Horse racing: Florida race ups the ante to world record $16 million


(Reuters) - The world’s richest horse race just got richer, with organizers on Wednesday announcing a $16 million purse for the 2018 Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Florida.

The inaugural race in January paid $12 million, eclipsing the $10 million on offer at the Dubai World Cup.

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum recently told CNN he wanted the Dubai race to regain its status as the richest race.

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"The 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational surpassed our expectations and we believe took the sport of thoroughbred racing to an exciting new level," said Belinda Stronach, president of the Stronach Group.

American colt Arrogate is the reigning champion of both races. He won the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach on Jan. 28, before taking the Dubai World Cup on March 25.

The Florida event, the brainchild of businessman Frank Stronach, is funded largely by a $1 million entry fee paid by the connections of each of the 12 starting horses.

The Stronach Group will contribute the remaining $4 million to the 2018 race, to be held on Jan. 27.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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