Gulfstream News & Notes: Racing Surface, Mandatory Payouts Tuesday, Orseno
Gulfstream Racing Surface Gets High Marks
In preparation for the inevitable torrential downpours during its initial summer racing season, Gulfstream Park completed a $1 million construction project to strengthen the main track’s drainage system in time for the return of live Thoroughbred racing on Tuesday, June 25.
Designed to help move and drain water faster off the racing surface, a gutter was installed in the swale between the inside rail of the main track and the outside rail of the turf course. The project received an early and severe test from Mother Nature, who dumped up to 14 inches of rain in the Hallandale Beach area on Friday, June 7.
Trainer Peter Walder, who has 27 horses stabled at Gulfstream, had his concerns about how the racetrack would withstand so much water, only to be “shocked” when training resumed at Gulfstream the next morning.
“For the track to be opened for training the next day was amazing,” Walder said. “It was in great shape. On Sunday, the track was fast. I thought the track was incredibly good. I was shocked. They did a great job on the track.”
Walder, who traditionally stabled in the Mid-Atlantic area during the summer months, remained at Gulfstream Park when the winter session came to a close on April 5.
“I did it for a couple of reasons. First, I love it here. It’s home. I’ve always said if they ran here (year-round), I’d stay. And the management here has always gone out of the way to make you feel comfortable,” Walder said. “It’s the only place I’ve been to where the frontside and the backside work as one for the good of the game. I wanted to be home, but I wanted to give back to Gulfstream what they’ve given to me.”
Walder, whose horses won at a 29-percent clip during the winter at Gulfstream, said he has four horses to enter Friday for Tuesday’s program, which will have first post at 12:50 p.m.
Orseno Looks to Future in Florida
Trainer Joe Orseno is looking to build upon the seven horses he has stabled on the grounds for the summer while he splits his time between Belmont Park and Gulfstream. It was an easy decision to support the first summer session.
“Gulfstream is my favorite track. I would love to be there year-round,” Orseno said. “I will look to get more clients who would like to stay in Florida and race at Gulfstream year-round. I’m hoping to be in Florida year-round. Gulfstream is a great place to be. It’s the one place I feel at home. I just like being there,”
Stacey Prior, former assistant and exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito, will handle the day-to-day operation of Orseno’s stable at Gulfstream.
“I’m planning on going back and forth for July and August, and in September I hope to get there fulltime,” Orseno said. “I see all good things. If we could ever get lights there and get deregulation from the dog track and race at night during the summer, it would be great for Gulfstream. There are so many positive things happening there. It’s just a place I’d like to be.”
Mandatory Payout for Rainbow 6
The wagering menu for Tuesday’s card will mirror that of the winter season and will include the popular 10-cent Rainbow 6, the 50-cent Pick 5 and the $1 Super Hi 5, in addition to a full assortment of traditional bets.
Because the program is the last official racing day of the 2012-2013 meeting, there will be mandatory payouts of the Rainbow 6, Pick 5 and Super Hi 5 on Tuesday only.
Beginning on July 1, the first day of the new racing season, there will once again be carryovers for the three wagers, should there be no winning tickets.
The Rainbow 6 has produced multi-million-dollar carryovers and extremely lucrative payoffs, including the record $3.5 million won by a simulcast bettor in New Jersey last February. The innovative wager requires a bettor to select the winners of the last six races on the card, but the bettor must be the only one to hold a unique winning ticket to win the whole pool. If there are multiple winners or there are no tickets with all six winners, 60 percent of the day’s pool is paid out, while 40 percent is added to the carryover pool. On Tuesday, the bettor or bettors with the most winners will be eligible for the whole pool.