Karolina Kurkova, Usher, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Vanessa Hudgens

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for The Stronach Group

And they're off!

More than 12,000 fans—and a slew of A-listers—arrived at Gulfstream Park in Hallendale Beach, Fla., over the weekend for the inaugural The Pegasus World Cup Invitational. Among the notable names in attendance: Vanessa Hudgens, Usher, Aaron Paul, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Karolina Kurkova and E! News' own Maria Menounos.

This wasn't just your average sporting event. With a $12 million purse at stake, it was also the world's richest thoroughbred horse race. Previously, the Dubai World Cup, which boasted a $10 million purse, held the title.

"I thought it would be fun to pop over," Hudgens told E! News. "It's such an amazing sport. I'm excited to see the best of the best doing their thing."


Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for The Stronach Group

Belinda Stronach, Vanessa Hudgens

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for The Stronach Group

Maria Menouno, Vanessa Hudgens, Pegasus World Cup

Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for The Stronach Group

"I'm looking forward to seeing the greatest two horses in the world race," Chriqui told us, referencing veteran thoroughbred California Chrome and world champion Arrogate, the two favored to take the top prize.

"It's so festive," Chriqui said of the well-heeled and wide-brimmed crowd. "It's Miami at its finest."

When all was said and done, Arrogate was first to cross the finish line. But the entire day was a windfall, according to Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of the Stronach Group, which put on the race.

"We were thrilled with the turnout this weekend," Stronach told E! News. "In addition to the incredible win captured by Arrogate, the day's entertainment and programming around the park made for an experience unlike any other in horseracing history."

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