Edited press release
The group I Gran Premio Latino Americano, one of South America's most prestigious stakes, will be run at Gulfstream Park in 2008 pending regulatory approval, Magna Entertainment Corp. announced May 19.
The 1 1/4-mile event brings together top horses from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay. The $300,000 race is scheduled for March 15.
The unprecedented move of a group I race is another step to bring Latin American racing closer to North America, MEC officials said. For many years, top Thoroughbreds have come from South America for successful careers in the United States. In December, the Latin American Racing Channel began importing races from Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay to the United States on a seven day a week basis.
“The Gran Premio Latino Americano brings together the best horses from the major racing countries in South America, much like the Breeders' Cup,” said Bruno Quintana, president of the Latin American Racing Association. “As evidenced by the international success of Invasor, we are proud of our fine Thoroughbreds and look forward to a great event at Gulfstream Park in 2008.”
Last year, the Gran Premio Latino Americano was run at La Plata racetrack in Argentina. It is a combination of efforts of the Latin American Racing Association, numerous Jockey Clubs, member racetracks, the Latin American Racing Channel, and MEC.
“As evidenced by our efforts with Racing World in the (United Kingdom) and the Latin American Racing Channel, MEC is committed to bringing our great sport to a worldwide audience,” MEC executive vice president Joe De Francis said. “I believe that Gulfstream Park will be the perfect host for this exciting event."
The Gran Premio Latino Americano brings together four invitees from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, and two invitees from Peru, Panama, and Uruguay. The race is for 3-year-olds and up.
The race’s transfer to Florida is subject to the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture as to the procedures for quarantine.