Gulfstream Park Set For Historic July 1 Opening Day of Summer Meet
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park will celebrate opening day of its first-ever live summer Thoroughbred meeting Monday, July 1 with an eight-race program highlighted by special appearances by four of racing’s most prominent jockeys.
Two-time defending Gulfstream champion Javier Castellano will be joined by Hall of Famers John Velazquez and Edgar Prado, as well as Joel Rosario, to compete on Monday’s program. The four stars, who have ridden the winners of more than 16,700 races and $790 million in purses, will also greet fans and sign autographs and memorabilia.
Rosario, who rode Orb to victories in the Besilu Stable Fountain of Youth (G2) and Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream before his triumph in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1), and Prado, a two-time riding champion at Gulfstream, will be the most active of the star quartet. They are scheduled to ride in five races each, while Castellano was named on three horses and Velazquez has accepted two mounts.
Both Castellano and Rosario are slated to ride in the featured seventh race, a $35,000 optional claiming allowance race for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. named Castellano to ride Felixia, a daughter of Free Thinking who is coming off a front-running victory at Calder in her career debut on May 2. Rosario is set to ride the Marty Wolfson-trained Jewel in the Sky, who will return to the allowance ranks after three straight stakes appearances.
Following up on Monday’s opener, Gulfstream Park will celebrate the Fourth of July on Thursday with the first running of the $100,000 Armed Forces, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up. Live racing will continue on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays through November before the start of the traditional Champions Meet on Dec. 1
Post time is scheduled for 12:50 p.m.