Gulfstream Park has announced plans to build on the success of Florida's year-round racing program during the upcoming Spring/Summer Meets through lucrative incentives for both Florida-bred and open-company horses.
One week after releasing a record stakes program worth $4.1 million, Gulfstream officials have released a $1 million incentives program that will further enhance the purses during the spring and summer months.
The incentives program is the result of an agreement between Gulfstream Park, the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association (FTBOA) and Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA).
The incentives include:
- Daily purses with the potential of reaching $300,000
- Purses for 2-year-old Florida-breds running in open maiden special weight that could reach $65,000
- Entry-level allowance purses worth $47,000
- Purses of $25,000 for $12,500 open claiming races
- Purses of $24,000 for $16,000 claimers in non-winners of 2 or 3 races
- Purses for 2-year-old Florida-breds open maiden claimers of $25,000 as high as $33,500
- Purses raised 10 percent for any 1 1/16-mile dirt race when seven or more horses leave the paddock.
- Purses raised 10 percent for races taken off the turf and eight horses leave the paddock
Gulfstream Park has posted gains in handle and purses each year since instituting spring and summer racing in 2013, and the record stakes and incentives programs in the upcoming months have been designed to further strengthen the year-round racing program while supporting Florida's re-energized Thoroughbred industry. Last year there were 134 juvenile races run during the spring and summer.
Trainers keeping stables in South Florida for the summer include Todd Pletcher, Mike Maker, Eddie Plesa Jr., Ralph Nicks, Antonio Sano and David Fawkes.
Nik Juarez, Monmouth Park's leading rider last summer, has decided to stay in South Florida this summer. He'll join a jockey colony that will include Tyler Gaffalione and Edgard Zayas.
“This is just the latest example of The Stronach Group's commitment to nurturing a strong Thoroughbred racing program in Florida,” said Gulfstream General Manager Bill Badgett. “When Gulfstream started its year-round program in 2013, the spring and summer product was lacking in depth and quality. We now have a program that is getting stronger each year and many of the top horsemen who participate in our Championship Meet are now leaving horses year-round in Florida to support our program. This spring and summer promises to be our best. We want to thank the fans and horsemen for supporting our program as well as the FHBPA and FTBOA.”
Lonny Powell, CEO of the FTBOA, said: “The FTBOA is very pleased and excited about offering an unprecedented and lucrative purse incentive program for Florida-breds during the upcoming Summer meet at Gulfstream. For the first time the FTBOA will be funding an additional $1 million in Florida-bred purse enhancements for select overnight races, particularly two-year-olds, for open company and restricted races.
“Thanks to our partners The Stronach Group and the FHBPA, this summer meet will additionally benefit from an all-time high offering of $2.2 million in stakes purses and incentives for Florida-breds as well as Florida-sired horses of all ages on the dirt and turf. Our collective goal with all these incentives and purses is to grow and reward interest in the breeding and ownership of our homebreds competing at both the stakes and overnight levels while continuing to build the successful Gulfstream summer racing program. If you are an owner or trainer campaigning at Gulfstream this summer and you want to consistently run for the big money, you are really going to want to have a good number of Florida-breds and Florida-bred/Florida-sired horses on your stable roster and in your shed row.”
Stephen W. Screnci, President of FHBPA, said: “The FHBPA is very excited over the upcoming spring/summer meets. It is very rewarding to see that, together, Gulfstream Park, the FTBOA and the FHBPA were able to collaborate to develop a program that furthers the interest of all horsemen. I am confident that these new additions to our Spring/Summer meets will only further enhance our already strong all-year program here in South Florida.”
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