Grade 1 Donn Handicap & Gulfstream Turf 'Cap among 34 Graded Stakes
$400,000 Fountain of Youth, Davona Dale and Canadian Turf Highlight Feb. 22
$1 Million Claiming Crown Returns for Second Renewal at Gulfstream
$200,000 Hutcheson Featured on 75th Anniversary Weekend
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park announced today a record $10.75 million stakes program
for its 2013-2014 Champion's Meet, highlighted by the 63rd running of the $1 million Besilu Stables Florida Derby (G1) on Saturday, March 29.
The lucrative 61 stakes races (34 graded) will include purse increases for 10 existing stakes. There will also be nine stakes races for 3-year-olds offered beginning Jan. 1 with the Gulfstream Park Derby and culminating with the prestigious Besilu Stables Florida Derby.
The 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby, won last year by eventual Kentucky Derby winner Orb, has produced 22 Kentucky Derby champions, 19 Preakness victors and 16 Belmont winners. The Florida Derby will be supported on Florida's biggest day of Thoroughbred racing by seven other stakes races, including the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies; the $200,000 Pan American (G2) on the turf for older horses; the $150,000 Rampart (G3) for fillies and mares; and the $100,000 Skip Away (G3) for older horses.
Gulfstream's two other Grade I attractions, the $500,000 Donn Handicap for older horses at 1 1/8 miles and the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on the grass, will be co-featured on the Feb. 8 program.
Past winners of the Donn Handicap have included Horse of the Year winners Cigar, Invasor, Saint Liam and Skip Away. Last year's Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap featured champion Point of Entry and 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.
The Champion's Meet at Gulfstream will kick off Saturday, Nov. 30 with two, one mile turf stakes for juveniles: the $100,000 Pulpit and the $100,000 Wait A While for fillies. The 2013-2014 Champion's Meet will also serve to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Gulfstream Park. There will be events throughout the meet including a celebration on Feb. 1, the day Gulfstream first opened for Thoroughbred racing in 1939.
"We are very excited about our Champion's Meet this coming winter," said Gulfstream Park President Tim Ritvo. "Our record stakes schedule
once again shows our commitment to Thoroughbred racing as well as horsemen throughout North America. Our great fans continue to see champions developed every day at Gulfstream Park. More than a third of our Florida Derby winners have now gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.
this winter will provide horsemen and fans with world-class racing while we continue showcasing our stunning facility during the Eclipse Awards, Florida Sunshine Millions, Florida Derby and throughout our 75th anniversary."
Gulfstream's strong schedule
of 3-year-old stakes for owners and trainers of Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby hopefuls will start New Year's Day with the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Derby at a mile, a race won last year by Preakness (G1) and Florida Derby runner-up Itsmyluckyday.
The Gulfstream Derby will be followed by the $400,000 Holy Bull (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 25 and the $400,000 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 22. A trio of 3-year-old sprints – the $100,000 Spectacular Bid at 6 furlongs on Jan. 4, the $200,000 Hutcheson (G2) at 7 furlongs on Feb. 1 and the $150,000 Swale at 7 furlongs on March 1 – will provide even more options for leading 3-year-olds.
Gulfstream will also offer two turf stakes for 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Kitten's Joy at 1 1/16 miles Jan. 19 and the $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) at 1 1/8 miles March 1.
While the 3-year-old colts are traditionally the main focus during the winter at Gulfstream, the 2013-2014 stakes schedule
covers every Thoroughbred Division on both the main track and turf course.
The 15th edition of the Claiming Crown, staged at Gulfstream for the first time with unprecedented success last season, will return to the Hallandale Beach track on Dec. 7. The eight-race Claiming Crown, designed to recognize and celebrate the sport’s most enduring and competitive claiming horses, will be contested for a total of $1 million, including the addition of a race and a $150,000 purse increase from last season.
The 12th edition of the Florida Sunshine Millions will be run on Jan. 18 with horses bred in Florida contesting six stakes worth a total of $1.3 million. The $400,000 Sunshine Millions Classic at 1 1/8 miles for older horses will be showcased on a program that will include the $300,000 Distaff at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares, the $150,000 Sprint for older horses and the $150,000 Filly & Mare Sprint, both at 6 furlongs, as well as the $150,000 Turf for older horses and the $150,000 Filly & Mare Turf, both at 1 1/8 miles over the infield grass course.
The Florida Sunshine Millions will serve as a precursor to the evening's 43rd annual Eclipse Awards, to be held for the second consecutive year in Gulfstream's Sport of Kings Theater.
The 3-year old fillies will have several opportunities in graded stakes in preparation for the Gulfstream Park Oaks and Kentucky Oaks, including the $100,000 Old Hat (G3) at 6 furlongs on Jan. 4, the $200,000 Forward Gal (G2) at 7 furlongs on Jan. 25 and the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 22.
The 56th running of the Donn Handicap (G1) on Feb. 8 highlights a stakes program for older horses that includes the $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 22, the $100,000 Hal’s Hope (G3) at a mile on Jan. 11 and the $250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) at a mile on March 8, as well as the Skip Away at 1 3/16 miles. Older sprinters will be pointed to the $100,000 Mr. Prospector (G3) at 6 furlongs on Dec. 28, the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3) at 7 furlongs on Feb. 8 and the $100,000 Sir Shackleton at 6 ½ furlongs.
Older fillies and mares will be eligible for the $100,000 Adena Springs Sugar Swirl (G3) at 6 furlongs on Dec. 14, the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) at 6 ½ furlongs on Feb. 9, the $100,000 Sabin (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 16, the $200,000 Inside Information (G2) at 7 furlongs on March 22, as well as the Rampart at 1 1/8 miles.
Fan-favorite turf racing will be featured throughout the meeting, topped by the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap on Feb. 8. Supporting the Grade 1 turf fixture will be the 57th running of the Fort Lauderdale for older horses at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 11. The Fort Lauderdale, upgraded to a Grade 2 last season, received a $50,000 purse increase to $200,000. The $100,000 Dania Beach for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf was granted a Grade 3 status for the first time for its sixth running on Dec. 21.
The deep turf slate also includes the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2) at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 15, the $100,000 Appleton (G3) at a mile on March 29, as well as the Pan American at 1 ½ miles. The $150,000 Palm Beach (G3) for 3-year-olds will be run at 1 1/8 miles on March 1. Important stakes for fillies and mares on turf include the $100,000 Marshua’s River (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on Jan. 4, the $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) at 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 8, the $100,000 The Very One (G3) at 1 3/8 miles on Feb. 15, the $150,000 Honey Fox (G2) at one mile on March 15 and the $150,000 Orchid at 1 ½ miles on March 29.
GULFSTREAM PARK is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida, and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets.The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 954.457.6451.