On Saturday, January 25th, 10am – 10pm. Tickets.
There is, quite simply, nothing more strikingly beautiful than a thoroughbred racehorse. With commanding height, peaceful eyes and lustrous coats, the world’s finest pure-bred ponies capture hearts with their carved muscular brawn, stunning acceleration and graceful gallop. And for the past 3 years, only one pinnacle event has pedestaled the horse-as-god fairytale we didn’t know we needed – The Pegasus World Cup, the Kentucky Derby of Miami, where the visceral thrills of horse racing meets the electricity of Miami’s legendary nightlife, entertainment and runway fashion.
Riding the lightning, Pegasus has again partnered with local empresario David Grutman’s Groot Hospitality to program the expansive Pegasus LIV Stretch Village, an exclusive trackside club for only 1,500 partiers and race fans. While general admission to the Village starts at only $60, the LIV Stretch SKY Deck, which offers more birdseye views of the action and premium open bar all day, is priced at a princely $300. But that’s not all – 2020’s musical lineup is a case study in feelgood, hands-in-the-air raucousness – performances by Nelly (9:15pm), T-Pain (6pm), DJ Cassidy (6:30pm) and Martin 2 Smoove (8:30pm) just may burn the Village down.
Horses make you hungry? New this year to Pegasus World Cup, the Naughty Fork Tasting Village will feature curated eats by foodie social media sensation Sam Shnur. Moreover, Grutman’s famous culinary destinations Komodo, Swan, Bar Bevy, and Papi Steak will also be popping up upstairs at Gulfstream Park’s glass-tastic VIP-only Flamingo Room, featuring the most commanding views of the track, an expansive bar, huge video screens and sweet, sweet AC. For ballers only, those dining options can be found here.
But it’s the all-new Runway On The Rail Style Competition that will make you do (multiple) a tequila shot(s) and strut your god- or surgeon-given stuff. Pegasus invites you – yes, you, ticketed guests – to ascend into the ether and walk the runway in your “race day finest” for a chance to be crowned the “Pegasus World Cup Style Icon.” Local tastemakers NBC 6’s Kelly Blanco, Hadley Henriette of Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour, and Suzy Buckley Woodward of Shapoh will be judging. Bring your A-game or you will be banished – be gone with you! But what if your mind-boggling fashion sense, crowd-pleasing attitude, uncommon walking abilities, enviable bone structure and sneaky Venmo bribery actually propels you to a win? First Prize gets you a Nini Jewels Aya Collection Starfish diamond ring valued at $18,000. Whoa. Second Prize? A lavish, $1,500 shopping spree courtesy of Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour. This is serious. Rummage your closet immediately. You’re a man? You’re invited to strut. Identify as an Arabian Stallion or Spirit? That’s fine, too. Participants must register The Flamingo Room Saturday at 12pm sharp, with runway competition commencing at 12:45.
To investigate the details of the Pegasus World Cup Runway On The Rail Style Competition, MiMi sat down for an exclusive interview with professional equestrian Nicole Walker of The Stronach Group, which owns Gulfstream Park and Pegasus World Cup.
Pegasus is again partnering with David Grutman of Groot Hospitality for the PEGASUS LIV STRETCH VILLAGE. What about the village adds to the race day experience? And do you have any crazy stories or memories from the village or celebrity performances from years’ past?
The Pegasus LIV Stretch Village always delivers an amazing entertainment experience! I love the vibe and seeing a new generation of fans having a great time – people dancing on the tables, people singing along, the professional dancers in outlandish costumes. Snoop’s Riders Up call last year was legendary when he shot Snoop Dollars into the crowd! Pure pandemonium. The lights, the sound, the theatrics – I’ve never been to a racetrack before with this kind of vibe. We’ve had Post Malone, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, Mark Ronson and so many other A-list performers and celebrities attend. It just keeps getting better every year.
2020 marks the debut of Runway on the Rail Style Competition, where ticketed guests can walk the runway to realized their dreams of becoming the Pegasus World Cup Style Icon. What’s it going to take for someone to win?
I think by being untraditional, not being classic, but being unexpected and totally fresh. I’m envisioning lots of color and being daring as keys to winning. Pegasus is truly reflective of the sexy, modern and fresh Miami vibe. When it comes to what to wear, there are no rules and we absolutely don’t want there to be any! We welcome everyone to participate! I also love that we have seen the evolution of style with the gentlemen in attendance. The Style Icon runway show starts at 12:45 but registration is at 12 noon. Don’t be late!
The Rail Style Competition judges are some of Miami’s most beautiful and stylish women – NBC 6’s Kelly Blanco, Hadley Henriette of Neiman Marcus, and Suzy Buckley Woodward of Shapoh.com. In terms of a discerning eye, what does each of those ladies individually bring to the table?
We are so lucky to have such a stylish and well-respected group of ladies on-hand to help judge our first-ever Runway on The Rail! Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour has been a tremendous partner for us, and Hadley Henriette is a true tastemaker with a tremendous knowledge of fashion, couture and world-class style. Suzy Buckley Woodward has been recognized in publications across the world for trailblazing the modern race-day look – she is renowned on the international Thoroughbred racing scene for her modern take on traditional hats and fascinators, and she sells her curated hats through her website Shapoh.com. Kelly Blanco is so beloved in the Miami community – she has a great young, fresh perspective. All three will help identify a Pegasus World Cup Style Icon that is truly representative of Miami itself!
What makes the Pegasus World Cup so special in the world of thoroughbred racing?
The young Miami vibe! Unlike, say, The Kentucky Derby, which is very traditional, our event is so progressive, vibrant and entertainment oriented. Since we launched in 2017, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has become one of the premier events on the Thoroughbred racing calendar, blending entertainment, innovation and horse racing like no other event of its kind. We’ve completely captured the attention of the racing industry, and celebrities, and fans from around the world. We’ve always been about innovation. This year, the format for the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and Pegasus World Cup Invitational will put horse and rider safety at the forefront, showcasing horses running free of medication for the lucrative $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational and $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational stakes races. Better yet, we will also be donating 2% of the total $4 million purse to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance – of which I am a board member – to support race horses beyond the track. I am really proud of that.
We hear bold-faced names in the world of professional equestrianism like Eve Jobs, Georgina Bloomberg and Jennifer Gates. But what about the horses? Take us inside the fabulous life of these million dollar Thoroughbred horses that travel by private jet. What’s your personal relationship with horses like?
I’m a showjumper on the Canadian Equestrian Team and love horses – it’s a very special bond between humans and horses. And while there are many glamorous aspects of life for these beautiful animals who travel the world putting on shows at amazing events, ultimately it’s about everyone respecting the hard work the horses put in, and our personal relationships with the horses, who are themselves naturally competitive. My heart is so attached to them. Behind each horse is a team of people who truly love and care for them – the owners, trainers, riders, and groomers. I spend time between Toronto and Wellington, FL, and travel to Europe, South America, and throughout the U.S. and Canada. My main Canadian team horse is named Falco Van Spievelt and my other horse is named Excellent B. My love of horses runs deep because horses are incredible animals – each with their own unique personalities. They are warm and loving and my favorite place to be is with my horses. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more satisfying than cleaning the horses and cleaning stalls, and just being in the moment.
IMPORTANT PEGASUS WORLD CUP RACE DAY DETAILS
Race day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, with its rollercoaster of spectator screams and bet-fueled emotions during 10 prior races, culminates with two of the hottest matchups: the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational, run on turf (read: grass) precisely at 4:57pm with a $1 million purse; followed by the big, big race – the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, run on dirt precisely at 5:34pm with a whopping $3 million purse. Televised internationally by sports behemoth NBC Sports, this uniquely Miami event isn’t a gnat, it’s a whale.