The triumphant return to Gulfstream Park with Baccarat.
Launched in 2017 as part of 1/ST’s mission to modernize the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing, the Pegasus World Cup has become a premier event on the racing and Miami social circuits attracting top racehorses, racing enthusiasts, celebrities, movers and shakers and top entertainment talent. Saturday, January 27, 2024, brought out a record-breaking sellout crowd of 10,000 sprinkled with A-Listers, influencers, tik-tok stars and grammy award-winning performers.
The picture-perfect weather on Saturday made the commute to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida palatable for South Beach scenesters as well as a Middle East Sheikh from Qatar. The privileged entered inside while the masses sat outside watching on big screen TV’s. For the “insiders” several VIP options were available. It seemed more like getting past the velvet ropes at a trendy Miami nightclub, than entering a racetrack. But then, of course it should, because this event is produced and curated by some of Miami’s finest nightlife and event veterans, Groot Hospitality and Palm Tree Crew. This is the Miami spin that adds the sex-appeal to the atmosphere here.
This mega-venue, Gulfstream Park is owned and operated by a youthful female entrepreneur, Belinda Stronach, Chairman and CEO of 1/ST (pronounced First). “Baccarat, Palm Tree Crew and Groot Hospitality, each leader in luxury lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality bring unique elements that fuse with 1/ST’s world-class Thoroughbred racing and wagering to create an electric event that is truly Miami,” remarked Stronach. The Stronach Group and 1/ST is a world-class technology, entertainment and real estate development company with Thoroughbred racing and pari-mutuel wagering at its core.
The prize money this year was $3 million for the Pegasus World Cup Invitational won by National Treasure, $1 million for the Pegasus World Cup Championship Turf Invitational won by Warm Heart and $500,000 for Pegasus World Cup Filly & Mare Turf Invitational won by Didia. There was a record-setting $47 million wagered in the 2024 Pegasus World Cup. 1/ST BET, the official betting app of the 2024 World Cup, was designed to make betting more accessible and understandable using advanced AI-technology.
Now back to the pretty people and party people of Pegasus. Yes, ladies wore hats and men nice blazers, but all more South Beach style with a sexier tone with more skin showing. A few Barbie boys were spotted wearing pink pastel jackets and women of course showing a bit of T&A. About 1500 guests gathered at the colorful Carousel Club, an open-air tented pavilion with a carousel bar in the center and side bars offering complimentary Whispering Angel rose wine, Don Julio Rosado tequila, Ketel One vodka, Zacapa rum and Celsius flavored energy drinks. Between liquid libations, those in need of some solid sustenance, there were food vender pop-ups like Spris Artisan Pizza for fresh out of the oven slices, Los Altos Taqueria for Mexican bites, and K-Bop Bop for bowls.
Those that opted for a birds-eye view of the races, Flamingo Room was the answer with cuisine choices from Gekko, Komodo, Papi Steak, Swan and Casadonna, all Miami hotspots by Groot Hospitality.
This year presenting sponsor, Baccarat created Baccarat Garden, an exclusive enclave with its own area on the rail that served hand-crafted cocktails in exquisite Baccarat glassware and gourmet bites from Groot Hospitality. The pretty private garden area was decorated with a Thoroughbred horse sculpture in rose gold with a Baccarat Solstice chandelier hanging from its mouth (for sale to benefit Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance valued at $85,000). Proudly on display in this Baccarat VIP lounge were the two Baccarat crystal horse trophy statues 20 inches tall, one in black valued at $47,000 and one clear valued at $39,000. For the winners.
Once the races were over with winners known and trophies collected, the real party was ready to begin. As the sun was setting, it was time for superstar grammy award-winning DJ/songwriter Calvin Harris to set the house on fire. After many hours of being fueled and fed, the VIP crowds were ready to bust a move and get into the groove with the top performers. What a full day at Gulfstream Park from late morning til mid evening, a jam-packed agenda thrilled even the ultimate thrill-seekers.
Pegasus World Cup 2024 presented by Baccarat is now in the books. Until next year….