West Virginia Horse Racing Turns Focus To Pegasus World Cup

Written By Dave Bontempo on January 20, 2022 - Last Updated on January 24, 2022
West Virginia Horse Racing Turns Focus To Pegasus World Cup

West Virginia horse racing bettors enjoy two January celebrations.

The first was the launch of the live meet for Hollywood Park at Charles Town Races on Jan 7.

The second is a major attraction they can wager on remotely, the $3 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 29. It originates from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida, and concludes an afternoon gambling festival marked by several significant races.

Mountain State bettors can access the action via TVG.

The headlined Pegasus World Cup race, now in its sixth year, presents a matchup of recent Breeders’ Cup winners Knicks Go and Life Is Good. It takes place at 5:45 p.m. EST, airing on NBC.

The 1 1/8-mile main event wraps up a loaded lineup. These races will be sprinkled throughout a program starting around noon:

  • Pegasus World Cup – 1 1/8 miles dirt, $3 million
  • Pegasus World Cup Turf – 1 1/8 miles turf, $1 million
  • Filly and Mare Turf – 1 1/6 miles, $500,000
  • Inside Information – 7 furlongs, $200,000
  • William McKnight – 1 1/2 miles, $200,000
  • La Prevoyante – 1 1/2 miles, $150,000
  • Fred Hooper – 1 mile, $150,000
Breeders Cup Promo - Get Up to $200 Back If Your First Bet Loses

Betting On The Pegasus World Cup

The Pegasus launched with a purse of $12 million in 2017 and became the richest horse race in the world. The purse was upgraded to $16 million in 2018 but has since been reduced to $3 million.

For context, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the richest American horse race, pays $6 million. The Dubai World Cup on March 26 is now the world’s richest race at $12 million.

For the Pegasus, Knicks Go and Life Is Good will gain the lion’s share of betting attention and favored status.

Knicks Go went wire-to-wire to topple the best horses in the nation and win the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 6. He was the second choice of the bettors at 3-1 for the 1 1/4-mile event.

This has been announced as his last race.

Life Is Good has won five of six, including the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile as a 3-5 favorite. Like Knicks Go, he prevailed in front-running fashion.

The distance of this race is a variable. Life Is Good has never run farther than 1 1/6 miles. A horse’s first trip at a longer distance, even a mere 16th of a mile, is a betting consideration.

The pace is significant too. Knicks Go and Life Is Good love to break to the lead. Will they compromise one another and set the race up for a closer?

Sir Winston, who won the Belmont Stakes in 2019, is the third horse confirmed to start. The rest of the 12-horse field will be selected closer to the event.

Previous Pegasus results

Two races feature repeat winners.

Knicks Go captured the Pegasus in 2021 to launch a banner season that concluded with a Breeders’ Cup Classic victory in November. He is almost sure to be named Horse of the Year when the Eclipse Awards are announced next month.

Colonel Liam, who surged in the final strides to capture the Pegasus World Cup Turf last year, returns to seek a repeat.

Common Horse Racing Bet Types

The most common way to place a bet on a horse race is to pick a horse to win, place or show:

  • Win – Horse must cross the line first.
  • Place – Horse can finish second or first.
  • Show – Horse can finish third, second or first.

Show and place payouts are less than the win line but offer a better chance to collect.

The favorites in this race will be short-priced. Some bettors love to slam these favorites, but many will seek payouts in other areas.


Bettors must pick the first two finishers in exact order. Exacta boxes are highly recommended. They allow the horses to finish in either position (e.g., an 8-9 exacta box pays whether the finishing order is 8-9 or 9-8).

Gamblers can check projected payouts before making this bet. If the favorites run first and second, the exacta may pay $15-20. For many, that’s not good. For some, it’s an invitation to load up on the two best horses in the race.

Either way, knowing the payoff will help determine how large a bet one makes on this outcome.

Trifectas are the top three finishers in exact order, while superfectas are the top four horses.

Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5 or Pick 6

Selecting the winners of three, four, five, or six consecutive races. This type of bet has a low takeout percentage, high value and creates drama from race to race.

Where available, the Rainbow Pick 6 is a 20-cent Gulfstream Park wager and requires the bettor to select the winner of the last six races.

Two common denominators mark most winning tickets. First, the player took multiple entries on some races and at least one produced a long shot. Two, the player was able to muster a “single,” picking just one horse to win a race. This keeps the ticket affordable.

Photo by AP Photo/Gregory Bull
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others. He writes significantly about the emerging world of legal New Jersey sports betting.

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