Florida Derby Day Recap: Record Crowd, $24.7 Million Wagered
Gulfstream Park continues to set records in its state-of-the-art facility. The latest record came Saturday when a crowd of 20,382 filled Gulfstream’s park, beach, lush gardens and restaurants to watch the Phipps Stable and Stuart Janney’s Orb win the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) and stamp himself as one of the favorites for the May 4 Kentucky Derby.
The record crowd of 20,382 surpassed the previous attendance record in Gulfstream’s facility of 18,224 set last year on Florida Derby Day.
Total handle on Gulfstream’s 13 races Saturday was $24.67 million, matching last year’s record handle of $24.69 million. On-track handle was $1.37 million, up 7.16 percent from last year.
“Florida Derby Day was an incredible experience,” said Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo. “From our Derby Day breakfast to the Derby undercard to Orb’s electrifying performance, Derby Day was very special. We continue to buck industry trends with our on-track handle and attendance figures. Obviously, without the horsemen, none of this is possible. Their support has been much appreciated and we are anxious to build our partnership with them throughout the year.
“The vision of our Chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach, has always been to build the sport of Thoroughbred racing in Florida while making it an exciting experience for the entire family. We see this vision coming true on a daily basis at Gulfstream Park. We will continue to build Gulfstream into a year-round destination throughout the summer and fall while continuing to gain valuable feedback from horsemen, fans and the local community.”