May 19, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) All 12 spots have been sold for next year's inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park - the world's richest horse race.

The Pegasus World Cup purse tops the $10 million offered for the Dubai World Cup. The Pegasus is for older dirt runners and will replace the Donn Handicap on the stakes schedule of the Florida track.

The slots cost $1 million each, providing funding for the race on Jan. 28, 2017, with $7 million going to the winner.

The race is organized by the Stronach Group, which owns a number of tracks, including Gulfstream, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields. Thursday's announcement came at Pimlico, another Stronach property and the site of Saturday's Preakness.

''We believe this is going to be an industry game changer,'' said Belinda Stronach, chairman of the group.

Each slot owner can designate a horse to run in the race. Owners are free to sell or lease their spots or enter into partnerships and have first right of refusal to purchase a slot in the 2018 renewal.

Slot purchasers include Paul Reddam, owner Kentucky Derby winner and heavy Preakness favorite Nyquist; Coolmore Stud; and California Chrome, LLC.

Jack Wolf, CEO of the Pegasus World Cup, said 14 parties were interested and all 12 purchasers have paid in full. All entrants share equally in 100 percent of the net income from wagering, media rights and sponsorships.

As for the Preakness, there has been speculation the Stronach Group might shift the second leg of the Triple Crown from its traditional home in north Baltimore to its Laurel Race Course between Baltimore and Washington.

''We are working with the industry and the local community to decide what is best for the Preakness going forward.'' Stronach said. ''We want to make sure it remains within the state of Maryland. It's an awesome outstanding race that brings a lot to the state of Maryland.''

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