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The Beat Goes On At Gulfstream Park
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Although the annual exodus of horses and horsemen to other major tracks to the north has begun, Gulfstream Park’s record-setting 2011 meeting has maintained its momentum while producing large fields and high-quality races.
Bettors need look no further than Saturday’s card for proof of the sustaining power of Gulfstream’s 2011 racing program that has generated record handles. A grand total of 155 horses were entered for the 12-race card, which includes one stakes race, three allowance races and a pair of maiden special weight events.
The sustaining power of the meeting has been complemented by the resilience of the state-of-the-art turf courses, over which eight races will be run on Saturday. The South Beach Stakes, which attracted a field of 13, will be run at 7 ½ furlongs on turf as the 11th race. Cherokee Queen, the winner of the Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream two starts back, has been installed as a 3-1 morning-line favorite. The 6-year-old Marty Wolfson-trained mare, who has won eight races and $485,312 in purses during her career, will break from the No. 1 post position.
The fourth running of the South Beach will be supported by three turf allowance races. A 5-furlong dash for a purse of $80,100 has been carded as the third race, in which Spectacular Kid will seek his third-straight victory of the Gulfstream meeting. The ninth race, a mile entry-level allowance with a $66,900 purse will feature a well-balanced 12-filly field. A $66,900 optional claiming allowance, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, will directly precede the South Beach.
The two maiden special weight events, carded as the second and eighth races on the card, will both be run over the main track and will feature horses a trio of horses from Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, whose stable, including Florida Derby winner Dialed In, continues to train at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Boynton Beach.
Post time for Saturday’s card will be 12:55 p.m. In addition to providing a multitude of betting options on the live card, Gulfstream will also simulcast a pair of major Kentucky Derby preps: the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) from Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby (G1) from Oaklawn.