With $12 million on the line, the Pegasus World Cup is upon us. The horsing event, taking place on Saturday at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, is the culmination of 12 stakeholders who have each put up $1 million for a spot at the starting gate. The winner walks away with a world-record $7 million. On site: Grammy nominated country singer/songwriter Thomas Rhett (son of country star Rhett Akins), who will do a mini concert. A portion of the performance will be broadcast live on NBC from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets: www.pegasusworldcup.com; 877-847-6683
What songs will you be doing at the invitational?
For me, it’s all about just getting out there and having a good time with the fans, so we’ll probably play a couple of our hits like “Star of the Show” and just play off what they’re feeling. We like to have as much fun as possible at our shows and this one will be no different. Our goal is always to get everybody up on their feet and dancing with us, so hopefully everyone brings their party shoes.
You were just nominated for a Grammy (Best Country Song) for “Die A Happy Man.”
Last year was such an incredible year for me, and getting a Grammy [nod] was just kind of the cherry on top of the cake. I am so excited to be able to go this year as a nominee and just be part of such a prestigious show [airing Feb. 12 on CBS]. It is a celebration of the best in music from every genre, so to be in a room with all those people and get to see some great performances is going to be really special. It’s pretty humbling and to be there representing country music already feels like a win.
What was your writing process with that track?
I was really wanting to write something for my wife Lauren. She had jokingly —for a while — teased me about never writing love songs for her and that I needed to do one like Tim McGraw’s “Just To See You Smile.”
Who is your dream collaboration?
Bruno Mars. I just think he’s an incredible musician and entertainer and has so much “swag” about him. I have had his “24K Magic” album on repeat since it came out.
If you weren’t a singer what would you be doing?
I always thought I would have wound up selling insurance or something like that. But if you’re giving me any option here, I would probably own a surf shop in Hawaii. I am not great at surfing, but I would be more than happy to spend my days practicing.