On Saturday, (as most of you are aware) the fifth running of the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series was held at Gulfstream Park in South Florida.
The Stronach Group which operates Gulfstream, transformed the course and grounds 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.
COLONEL LIAM, ridden by Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and trained by Todd Pletcher, Won the $1 million dollar Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1). While KNICKS GO, with Joel Rosario aboard and trained by Brad Cox, Won the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1), which also gained him an automatic entry into the 2021 $20 million Saudi Cup.
Despite the limited crowd in attendance, the 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.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Stronach Group 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 eliminated the handling of currency.
“The 2021 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series was held under much different circumstances then all those that have come before it, but it did not disappoint,” said the Stronach Group Chairman and President Belinda Stronach.
She went on to say: “Today, thanks to the cooperation of the horsemen, our many partners, guests in attendance and the Stronach 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.”
We at the Daily Racing Blog are hopeful that NYRA and Saratoga will try something similar this summer. Finger crossed.