Arrogate powered through the final stages of the initial Pegasus World Cup on Saturday, easily winning the $7 million first prize.
Shaman Ghost was second and Neolithic finished third.
Arrogate was running so well, jockey Mike Smith admitted he let his horse “gear down” over the final 100 yards.
“Another incredible performance,” Smith said, referring to this victory and Arrogate’s win in November’s epic Breeders’ Cup Classic. “He’s got some turn of foot; he’s got some stride.”
There were 12 horses running, and their owners paid $1 million each as part of the richest pot in horse racing history. The new race ends the two-decade reign of the $10 million Dubai World Cup atop the prestige stakes.
Many eyes were transfixed on top-ranked Arrogate and No. 2 California Chrome, who was seeking revenge in his final race before retirement. The 2014 Kentucky Derby winner was chased down by the newcomer at the Breeders’ Cup.
But California Chrome was never a factor and finished well back.
“Chrome just didn’t fire his race,” Smith said.
A total of 12,000 racegoers were expected to attend the race at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, just north of Miami.