Edited Gulfstream Park release
Gulfstream Park will present 46 stakes races worth $8,045,000 during its 87-day meet in 2006, track officials announced. Thirty-one stakes will carry graded status, including the track's signature race, the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8-mile April 1.
As in 2005, the stakes agenda is built around four "Spectacular Saturday" cards, which will feature multiple graded stakes events on the same program, including a seven-stakes day as part of Spectacular Saturday IV on Florida Derby day.
Leading to the Florida Derby will be a progression of stakes specifically designed for 3-year-olds in pursuit of the Triple Crown races. The $125,000 Aventura Stakes starts the program at one mile Jan. 7, followed by the $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) at 7-1/2 furlongs and the co-featured $150,000 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) at 1 1/8-mile Feb. 4. The $300,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/8-mile is set for March 5, as is the $150,000 Swale Stakes (gr. II) at seven furlongs.
The fourth annual Sunshine Millions, which pits Florida-breds against their California counterparts in a one-day series of races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park, will be held Jan. 28.
Gulfstream will host the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff, $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, $300,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint, and $250,000 Sunshine Millions Oaks.
"The Gulfstream stakes schedule offers outstanding opportunities in every division," said Scott Savin, Gulfstream president and general manager, "and the Spectacular Saturday concept guarantees that we'll have several tremendous event days during the meet. We're very excited about the upcoming season."
Spectacular Saturdays are scheduled for the following days:
Jan. 7: Mr. Prospector Handicap (gr. III), Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III), Aventura Stakes.
Feb. 4: Donn Handicap (gr.II), Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II), Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II), Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), Old Hat Stakes (gr. III), Suwannee River Handicap (gr. III).
March 4: Fountain Of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Swale Stakes (gr. II), Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II), Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. II), The Very One Handicap (gr. III), Honey FoxHandicap (gr. III).
April 1: Florida Derby (gr. I), Orchid Handicap (gr. II), Pan American Handicap (gr. II), Skip Away Handicap (gr. III), Artax Handicap, Lure Stakes, Spectacular Bid Stakes.