Total handle on the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Florida was $15.68 million when including all multirace wagers that ended with this race, according to Equibase's official chart.
The handle figure far exceeds the $3.1 million bet on last year's Donn Handicap, a longtime Gulfstream wintertime stakes race that was canceled this year because its conditions resembled those of the Pegasus. But the handle was also well below that of the $28.2 million bet on the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic, which, like the Pegasus, also featured California Chrome and Arrogate.
Total betting in the win pool was $4.7 million, according to the chart, compared with $7.7 million in the Breeders' Cup Classic last year and $866,710 in the Donn Handicap last year.
Handle on a late pick four ending in the Pegasus with a $1 million guaranteed pool was $2.02 million. A pick five ending in the Pegasus had a handle of $1.1 million.
Gulfstream said in a release that all-sources handle on the entire 12-race card Saturday was $40.2 million, a record for a single program at the track. The previous record was set on a 14-race card on Florida Derby day last year, when bettors wagered $32.1 million on the program, Gulfstream said.
Under the Pegasus conditions, the 12 entities that each bought a $1 million starting slot will share in some of the revenue from the handle. The percentage that the slot holders are entitled to has not been made public, and officials of The Stronach Group, the owner of Gulfstream, have not responded to inquiries from Daily Racing Form seeking information on the rate.
The Stronach Group renegotiated many of its simulcast contracts to get betting outlets to pay a higher rate for the Pegasus, according to simulcast officials.
Generally, racing officials estimate that a racetrack retains approximately 5 percent of all money bet on a race. Applying that to the Pegasus betting total, including all multirace wagers ending in the race, Gulfstream retained approximately $784,000 from the race. Split 12 ways, that amounts to approximately $65,000 a share.
The Pegasus was won by Arrogate, a Juddmonte horse who started in a slot bought by the international racing and breeding operation Coolmore. The first-place purse was $7 million.
Second place, worth $1.75 million, went to Shaman Ghost, who is owned by Frank Stronach, the owner of Gulfstream and The Stronach Group. Third place, with a purse of $1 million, went to Neolithic, who is owned by Starlight Racing, the racing partnership headed by Jack Wolf, who was hired by Stronach to manage aspects of the Pegasus.
Prior to the race, The Stronach Group said it planned to sell approximately 12,000 tickets to Gulfstream on the day of the Pegasus, with prices starting at $100 and rising to a top price of $765.