It’s been said that jockeys are pound-for-pound the strongest athletes in the world.
Perhaps it’s only fitting, then, that UFC champ Conor McGregor is training to become one. Or so the 28-year-old Irish brawler claims in comedic ads promoting the upcoming $12 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
“I’ll be competing in and winning the Pegasus World Cup Invitational,” McGregor boasts in the first of four ads. “That’s right. I’m gonna be first.”
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That would take some doing. Though he’s the reigning UFC champ in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions McGregor would have to shed some 40 pounds off his 155-lb. frame to even make weight as a jockey.
He would also need to learn to ride one of the half-ton thoroughbreds -- no small matter.
“How hard can horse racing even be?” the swaggering McGregor says in the ad. “I’m the greatest at whatever I decide to do.”
From a pure racing aspect, Gulfstream probably doesn’t need a pitchman to tout what will be the richest race in thoroughbred history. The Jan. 28 stakes is expected to draw the sport’s two current kingpins -- California Chrome and Arrogate -- in addition to 10 other starters.
And $12 million is a big chunk of change -- $10 million more than what’s paid out in the Kentucky Derby.
No wonder, when the dapper McGregor was asked what gentlemen should wear to the race, he quipped: “A fat wallet.”