Bigger, better and richer than ever, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational returns to Gulfstream Park for the second year.
“Pegasus is so much more than just a great horse race,” says Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of The Stronach Group, a major industry leader in horse racing and gaming businesses. “It’s an overall experience. And this year, we want to make it that much better for our guests.” In addition to raising the prize money to a whopping $16 million (up from $12 million in 2017), The Stronach Group partnered with David Grutman of LIV, Story, Komodo, OTL and Planta to create a jam-packed schedule of activities and fun surprises. Think music, food, fashion and—are you ready for it—fire dancers. Here, Stronach tells Ocean Drive what to expect from the world’s biggest —and richest— thoroughbred race.
Tell us about the increase in prize money.
We wanted to really raise the stake from last year. So this year, there will be a $16 million purse. And we expect to have a full field of 12 of the best horses in the world run in this World Cup. You’re getting great racing with high stakes, phenomenal prizes and lots of energy all around.
The event already draws horse-racing fanatics. How will you be attracting new visitors this year?
We want to cater to those customers that are the hardcore handicappers who love to come and just wager in the race. But we also want to introduce this sport to a whole new generation of fans. And there are a lot of changes we are making to modernize it. With David [Grutman] as our partner, we will be putting on what’s called the LIV Boardwalk. There will be a combination of fashion, entertainment and great food, including a restaurant village featuring [Grutman’s] Komodo. But guests can also expect performances by A-list DJs, other musical talents and a fire performer. I can’t reveal everything, but it’s going to be spectacular!
What packages will you have for guests looking for a truly VIP experience?
Located right next to LIV Boardwalk Village is Ten Palms where guests can purchase packages (starting at $550 per person) for incredible views and top-notch food and beverage. But we really want to convey the feeling that everyone who attends is VIP. There will be so many entertainment elements across the entire event that everyone will have a great experience. One of the nice things about Gulfstream Park is the intimacy—wherever you are, you’ll be right in the middle of the action.
The Pegasus World Cup takes place Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park, 901 S. Federal Highway, Hallandale Beach, 954.454.7000, pegasusworldcup.com.
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF GULFSTREAM PARK