New Idea For High-Stakes Race Floated

As a racehorse owner, if you could pay one million dollars to secure your horse a spot on the starting gate in a $12 million stakes race, would you do it?

An article by the Lexington Courier-Journal explains that Frank Stronach has proposed such an idea for an annual $12 million race for Thoroughbreds at either Santa Anita or Gulfstream Park.

The piece states that Stronach has pitched the idea at the Thoroughbred Owner Conference and that the race would annually run in January, thus it would not conflict with other high-end stakes engagements for the runners.

Stronach has been cited as saying that the annual race – dubbed the ‘Pegasus Championship,’ and to be contested at a distance of one and one-quarter miles – is to drum up more "excitement and worldwide attention for Thoroughbred racing."

The race would see 12 ‘shareholders’ – racehorse owners – put up $1 million in order to secure a spot in the starting gate. A shareholder can, essentially, lease their spot in the race to other horse owners if they do not have a horse to contest the race.

A release regarding the Pegasus Championship states that original shareholders have first option to contest future editions of the race. Also, the Stronach Group would guarantee that 70 per cent of the income generated from the race would go to the owners (sponsorship, handle, media rights). Additionally, owners that pony up the $1 million would be leasing the racing facility to contest the race.

(With files from the Lexington Courier-Journal)

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