Gulfstream Park announced today a 2019 Summer Stakes Schedule worth $3.775 million highlighted by Summit of Speed Day, featuring the $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2) and $250,000 Smile Sprint (G3), and the rich $1.4 million FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes.
Gulfstream's 2019 summer season runs from April 4 through Sept. 29. Stall applications are due Wednesday, March 6. Since running its first summer meet in 2013, interest and handle in Gulfstream's product as well as Florida Thoroughbred racing has grown.
Average daily purses for the four-day race week will be $315,000 and there will be $1 million in Florida-bred incentive rewards for all levels of 2-year-old races beginning in April.
Gulfstream also announced fifth to last-place finishers will receive a stipend of $750 or $500 depending on the race.
“The summer racing season at Gulfstream has grown every year and we're looking forward to our best summer season ever,” said Gulfstream's General Manager Bill Badgett. “With horsemen supporting our product and more horses being stabled in South Florida year-round, we will continue growing our product and working with all our partners.”
“We're excited we're keeping the schedule in place,” said Stephen Screnci, President of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association (FHBPA). “The summer should be strong. I'm also happy about the [$750 to $500] for running a horse because that's a 15 or 20 percent reduction to owners every month in expenses.”
Lonny Powell, CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association (FTBOA), said: “The FTBOA contributes heavily to the Gulfstream stakes and overnight purse programs. We anticipate another strong Summer meet led by the nationally acclaimed Florida Sire Stakes and 2-year-old programs. It really pays to race Florida-breds at Gulfstream! We look forward to a great meet as we work side by side with our track and horsemen partners.”
Along with the Princess Rooney and Smile Sprint, the June 29 Summit of Speed will include the $75,000 Azalea, $75,000 Carry Back and the $75,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint.
The always popular FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes for juveniles by nominated Florida stallions will kick off Aug. 3 with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and Desert Vixen at six furlongs. The $200,000 Affirmed and Susan's Girl will be contested Aug. 31 and the series will conclude Sept. 28 with the $400,000 In Reality and My Dear Girl.
The Sept. 28 finals of the Sire Stakes will also include five $75,000 stakes races – the Mr. Steele, Armed Forces, Our Dear Peggy, Hollywood Beach and Monroe.
There will be 10 $100,000 FHBPA races throughout the season; six will be restricted to Florida-breds and four open races. The $100,000 restricted races are the Big Drama May 11, Musical Romance May 18, Soldier's Dancer June 8, Ginger Punch June 15, Benny the Bull Aug. 24 and the Sheer Drama Sept. 7. The four open races are the Not Surprising and Martha Washington July 6 and the Proud Man and Sharp Susan Aug. 31.
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