The Pegasus World Cup Wants to Be the Hottest Party in Horse Racing

This isn’t your grandad’s horse race. With stands full of buzzy celebs and performances by Grammy-winning musicians, Pegasus World Cup Presented by Baccarat cemented its place as the biggest party in thoroughbred racing at their annual event over the weekend in Miami.

The races drew celebs including Calvin Harris who performed at the trackside after party, TikTok sensation Alix Earle, singer Camilla Cabello, Puerto Rican rapper and singer Anuel AA, Camila Coelho, Latin superstar Prince Royce, as well as Miami locals Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who were spotted at the after party with friend and restaurateur David Grutman.

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HALLANDALE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 27: Alix Earle attends the 2024 Pegasus World Cup Presented By Baccarat at Gulfstream Park on January 27, 2024 in Hallandale, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for 1/ST)
Alix Earle at the 2024 Pegasus World Cup Presented By Baccarat. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for 1/ST)

As the finest thoroughbred horses went head-to-head in a race to take away the Baccarat Pegase crystal trophy and a prize purse worth $1 million, attendees dressed to the nines with a unique Miami twist on racing style — equestrian elegance meets tropical glamour. More than 12,000 spectators spread across stands, a trackside Baccarat VIP Lounge featuring, of course, crystal chandeliers and glassware, and the swanky Flamingo Room with live music, signature cocktails created by an in-house mixologist and endless food from Miami’s hottest restaurants including Komodi, Swan, Gekko and Papi Steak.

Earle documented her day at the races to her more than 6 million followers on TikTok, from the decadent food offerings to her losing bets. Most nerve-wracking, she said, was her role giving the famous “Riders Up” declaration for the last race. “I was really nervous doing that,” she quipped. While she lost quite a few bets, she said that she made it up in the end by picking the winning horse, National Treasure. She celebrated on the packed dance floor dancing and singing along as Harris performed “until my feet were bleeding.”

Belinda Stronach, chairwoman and chief executive officer of 1/ST, which owns both the venue, Gulfstream Park, as well as the race, has a very clear aim: to modernize the sport of horse racing and attract new audiences. “We bring together fashion, food, hospitality, all these incredible brand partners together on one day for an amazing party,” Stronach said.

HALLANDALE, FLORIDA - JANUARY 27: View of the Pegasus World Cup 2024 Baccarat Trophy at the Baccarat Lounge during the 2024 Pegasus World Cup Presented By Baccarat at Gulfstream Park on January 27, 2024 in Hallandale, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for 1/ST)
The Pegasus World Cup 2024 Baccarat Trophy. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for 1/ST)

In seven years since the race’s launch it has carved out a unique niche on the global sports and entertainment calendar — a blend of sport and luxury that caters to a global audience of racing enthusiasts and celebrities alike. Stronach’s mission to evolve the culture of horse racing is similar, she said, to creating a culture like “the NBA, F1 or tennis do. We want to compete with that. We want to create something that brings together fashion, food, hospitality for a unique party.” She also added one of their core values that has brought more youth into the sport is a commitment that lasts beyond the party. “We care a lot about the health and integrity of the horses and riders, a value we share with young generations of spectators. We have the highest standards in safety and that’s really at our core.”

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