Purse Increase to Average 10 Percent, Incentive to Help Offset Workers' Compensation
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Gulfstream Park announced today it will increase purses an average of 10 percent starting with the July 24 condition book and also offer a $250 starter incentive to help horsemen offset the cost of workers' compensation.
Gulfstream's purse increase is the result of an agreement signed July 1 between Gulfstream and Calder that ended a dates conflict and head-to-head racing. Since the agreement was signed, Gulfstream's total handle and field size has increased significantly. Gulfstream has also made significant strides in reinvigorating the Florida 2-year-old program and the $1.4 million Florida Sire Stakes, which begins August 9.
"The solid increases we've seen in field size and handle confirms our long-held belief that a dates agreement would benefit racing and horsemen," Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo said. "Our strategy is to continue building Florida racing for our bettors, horsemen and breeders and create a healthy year-round racing program.
"Because of our increase in handle we will offer a $250 starter bonus to our horsemen through October 4 to help offset the cost of workers' compensation. While this will help in the short-term, our goal continues to work with horsemen on a long-term solution to workers' compensation."
Phil Combest, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), said: "Florida horsemen are excited about summer racing again for the first time in years. A purse increase, starter incentive, the best field sizes in the country, and a track that is marketing and publicizing the sport. Why wouldn't we be optimistic."