Is Horse Racing Dead? Gulfstream Park Reported Strong 2016

Gulfstream Park paddock Gulfstream Park announced a record $1.774 billion was wagered via Gulfstream Park in 2016, a 9-percent increase over the previous record of $1.625 billion in 2015.

Gulfstream also announced a record $1.508 billion was wagered on its live races in 2016, a 13-percent increase from the previous record of $1.338 billion in 2015.

Gulfstream’s record handle was produced in part by signature racing events like the Florida Derby, Fountain of Youth, Opening Day Claiming Crown, Sire Stakes, Sunshine Millions and Holy Bull. Gulfstream also continued hosting signature events, including the prestigious Eclipse Awards.

“Our record handle in 2016 shows us we’re on the right path in growing our Championship Meet and reinvigorating summer racing in Florida,” said P.J. Campo, General Manager of Gulfstream Park and Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group, Gulfstream’s parent company. “We continue to see the top horses and stables race each winter at Gulfstream, but we’re also witnessing more interest in our summer program now that it has become established and producing quality racing and young stars.

“We believe we will continue to grow in 2017. We have an incredible year ahead of us. We’re looking forward to once again hosting the Eclipse Awards on Jan. 21, watching classic contenders begin to develop in the Holy Bull, Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby, and playing host to the richest horse race in the world – the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational – featuring California Chrome and Arrogate on Jan. 28.

“Our success is only possible because of our great equine athletes, jockeys, horsemen supporting our program from throughout the world, and the fans, who continue to offer great suggestions to help us grow our customer service.

World’s Richest Thoroughbred Horse Race

Pegasus statue at Gulfstream Park The Stronach Group announced Wednesday that the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup will be held at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., on Jan. 28, 2017, becoming the world’s richest Thoroughbred race.
The Pegasus World Cup is the vision of Frank Stronach, founder and Honorary Chairman of The Stronach Group. It will be contested at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL. [Read more…]

AGOS Horses to Watch – April 8, 2016

“Off the Charts” Trip Notes

Horses to Watch for Visitors


Big Gillette (AQU Race #4 – 3/12/16 – #2 – 1 mile and 70 yards dirt) –  Kendrick Carmouche had the assignment for Rudy Rodriguez and his mount bobbled badly at the start and he recovered quickly to assume the lead and set the pace. The pace was quick and he tired down the lane to finish 3rd. A clean trip makes him hard to catch next out.

Send it In (AQU Race #5 – 3/12/16 – #1 – 1 mile and 70 yards dirt) –  Manny Franco in the irons for Todd Pletcher. This son of Big Brown stumbled at the break, and immediately picked up his game and set a solid pace. He was the winner of this race, and you’ll want to keep him on your “play right back” list as he showed incredible maturity recovering and getting his mind on business.

Best Play (AQU Race #7 – 3/12/16 – #2 – One mile dirt) –  Manny Franco in the saddle, and his mount was knocked around quite a bit after the gate break. He recovered, and showed a nice closing punch going three-wide around the far turn. I like the rider, and the trip shows good promise for players at the windows next up.

Gulfstream Park

Skippy is Back (GP Race #2 – 3/12/16 – #5 – 6f dirt) –  Vicente Gudiel was the pilot, and filly was pin-balled around leaving the starting gate. The rider got his filly to settle nicely and made a very nice four wide move around the entire far turn to show good late punch at (7-1).  You may see some nice value here next time she takes the track.

Put It Back Jack (GP Race #5 – 3/12/16 – #6 – 6f dirt) –  Eddie Castro’s mount was bumped around leaving the gate and pressed a solid pace. He was a “beaten favorite” this day after drawing off by three lengths, and punters from around the globe like to hammer runners looking for some pay back next up off this angle.

AGOS Horses to Watch – April 6, 2016

Horses to Watch for AGameofSkill visitors

You’ll want to commit these runners to memory as they may offer up a bit of value next time they enter the starting gate.


Japhir (AQU Race #2 – 3/26/16 – #5 – 1 mile 70 yards dirt) – Manny Franco in the saddle for Bill Mott, and they were settled in stalking behind a dawdling pace. When they turned 1:16.3 for 3/4, he looked to have his work cut out. – The slow fractions usually play against the closers, and he finished up gamely splitting runners trying to wheel in the chalk leader from the Pletcher barn. – Give him an honest pace, and he’ll stalk the leader and inhale them down the lane.

Gulfstream Park

Ousby (GP Race #5 – 3/26/16 – #6 – 1 mile on the turf) –  Nik Juarez up for trainer Marcus Vitali, and they have been the talk for awhile for the solid team they have become. This son of Shakespeare got himself a little tight at the 1/4 pole and had to shift over to the rail and await room. He finished with a solid effort, but a little cleaner lane would have been very welcome by the punters.

 Our Azure (GP Race #5 – 3/25/16 – #1 – 1 1/16 on the dirt ( Originally scheduled for the turf)) – Jockey Eddie Nunez struggled with his filly down the backstretch, and appeared to have trouble getting her to settle down. Once she got comfortable, she put in a very nice effort going past the chalk only to be bested late in the lane. She may be better suited with a solid gate break, and hopefully we’ll see a little better price.

What Power (GP Race #2 – 4/2/16- #8 – 1 mile on the turf)  Paco Lopez had the call, and he ran into trouble in the first turn and had to check up. Lopez saved ground and looked for a hole to make his charge and was all dressed up and no place to go with his mount. – Once he shook loose, he made a solid bid for minor awards. A clean trip may be just what the doctor ordered.

Songoficeandfire (Race #11 – 4/2/16 – #7 – 1 1/8 on the turf) –  Junior Alvarado had the call, and his mare settled out nicely and  saved ground along the rail. He looked to have his charge in a good spot when he waited for a seem to open at the top of the lane. Well, it never appeared in a timely fashion, and bottled her up until she finally saw daylight and exploded for a strong bridesmaid effort. – I’ll bet dollars to donuts she’ll tip off the rail nearing the 1/4 pole and give them fits down the stretch.

Wagering on Keeneland?  Get the edge you need to beat your pari-mutuel competition. 


Fair Grounds

Susie Bee (FG Race#6 – 3/26/16 – #10 – 1 1/6 on the turf) – top rider Javier Castellano in the saddle for Mike Maker. She was kept in under a hammer lock of a hold waiting for room down the backstretch. Once she shifted off the rail looking for a lane, she brushed against Christie’s Ready and never found full stride but managed to still show very good interest to finish up with good energy.

Eagle (Race #7 – 3/26/16 – #10 – 1 1/8 on the dirt) –  Javier Castellano settled near the back of the pack and brushed repeatedly with Storm Driver into the first turn. – He relaxed a bit and was forced wide to find running room, and Castellano gave a “pop of the crop” to give a strong hand ride to the wire not using all the gas in the tank. – Next up gets has him soaring down the lane.


Oaklawn Park

Scout Leader (OP Race #3 – 3/31/16 – #2 – 1 1/16 on the main track) –  Joe Rocco did an excellent job making up a heap of ground, and dove to the inside rail as the eventual winner started drifting out inside the 16th pole. He ran a very game effort, and 2nd money on this day was a good indication of efforts to come. – He’ll be the major danger next up.

Roxy Rocket (Race #4 – 3/31/16 – #9 – 1 1/16 on the dirt) –  Julio Felix in the irons, and he closed stoutly down the outside under soft fractions. She circled up wide and once she leveled out Felix gave a strong effort to the wire. I filed this one under “running out of real estate.”

Turfway Park

Hughhoofner (TP Race #1 – 4/2/16 – #8 -6f on the poly track) –  John McKee in the saddle for this speedster, and he broke out before the start and expended some well needed energy. McKee sent the Bill Connelly charge in the four wide path about the 3/8th’s pole. – I watched him warm-up, and he looked better than a shiny penny. – Speed balls need all of their energy, and he left most of his on the track with the premature gate break.

“Off the Charts” Trip Notes – March 6, 2016

Horses to Watch

Stay in tune for these runners when they saddle up for the races, as they are coming off a troubled trip and could offer up some great value.

Gulfstream Park

Street Grey (Race #3 – 2/27/16 – #3 – 1 1/16 on the main track) –  This son of Street Cry was making a third lifetime start and led all the way from the gate break. He had been facing some of the runners on the Triple Crown trail, and was a $750,000 Ocala sales purchase. He got a little leg weary and maybe a flat mile or 7 panels may be more to his liking after finishing third. Catch him if you can.


Lewis Bay (GP Race #5 – 2/27/16 – #4 – 1 mile) –  A very nice looking filly in the Davona Dale Stakes making her first start in over three months. Irad Ortiz was in Florida for the day, and had this assignment for the Chad Brown barn. – The field was tough as the (1-5) chalk Cathryn Sophia came to the races and did not disappoint. – Ortiz had his mount saving ground for most of the race, and worked off the rail shortly before the 1/4 pole and looked impressive. She accelerated nicely and was a bridesmaid on this day. – Chad Brown has a knack for getting runners to improve, and I’m looking for big things to come from this gal.

Divisidero (GP Race #8 – 2/27/16 – #2 – One mile on the turf) –  Edgar Prado had the call on this son of Kitten’s Joy making his first start in seven months. – “Buff” Bradley was interviewed in the paddock shortly before the race, and said his runner was “ready to roll” but may want a bit more ground. – They exited the (G-1) Belmont Derby travelling a 1 1/4, and after rolling late from the clouds any added distance will be welcome.

Niigon’s Edge (GP Race #11 – 2/28/16 – #2 – 1 1/16 on the main track) – Julien Leparoux in the saddle, and his mount was making his 2nd start off the layoff shipping in from Woodbine. He has been working well in the mornings, and finished strongly up the rail. – I would look for a big race coming soon as this runner will improve greatly off this effort.

Mahoning Valley

A Unique Lady (Race #3 – 2/27/16 – #4 – 6f on the dirt) – Jockey  Samuel Bermudez was in the saddle, and his filly was “boxed in” along the rail and had little room to run. She looked very fit on the track, and once she tipped off the rail for clear sailing she flashed great late foot. – Toss in the “beaten favorite” angle and we have a runner looking for some payback next time out.

Here’s the Scoop on the Largest Bronze Horse Sculpture in the World

Horse at GulfstreamAnyone who has been to Gulfstream Park recently or has driven by the track on  busy U.S. Highway 1 has certainly noticed the monster-size sculpture of a Pegasus-like horse at the entranceway.  What is this monstrosity?
[Read more…]

One Minute Handicapper for Gulfstream Park – Week of December 5th

Save time and let the One Minute Handicapper look for all the handicapping angles!


OMH Worksheets available for Gulfstream Park – Thurs., Dec. 6th – $5 for the full card.

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OMH Worksheets available for Gulfstream Park – Friday, December 7th – $5 for the full card.

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OMH Worksheets for Tampa Bay Downs – Friday, December 7th – $5 for the full card
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Claiming Crown day to be covered on Horse Racing Radio Network


Broadcast will air nationwide on Sirius 93 and on HRRN website

Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), the Eclipse Award-winning broadcast organization based in Lexington, KY, announced today it will provide exclusive on-site coverage of the fourteenth Claiming Crown from Gulfstream Park this Saturday.

HRRN’s broadcast, presented by Kitten’s Joy standing at Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, KY will air live from 2:00 – 5:30 p.m. ET and include coverage of all seven Claiming Crown stakes on Gulfstream’s opening day card.  Fans can tune in on Sirius channel 93 and via live streaming provided on the HRRN website,

In addition to the live race coverage, HRRN will host a special edition of their popular morning talk show, the Equine Forum, from Gulfstream Park on Saturday morning.  The Equine Forum airs live from 8-10 a.m. ET and can be heard on Sirius 93 – XM 209, HANK 96.1 FM in Lexington, KY and on the HRRN website.

HRRN President Mike Penna will anchor the coverage along with analyst Jude Feld.

A complete schedule with SiriusXM channel information can be found on the HRRN site.

Horseplayer wins $791,364 jackpot

Gulfstream Park grandstand copyright All Star Press 2012According to the Daily Racing Form, a bettor in Las Vegas hit the $791,364 jackpot in Sunday’s Rainbow 6 at Gulfstream Park. It is the highest single payoff on any wager in the history of the Hallandale Beach racetrack, and it was accomplished by a player making only a $2.40 wager.

The winner’s ticket was structured using the following type of combinations: 4 horses x 3 horses x single x single x single x two horses. The winning sequence was Kristina’s Slew ($26.60), Smokin Ali ($153.30), Livingston Street ($7.40), Running Wildcat ($13.20), Miss Montreal ($7.80), and Master Achievement ($18).

Day Celebrating Claiming Horses Moves to Gulfstream Park

Claiming Crown 2012Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida will host the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on the opening day of its 2012-2013 meet, Saturday, December 1, 2012.  The 2012 event will see a significant increase in purses to $850,000 for seven races with the individual race purses ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.  In addition to the six Claiming Crown races conducted at the 2011 event, the Tiara for fillies and mares on the turf will return this year.

“We’re ecstatic to play host to the 14th running of the Claiming Crown on opening day December 1,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo.  “Horses competing in the claiming ranks are many of the toughest in the world. They’re game and they build loyal followings within the Thoroughbred community, whether with fans, owners or trainers.

“This is an important event to our chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach, and we’re very excited about kicking off our 2012-2013 season with the Claming Crown.  The management and staff at Gulfstream look forward working with the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.”

“The FHBPA Board of Directors thought that the purses for the Claiming Crown had become quite outdated and stale over its 13-year history, and thus, chose to significantly increase them.  The Board felt that if the Claiming Crown were to come to Gulfstream Park, it needed to be the best Claiming Crown ever,” said FHBPA Executive Director, Kent Stirling.  “We are proud to join with Gulfstream Park, the National HBPA and TOBA to revitalize this great day for our claiming horses.  Claiming horses are the backbone of our industry and deserve to be celebrated on their day with higher purses, and what we expect to be record setting live handle and simulcasting numbers.”

“We are excited and honored that Gulfstream Park has agreed to host the 2012 Claiming Crown,” said TOBA president Dan Metzger, who also serves as chairman of Claiming Crown Limited. “The enthusiasm and purse commitment from both Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA has been extraordinary and we believe that this year’s event promises to be our best yet.”

“The National HBPA is extremely pleased that this year the Claiming Crown will be hosted by Gulfstream Park and the Florida HBPA.  Their commitment to purses and a quality day of racing certainly elevates the Claiming Crown to a new level and will position it among the premier racing days of the year anywhere in the United States,” said Joe Santanna, President and Chairman of the National HBPA, one of the co-partners of the Claiming Crown.  “The Gulfstream Park Claiming Crown races provide horsewomen and horsemen across the country with an exceptional opportunity.”

Patterned after the Breeders’ Cup, Claiming Crown was designed to reward Thoroughbred racing’s “blue-collar” horses and will offer races at varying distances on both dirt and turf.
This will mark the first time Gulfstream Park has hosted the event, which debuted at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota in 1999.  Canterbury has hosted 10 of the first 13 renewals of the event.  The Claiming Crown was held at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 2002, at Ellis Park in Henderson, Kentucky in 2007 and Fair Grounds Race Course and Slots in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2011.
Further details on the event’s race lineup, purse structure, nomination and entry deadline schedule and eligibility dates to be released soon.
The Claiming Crown is a partnership between the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.  The Claiming Crown was created to be the claiming horse owner’s Breeders’ Cup; a special racing event, created for the “average owner,” and featuring some of the most competitive horses in the country.  The Claiming Crown has been held annually since 1999. For more information about Claiming Crown please visit
TOBA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.”  Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, The Racing Game, Sales Integrity Program and Claiming Crown. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.
The National HBPA, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is the largest racing horsemen’s representative association in North America, with 30 affiliate organizations and over 30,000 member horsemen.  Big Dee’s Tack & Vet Supplies,, and Horseman Labor Solutions are proud corporate partners of the National HBPA, and TVG is the official television partner of the National HBPA.