On Saturday, January 23, 2021, the fifth running of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series was held at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. Gulfstream Park was transformed by 1/ST into a socially distant entertainment experience welcoming 1,500 fans (15% of typical Pegasus World Cup capacity) to the race track for the first time since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, 1/ST, hosted celebrity guests including, Amar’e Stoudemire (Six-time NBA All-Star Player and NBA’s Brooklyn Nets Assistant Coach);Tyga(Rapper, Singer & TV Personality); Jasmine Sanders(Sports Illustrated Cover Model);Denis Savard(NHL Hall of Famer); Brian Poli-Dixon (Artist & Former NFL Player); David Grutman (Groot Hospitality Founder); Isabela Rangel Grutman (Model); Craig Robins; Jonathan Cheban; Marysol Patton; Suzy Buckley Woodward; Bradley Theodore; Dana, Gary, Myles & Brett Shear; Hannah Selleck; and Christy & David Martin, among others.
Colonel Liam owned by Robert and Lawana Low, ridden by the Award-winning Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and trained by Todd Pletcher, won the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1). Odds favorite, Knicks Go owned by Korea Racing Authority, ridden by Award-winning jockey Joel Rosario and trained by Brad Cox, won the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and an automatic entry into the 2021 $20 million Saudi Cup. Belinda Stronach presented the winning owners of the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Invitational with crystal Pegasus trophies provided by the official trophy partner, Baccarat. The winning trainers and jockeys from the Pegasus World Cup Championship Series raceswere presented with Championship Rings designed by local Miami jeweler, BooDaddy Diamonds.
Despite the limited crowd in attendance, total handle for the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series topped $40.7 million dollars, the third-highest handle in the race’s history, due in part to the success of the 1/ST BET app. Part of the 1/ST TECHNOLOGY suite of handicapping and betting products, 1/ST BET uses AI-technology to deliver a user-friendly mobile wagering experience that suits everyone from the experienced horseplayer to the first-time bettor.
“The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series was held under much different circumstances than all those that have come before it, but it did not disappoint,” said Belinda Stronach, Chairman and President, 1/ST. “Today, thanks to the cooperation of the horsemen, our many partners, guests in attendance, and the 1/ST team, the Pegasus World Cup successfully blended a day of safe, world-class Thoroughbred horse racing with a socially distant entertainment experience setting a new standard for events in our sport during the COVID-19 era.”
This year, 1/ST again teamed up with Groot Hospitality to create a socially distant Pegasus Swan Garden pop-up offering guests an exclusive VIP experience in a “Tulum meets Swan” setting. 1/ST also teamed up with Red Rooster Overtown to curate a menu of Southern classics and elevated sips for the racing connections in Gulfstream Park’s Flamingo Room. Notorious Pink Rosé, Evian Natural Spring Water and Ferraelle Naturally Sparkling Water kept guests cool under the race day sunshine.
Musical performances took place both at the track and off-site. At Gulfstream Park, Yoli Mayor, the Miami-born semi-finalist on Season 12 of America’s Got Talent on NBC, performed the national anthem, and Jakissa Taylor Semple, aka DJ Kiss, provided the beats in the trackside Pegasus Swan Garden. As part of NBC’s Pegasus World Cup in-broadcast performance Aloe Blacc, the singer-songwriter of hits including “I Need a Dollar,” “The Man,” and “Wake Me Up,” performed live from Red Rooster Overtown as a tribute to Miami’s diverse and vibrant culture.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 1/ST has developed and implemented industry-leading COVID-19 safety measures at its tracks and facilities across the United States. The 2021 Pegasus World Cup implemented strict social distancing protocols and new health and safety guidelines for riders and spectators. On-premise attendance for this year’s event was reduced to 15% to allow all guests to socially distance accordingly. Thermal sensing cameras at all entrances checked guest temperatures, and masks were required. Cleaning protocols provided regular sanitizing of public spaces, and cashless wagering via 1/ST BET eliminated the handling of currency.
The medication-free format, for both the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, is consistent with the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities (IFHA) standards and reflects the commitment that 1/ST made in April 2019 to eliminate Lasix in all graded stakes races in 2021.
As part of 1/ST’s mission to prioritize the care and safety of Thoroughbred racehorses before, during, and after their careers, the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series recognized the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance as a charitable partner of choice with a $50,000 donation.
Keep up with the Pegasus World Cup on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @PegasusWorldCup #PegasusWorldCup #RunWithUs.
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