American Equus Chosen Riders Shine at Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series
Hallandale Beach, Fla. – Jan 28, 2019 – On Saturday, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational was held for the third consecutive year at Gulfstream Park. The Pegasus World Cup Invitational is the richest race in America and this year added the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational to account for $16 million in prize money. Though the weather made for less than desirable conditions, ultimately it was American Equus riders Irad Ortiz Jr. and Javier Castellano who came out on top in both the turf and the track races.
Ortiz Jr. was the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational winner with the Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence owned five-year-old Bricks and Mortar. Running a late race, Bricks and Mortar came from behind to claim the $2,656,250 portion of the $7 million purse. Running fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth in the turf race were American Equus riders Javier Castellano, Tyler Gafflione, Luca Pinici, Florent Geroux, and Edwin Maldonado, respectively.
The highlight race of the day, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, again saw an American Equus rider bring home the win. This time it was Castellano, aboard five-year-old City of Lights, owned by William William Warren Jr. and Suzanne Warren, who crossed the finish line first. Pulling away from favorite and Breeder’s Cup winner Accelerate, City of Lights made it look easy in the rain to claim the $4 million share of the $9 million purse. The fifth, eighth, and tenth spots went to American Equus riders Flavian Prat, Tyler Gaffalione, and Edgar Prado, respectively.
This comes after Ortiz Jr. was named 2018 Outstanding Jockey at the Eclipse Awards on Thursday, January 24. Ortiz Jr. accumulated 346 wins and totaled $27,727,039 in prize money in 2018 riding in American Equus irons. He lead the North American jockeys for winnings and purse earnings for 2018. Mike Smith, also an American Equus rider, had an incredible 2018, taking home the Triple Crown with Justify. He took home 55 wins and made $12 million in earnings.