Archives for October 25, 2018

2018-2019 Gulfstream Park Championship Meet

The 2018-2019 Championship Meet stakes schedule at Gulfstream Park will feature a record 105 stakes worth a record $29.079 million in purses, headlined by the blockbuster Jan. 26 Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, featuring the $9-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the $7-million Pegasus World Turf Cup (G1), the richest stakes on dirt and turf in North America.

The 68th running of the $1-million Florida Derby (G1), the prolific Triple Crown prep race for 3-year-olds, will be run on a March 30 program with seven stakes, four graded.

The third running of the Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 4-year-olds and up, was won last year by 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner. The Pegasus Turf Cup, formerly the Gulfstream Park Turf, will be contested by 4-year-olds and up over 1 3/16 miles on turf. The two Grade 1 attractions will be supported by seven stakes, including the $200,000 La Prevoyante (G3), $200,000 W. L. McKnight (G3), the $150,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) and the $150,000 Fred Hooper (G3).

“We’re thrilled to expand the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series into a multi-race event with the addition of a turf race. Entering just our third year, we’re excited about the future of this series and the interest we are getting from horsemen around the world,” Stronach Group Chief Operating Officer Tim Ritvo said. “The Stronach Group will continue to build on our major events as Chairman and President Belinda Stronach continues to think of ways to innovate our sport. With major events like the Pegasus and Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Gulfstream’s Championship Meet is becoming a major influence on the world stage.”

The Florida Derby will again highlight Gulfstream’s heralded program for 3-year-olds. Three of the last six winners of the 1 1/8-mile marquee event have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1). The Florida Derby, which has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown races, will headline a program with seven stakes worth $2.15 million, including the $300,000 Gulfstream Mile (G2), $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) for 3-year-old fillies and $250,000 Pan American (G2).

The Florida Derby Weekend will begin Friday, March 29 with four stakes, including the $100,000 Orchid (G3), $100,000 Skip Away (G3) and $100,000 Appleton (G3).

Gulfstream Park paddockThe $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2), the key 1 1/16-mile Florida Derby prep race, will top a remarkable program with nine graded stakes worth $1.65 million March 2, including the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2) for 3-year-old fillies, $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2), $150,000 Honey Fox (G3), $150,000 The Very One (G3), the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3), $150,000 Palm Beach (G3), $150,000 Herecomesthebride (G3) and $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).

The 3-year-old program will start with the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man, a one-turn mile that will be contested Jan. 5. The $350,000 Holy Bull (G2) at 1 1/16 miles will be on the Feb. 2 program that will offer four other graded stakes for 3-year-olds, including the $150,000 Swale (G3) at seven furlongs and $150,000 Forward Gal, a seven-furlong sprint for fillies. The $100,000 Sweetest Chant (G3) for fillies and the $100,000 Dania Beach (G3) will both be contested at a mile on turf.

“This is truly going to be a memorable Championship Meet. There really is a major event every weekend and there will be world-championship racing every day and major events like the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, Florida Derby, Eclipse Awards and, on opening day, the Claiming Crown,” Gulfstream Park General Manager Bill Badgett said. “Once again, Gulfstream’s Championship Meet will have the world’s top horses, horsemen and jockeys. We invite everyone to come out and take part in what will be an incredible Thoroughbred meet.”

The nine-race $1.1 million Claiming Crown, featuring the $200,000 Jewel, will once again open the Championship Meet Dec. 1. The graded-stakes portion of the 2018-2019 stakes schedule kicks off Dec. 15 with five $100,000 graded stakes: the Harlan’s Holiday (G3), Rampart (G3), Sugar Swirl (G3), Tropical Turf (G3) and My Charmer (G3).

The Pegasus Turf Cup will be the centerpiece of an extensive stakes schedule on turf that will offer 33 stakes, 11 graded, during the Championship Meet, not including several starter stakes slated on turf.

Gulfstream will once again offer the best in world-class racing, dining and events throughout the Championship Meet that will run from Dec. 1 through March 31. Along with Pegasus World Cup Day and Florida Derby Day festivities, Gulfstream will roll out the red carpet once again Jan. 24 when it hosts the prestigious Eclipse Awards for the seventh consecutive year. Gulfstream Park will welcome back the $700,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe Dec. 8 after becoming the first facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the program of five stakes for horses from eight Latin American and Caribbean countries, highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds. The popular Sunshine Millions, featuring the $200,000 Classic, will be held Jan. 19.

The entire schedule can be viewed at:

Source: Gulfstream Park

How Trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

How trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune Full coverage: How trainer John Sadler helped turn grape growers into horse racing powerhouse owners

Will Ellis Park horses be a Factor in 2018 Breeders’ Cup?

“There are still some question marks out there,” trainer Tom Amoss said of his filly’s impressive victories. “Who wants to go that far, who doesn’t. Maybe the overall talent of the field. The same could be said for the other major fillies in this race.

“The Ellis Park Debutante stamped what we already knew: That she was talented. She used her speed to her advantage and was able to draw off in the race. Then we saw it again at Churchill Downs. Those two races certainly stamp her as one of the favorites in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies — and rightfully so.”

Ellis Park looms large in Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants Evansville Courier & Press No Justify, but ‘deep races’ as horses revealed for 2018 Breeders’ Cup Courier Journal : Ellis Park looms large in Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants

New Turf Course at The Big A

Turf course at AqueductThe opening of the 2018 Aqueduct Fall Meet on Friday, November 2 will see the unveiling of a new, renovated inner turf course, the New York Racing Association has announced.

The new inner turf course is similar in design to the outer turf course, which replaced the winterized inner track in 2017 and garnered rave reviews from jockeys and horsemen.

Completed in July, construction of the new inner turf included the installation of a new sand drainage layer and an improved irrigation system to match that of the outer turf. Also like the outer course, new Kentucky Blue Grass sod was installed on the seven-furlong course and chute.

It was the first significant renovation to the inner turf course since the mid-1970s and results in an additional rail setting as well as a much more consistent racing surface.

“These improvements are significant and will allow NYRA to card additional races over the inner turf throughout the fall and spring,” said Glen Kozak, NYRA VP of Facilities & Racing Surfaces. “The modernized irrigation and drainage systems will add consistency to the surface and will allow the course to recover much more quickly than in the past. Jockeys, as well as horsemen and horsewomen, can look forward to a completely renovated second turf course when racing returns to Aqueduct on November 2.”
Last year, NYRA undertook an extensive renovation of the main track to accommodate a wider variety of racing distances year-round as well as the installation of a one-mile outer turf course.

“I thought they did a great job with the turf they put in last year, and they’re doing the same thing for the inside, so it’ll be great,” said John Velazquez, Hall of Fame jockey and chairman of the Jockey’s Guild.

“[The outer turf] was very consistent and very good. It’ll be much better to have the new one inside, as well,” he added. “I don’t know how long you can run when the winter comes, but we’ll see how the track holds up. Maybe we can hold on a little bit longer.”

Dr. Mick Peterson, Executive Director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory, verified that the course meets all pre-construction specifications and is now ready for training and racing. This conclusion was made following extensive testing using ground penetrating radar as well as detailed composition analysis of the new inner turf course.

Dr. Peterson and his team will continue to monitor the course throughout the Aqueduct fall meet adhering to the procedures set forth in the Maintenance Quality System.

Source: NYRA