Gulfstream Park Announces Record 2011 Stakes Program
September 3, 2010
Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth & Holy Bull Get Significant Purse Increases
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fl – Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino announced today its richest stakes schedule ever for 3-year-olds, highlighted by the $1 million Florida Derby.
The Florida Derby, which has produced 39 horses who have won 54 Triple Crown races, including 21 Kentucky Derbys, will be run Sunday, April 3 and is one of several races receiving significant purse increases for Gulfstream’s 69th season of championship racing, which runs from Jan. 5 to April 24.
Two of Gulfstream’s major preps for the Florida Derby – the Jan. 29 Holy Bull and Feb. 26 Fountain of Youth – will now each be worth $400,000. The total purse increase for the 1 1/8th mile Florida Derby and Fountain of Youth and one mile Holy Bull is $650,000.
All three races will also be part of the innovative ‘Preakness 5.5,’ which could award an additional $5.5 million in bonus money to the winners of the 2011 Preakness Stakes.
“This increase in Gulfstream’s stakes purses as well as a nearly 15 percent increase of our overnight purses is another sign of our commitment to having the best racing in the country,” said Gulfstream’s GM Steve Calabro. “Gulfstream continues to be the winter home of horses that compete in the Triple Crown, Breeders’ Cup and major races throughout the year.”
Gulfstream has also increased the purses of seven other stakes races for the 2011 season, including those of its major 3-year-old filly races. The seven furlong Forward Gal will now be worth $200,000, the one mile Davona Dale $250,000, and the Gulfstream Park Oaks (formerly the Bonnie Miss) will have a purse of $300,000. The overall purse increase of the three races is $250,000.
The Florida Derby and Gulfstream Park Oaks will highlight an exciting weekend of racing christened ‘Florida Derby Festival Weekend.’ Both the Oaks and $150,000 Rampart Handicap will be run on April 2 while the Derby will be one of four stakes races run on April 3 along with the $150,000 Swale Stakes and $100,000 Appleton Handicap and $100,000 Skip Away Handicap.
Gulfstream’s 2011 program also includes purse hikes to the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap for 4-year-olds and up, and the $150,000 Suwannee River and $150,000 Hurricane Bertie for fillies and mares.
The $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes, for 3-year-olds run at 1 1/8th miles on the turf, will be run March 12. Last year’s race winner, Paddy O’Prado, went on to finish third in the Kentucky Derby and win three consecutive graded stakes, including the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes. The $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes, for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs, will be run Feb. 26 and the $100,000 Spectacular Bid for 3-year-olds going six furlongs will be contested Jan. 8. Last year’s Spectacular Bid winner, A Little Warm, went on to win the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes.
The 53rd running of the $500,000 Donn Handicap will be run Feb. 5. The 1 1/8th mile event has been won by champions Cigar, Invasor, Saint Liam, Forego and Skip Away. Last winter’s winner Quality Road set a track and stakes record in the event.
Gulfstream and its nearby training center, Palm Meadows, continue to be the place to condition champions. Palm Meadows has been the training grounds for five of the last eight Kentucky Derby winners. The first three finishers in this year’s Kentucky Derby and Travers all wintered and trained at Gulfstream or Palm Meadows.
The ninth annual Sunshine Millions will be held Jan. 29. Additional information on the day will be forthcoming.