Gulfstream Park will host the 2017 Clásico Internacional del Caribe, the Caribbean's premier Thoroughbred race, the Confederation of Caribbean Racetracks announced July 1 at its mid-year meeting at the Florida track.
Representatives of The Stronach Group and the Confederation met Friday afternoon to work on further details of hosting the December 2017 event.
Gulfstream will become the first pari-mutuel facility outside Latin America and the Caribbean to host the Clásico Internacional del Caribe since its inception in 1966. The event includes five races with total purses of $600,000, including the $300,000 Caribbean Derby.
"Gulfstream has been approved to host the Clásico here in 2017," said Confederation president Hugo Albarran through an interpreter Friday. "It's historical. It's the first time in 50 years the race will be held in a country that's not a member (of the Confederation). We're very happy with The Stronach Group. We'll make Florida part of Latin America.
"This will help us grow and guarantees the Clásico is successful. It started as a $30,000 race, then $50,000, then $100,000. Now all five races are at $600,000. It's the biggest purse for any day of Latin America racing."
Albarran, along with The Stronach Group's Mike Rogers and Tim Ritvo, said quarantine issues and travel logistics have been worked out with the United States Department of Agriculture.
During the Confederation's meeting, Rogers and Ritvo spoke about The Stronach Group's passion for horse racing and its ability to hold world-class events at its venues, Gulfstream media officials said. They also spoke of their desire to showcase Latin American racing to a wider audience.
"We believe the opportunity to showcase your product is something that will be beneficial to all the countries in involved," Ritvo said. "We believe running this world-class event, along with our passion for horse racing and the dedication to the international Thoroughbred industry by our founder, Mr. Frank Stronach, will enhance and entice people to watch and bet on your product.
"Rest assured, The Stronach Group will be 100% committed to throwing a world-class event and showing off your horse racing to the entire world."