dazzled in winning the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Photo by Ting Shen/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup.

THE STRONACH GROUP ISSUED THE FOLLOWING RELEASE TODAY:

The Stronach Group, owners of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, announced today that the January 25, the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) will provide new and exciting opportunities for horse owners to showcase their equine athletes by competing free of any medications on race day.

This year’s medication-free format, for both the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and will go one step further by giving back two-percent of the purse winnings to Thoroughbred aftercare.

“We are investing in the future of our sport by creating new opportunities for horsemen and horses to run without medication,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, The Stronach Group. “The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series has always been about innovation. The new and exciting medication-free format, along with giving back to horse care, showcases the leadership our industry is taking together to evolve beyond past achievements to create a more modern, sustainable and safer sport.”

“The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series is evolving toward a single goal – to provide a level of safety deserving of every horse and every rider, reflecting the new standard of care, on race day and beyond, while providing a lucrative opportunity for horse owners.” said Craig Fravel, Chief Executive Officer, Racing, The Stronach Group.

The Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series aims to attract the world’s best horses and riders, including top tier Grade 1 stakes horses, owners, trainers and jockeys. Owners of horses age 4 and up from North America and beyond will be invited to participate for their chance to showcase their medication-free horses and the opportunity to compete for their share of $4 million USD in purse winnings. All entry fees for the 2020 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be waived.

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational will be run on the dirt at 1 1/8 miles and will offer a $3 million total purse with 2 percent of the purse donated to Thoroughbred aftercare. The Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational will be run on the turf at 1 3/16 miles and will offer a $1 million purse with 2 percent of that purse also donated to Thoroughbred Aftercare. The $4 million total purse contribution is entirely provided by The Stronach Group.

The Stronach Group, in collaboration with industry partners from around the country, has been at the forefront of unprecedented reforms touching all areas of the sport of Thoroughbred racing to prioritize the safety and welfare of horses and riders above all else.

“Running the Pegasus World Cup Invitational and the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational medication-free is a stepping stone to what will be the eventual phase out of the use of race day medications for all graded stakes races by 2021 and puts this event squarely in line with the changing culture of our sport,” said Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer, The Stronach Group. “The health and safety of our athletes, equine and human, are our top priority.”

Dr. Benson will be overseeing the Pegasus World Cup race day with an expanded team of veterinarians to monitor all horses, including those entered on the undercard races, in the barns, during training and on race day. The house rules at Gulfstream Park, are consistent with IFHA standards and reflect the rules in place at other Stronach Group properties, including Santa Anita Park. In addition to stringent out-of-competition testing and enhanced medication protocols, including a 14-day stand down on intra articular injections and a 48-hour stand down of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory injections, the complete transparency of veterinary records for the 14-day period leading up to the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series races will be required for all horses.

The 2020 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series will offer a world-class level of safety and care for horses and riders along with a unique and fully engaging experience for our fans and guests at the race track and online. Since it was launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar. It has captured the attention of the racing industry, celebrities and fans from around the world and has featured some of the finest international and domestic runners, including Arrogate (2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), Gun Runner (2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion), City of Light (2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Champion) and Bricks and Mortar (inaugural 2019 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Champion).

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