How to watch Pegasus World Cup 2021: TV channel, live stream, start time

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The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series comes to Gulfstream Park on Saturday, Jan. 23 (NBC, 4:30-6 p.m. ET). Pegasus continues to lead the industry with its entirely medication-free format, and this year, the winner of the $3 million Pegasus World Cup will receive automatic entry into the $20 million Saudi Cup. Stream the Pegasus World Cup here.

The initial round of 12 invites and four also eligibles for the $3 million dirt race included last year’s winner Mucho Gusto, 2020 Malibu Stakes (G1) winner Charlatan and a number of past Kentucky Derby contenders. After connections decided to accept or decline their invitations, two additional horses were extended invites and two were bumped up from the also eligible list.

What is the Pegasus World Cup? 

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series is a pair of invite-only Grade 1 races held annually at Gulfstream Park since 2017 (originally only offering the dirt race before adding the turf division two years ago). The $3 million Pegasus World Cup runs 1 1/8 miles on the dirt, and the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf runs 1 3/16 miles on the turf.

Both races are for horses aged 4 years and older and are invitation-only. Since 2020, the two races are run entirely medication free, which included Lasix, a commonly used anti-bleeding medication.

When is the Pegasus World Cup?

The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series will take place on Saturday, January 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET.

Where is the Pegasus World Cup?

The Pegasus World Cup Invitational Series is held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Gulfstream Park is also home to several Road to the Kentucky Derby prep races, including the Florida Derby (G1), the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Holy Bull (G2).

How can I watch the 2021 Pegasus World Cup?

NBC is home to the 2021 Pegasus World Cup, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, in the NBC Sports app and on NBCSports.com before, during and after the two headlining races. Stream the Pegasus World Cup here.

Who won the Pegasus World Cup last year in 2020? 

Last year, Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s favorite Mucho Gusto won the fourth edition of the Pegasus World Cup with Eclipse Award-winner jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard. Mucho Gusto was invited back to the 2021 race but was later retired due to a soft tissue injury.

Mike Maker’s Zulu Alpha, jockeyed by Tyler Gaffalione, overtook Aidan O’Brien’s early favorite Magic Wand (IRE) to win the $1 million turf race. Zulu Alpha is currently out of action due to an ongoing ankle issue.

Watch the 2021 Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. 

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.

Kentucky Derby modifies qualifying, elevates prep races

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Churchill Downs has modified paths to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks, awarding points to the top five finishers in qualifying races and increasing significance for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and late prep season events.

Most Derby prep races during the qualifying series for 3-year-olds will award points on a 10-4-3-2-1 sliding scale after using a 10-4-2-1 system since 2013. The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, run during the season-ending championships on Nov. 4 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, will increase points from 20-8-4-2 to 30-12-9-6-3 to differentiate the Grade I event from others during prep season.

Select prep races for the 20-horse Derby field have elevated points from a 10-4-2-1 scale to 20-8-6-4-2 to increase their importance and motivate hopefuls to begin their 3-year-old campaigns earlier in the season, track officials stated in a release.

“We believe these modifications adhere to and amplify our goal of assembling the finest group of 3-year-olds in the starting gate for a race at the classic distance of 1\ miles on the first Saturday in May,” Churchill Downs vice president/general manager Mike Ziegler said.

The 149th Kentucky Derby and Oaks for fillies will be held on May 5-6, 2023. Derby qualifying season begins with Saturday’s $300,000, Grade III Iroquois for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

The point changes apply to Oaks qualifiers.

Elevated Derby preps include the Lecomte at Fair Grounds in Louisiana; Southwest at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas; Withers at Aqueduct in New York; Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park in Florida; Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita in California; Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs; and John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park in Kentucky.