By Jim Freer
Rain forced races to be taken off the turf yesterday at Gulfstream Park and weather conditions could be a big factor in today’s Sunshine Millions, especially in the three stakes races scheduled for turf.
All of yesterday’s eleven races were run on the dirt track that was sealed and listed as sloppy.
Fortunately, the rain stopped last night around South Florida—including Hallandale Beach where Gulfstream is located.
Today’s Sunshine Millions card also has three stakes races scheduled for dirt. All six stakes races are restricted to Florida breds.
First post is 12:05 p.m. for the 12-race card.
We expect that before 9 a.m. today Gulfstream will announce whether any races will be on the turf and the conditions for dirt and turf.
Shortly after that happens, we will post an updated version of this article on this Web site.
At Gulfstream this afternoon we will have previews and coverage of the stakes races on our blog.
Our assumption as of 6:00 a.m. is that the three turf stakes will be run on that surface, on a course that probably will be listed as good or even yielding. One or more of the three other races scheduled for turf might be moved to dirt.
This morning there should be enough time for some drying out, prior to the 12:05 p.m. first post, to make the course safe enough to have at least several races.
In a rare move, Gulfstream’s dirt track is not open for training this morning. The turf course is usually closed for training on Saturdays.
Scheduled posts for today’s stakes are:
*Fifth race (2:05 p.m.) — Filly and Mare Turf, $150,000, 1 1/16 miles
*Sixth race (2:35 p.m.) – Sprint, $150,000, six furlongs on dirt
*Seventh race (3:05 p.m.) — Turf sprint, $150,000, five furlongs
*Ninth race (4:05 p.m.) — Distaff, $200,000, seven furlongs on dirt
*Tenth race (4;35 p.m.) – Turf, $150,000, 1 1/16 miles
*Eleventh race (5:05 p.m.) – Classic, $250,000. 1 1/8 miles