Major Race Days Lie Ahead at Florida Tracks; Breeders’ Cup

Upcoming Coverage: Major Race Days Lie Ahead at GP West, Gulfstream, Tampa Bay, Breeders’ Cup

By Jim Freer

Thoroughbred racing is headed into the homestretch for 2017, and HorseRacingFLA will be writing about the action from coast to coast.

Here are details of some of the races and other stories that we will be covering at Gulfstream Park West (Calder), Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs and the Breeders’ Cup.

GP West

The 40-day meet will run through Nov. 26 at Calder in Miami Gardens.

A highlight will be on Saturday Nov. 11 with eight stakes races restricted to Florida breds.

The competition will heat up late this month after Todd Pletcher and several other trainers begin sending horses down to South Florida for the winter.

Unless otherwise noted, the GP West meet will have racing Wednesdays through Sundays with first post of 1:15 p.m.

Gulfstream Park runs the GP West meet as part of its lease of the track and other racing facilities at Calder.

Gulfstream Park

The Hallandale Beach track will open its 2017 – 2018 championship meet on Saturday Dec. 2.

Gulfstream that day will have the Claiming Crown stakes races that  are restricted to horses that have raced at or below designated claiming prices at least once since Jan. 1, 2016.

Meanwhile, Gulfstream has announced details on ticket prices, restaurants, other seating and other amenities for the second annual Pegasus World Cup Invitational that will be run on Jan. 27.

The stakes schedule will conclude on March 31, with a card topped by the Florida Derby (Grade 1) for 3-year-olds.

Tampa Bay Downs

The Oldsmar track  will open its 2017-2018 season on Saturday Nov. 26.

It will host 28 stakes races with $3.65 million in total purses. Both numbers are records for Tampa Bay Downs.

The highlight will be the March 10 Festival Day, with three graded stakes topped by the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade 2) for 3-year-olds.

*Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’  Cup races will be run on Friday Nov. 3 and Saturday Nov. 4 at Del Mar in Del Mar, Calif.

There will be four races on Nov.3 and nine races on Nov. 4. Bookmark this page for our upcoming posts on the Breeders’ Cup news:

The last Nov. 4 race will be the 1- 1/4 mile Breeders’ Cup Classic (Grade 1).

Our previews and race coverage will focus on horses that raced at Gulfstream and /or at Tampa Bay this year and on horses with other Florida connections.

Prominent on our list is Gunnevera, this year’s winner of the 1- 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream and runner-up to West Coast in the 1-¼ mile Travers at Saratoga (Grade 1). Both races are for 3-year-olds.

Gunnevera is trained by Antonio Sano, a South Florida resident whose year-round stable is at Calder.

Sano is training Gunnevera toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Trainer Bob Baffert is pointing West Coast toward the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Grade 1), to be run on Nov. 3.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is scheduled to be the final race for the 4 year-old Arrogate, who is trained by Baffert.

Arrogate won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and later won the Inaugural Pegasus World Cup.

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