By Jim Freer
Saturday, July 4 — Starting today, HorseracingFLA is reporting on the numbers for each race day’s handle, field size and race purses at Gulfstream Park.
We are beginning with numbers from Wednesday July 1, the opening day of Gulfstream’s 2015 summer meet, and Friday July 3, the second day of the meet.
For some days, such as opening days, we also will report on the comparable day’s numbers from 2014.
We are obtaining the numbers from Equibase charts. Please note that Gulfstream generally does not provide Equibase with breakdowns of handle components–live, Intertrack Wagering (ITW) and Interstate Wagering (ISW).
We anticipate that our daily reports will be an important gauge for readers in determining “how is Gulfstream doing financially?”
On Wednesday, Gulfstream began its summer meet that will extend through Oct. 3.
For this year’s opening day, it had eight races and all-sources handle of $2,781.090 and 62 starters.
Last year, Gulfstream opened its summer meet on Tuesday July 1. It had eight races and all-sources handle of $1,778.505 and 68 starters.
So, the opening day handle increase was 56 percent. No races were taken off the turf either day.
Yesterday, Friday July 3, Gulfstream had nine races with total handle of $4,013,147. Gulfstream did not have racing on July 3, 2014–a Thursday.
This is Gulfstream’s third summer of racing, and the first time it can plan a summer meet without concern about competition from neighbor Calder Casino & Race Course.
From July 2013 through June 2014, Gulfstream and Calder raced head-to-head on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
In June 2014, there was the prospect of another 12 months of head-to-head racing.
But on July 1, 2014 the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering approved the two tracks’ plan that called off head-to-head racing and transferred control of Calder’s racing operations to Gulfstream.
That timing gave Gulfstream only limited options for planning a summer stakes schedule.
This year, Gulfstream has been able to plan for an expanded summer stakes schedule that includes tomorrow’s Summit of Speed and the addition of races for 3-year-olds to the Florida Sire Stakes Series.
Reviews of Equibase charts indicate that Gulfstream had daily averages of about nine starters per race and all-sources handle of about $3.5 million for its summer meet from July 1 to Oct.4.
Gulfstream handle summer 2015
* Friday July 3
Races — 9
Handle — $4,013,147
Starters — 66
Purses — $199.000
Turf — 5 races, all stayed on
Conditions – fast firm
*Wednesday, July 1
Races — 8
Handle — $2,781,090
Starters — 62
Purses — $209,000
Turf — 4 races, all stayed on
Conditions — fast firm