Gulfstream Park's Championship Meet, which includes the $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, Florida Derby (G1), Eclipse Awards, Claiming Crown and Clasico Internacional del Caribe, begins Saturday, Dec. 1 with a renovated turf course.
The $1 million renovations on the 180-foot course began over the summer, according to Gulfstream General Manager Bill Badgett.
“We started with the outside 100 feet and we totally tore it up and put all new sod down,” he said. “The inner part of the course we renovated. We used Celebration Turf, which continues to score high in studies done on tolerance and recovery.”
Badgett announced earlier this year there were more than 5,000 stall applications received for the 3,100 stalls at Gulfstream, Palm Meadows and Gulfstream Park West for the Championship Meet. Horsemen are also stabled for the meet in South Florida at Palm Beach Downs and Payson Park.
“There's a lot of excitement about the meet,” Badgett said. “More horsemen want to keep horses in South Florida year-round or permanently relocate here due to our program. Obviously, turf racing is very important to us and the addition of the Pegasus World Cup Turf only adds to it. We're happy that we have a pristine course that's ready for business beginning Saturday. It will be the first of many big weekends during the Championship Meet.”
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