Gulfstream to Have 41 Spring-Summer Stakes, Up from 29 in 2015 Season
By Jim Freer
Gulfstream Park on Wednesday announced that it will have 41 stakes races with total purses of $5.575 million during its 2016 Spring-Summer Meet.
That is an increase from 29 stakes with $4.75 million in purses in 2015. The numbers for stakes and purses are the highest for Gulfstream’s spring-summer racing, which it began in 2013.
Gulfstream will have racing on Wednesdays through Sundays in April and on Thursdays through Sundays from May to September.
The stakes will be highlighted by the Summit of Speed card on July 2 and the three legs of the $2.9 million Florida Sire Stakes Series.
“This is another step in our efforts to reinvigorate and rebuild the summer racing schedule in Florida,” said P.J. Campo, Gulfstream’s General Manager and Vice President of Racing for The Stronach Group.
“We continue to see more horsemen applying for year-round stalls and more interest in our stakes schedule,” he said. We are committed to building our summer schedule. We believe it will make for a stronger overall program in Florida and will showcase large fields and quality racing.”
The Summit of Speed will have three graded stakes races. The $250,000 Princess Rooney (Grade 2) is for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. The $250,000 Smile Sprint (Grade 2) is for males 3-years-old and up. The $150,000 Carry Back (Grade 3) is for 3-year-olds.
On Wednesday, Gulfstream said it will start that schedule April 30 with the $100,000 Miami Mile (Grade 3) for 3-year-olds and up.
Gulfstream said that five “big-day” programs with a minimum of six stakes races have been scheduled, including Summit of Speed Day when the three graded events will be supported by six other stakes.
There also will be the three Florida Sire Stakes cards and a card with seven stakes on June 4.
The $2.9 million Florida Sires Stakes series is scheduled for Aug. 6, Sept. 3 and Oct. 1.
The series, which is restricted to horses sired by accredited stallions standing in Florida, will get under way with the $200,000 Dr. Fager and the $200,000 Desert Vixen for 2-year-olds and the $150,000 Unbridled and the $150,000 Three Ring for 3-year-olds.
The second leg will include the $300,000 Affirmed and the $300,000 Susan’s Girl for 2-year-olds, as well as the $150,000 Prized and $150,000 Jewel Princess for 3-year-olds.
The series will conclude with the $500,000 In Reality and the $500,000 My Dear Girl for 2-year-olds and $150,000 Foolish Pleasure and $150,000 Meadow Star for 3-year-olds.
Following its spring-summer meet, Gulfstream will hold its Gulfstream Park West meet at Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens from Oct. 1 to Nov. 27.
Through 2012 Calder had Florida’s only summer racing. Amid a dispute over racing dates, the two tracks which are just eight miles apart raced head-to-head on weekends from July 2013 through June 2014.
They settled that dispute in June 2014. Since then, the only racing at Calder has been the October-November meet that Gulfstream is holding under a lease agreement that extends through 2020.