Gulfstream Park has added a series of six state-bred stakes races to its closing day card on April 24.
A collaborative effort between Gulfstream Park and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, the Sunshine State Bonanza will feature a $400,000 series of races for registered Florida-breds, highlighted by a pair of $100,000 events for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the grass: the Island Whirls Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes and the Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes for fillies and mares.
Four $50,000 starter races for claiming horses—the Cartersita, the Coolbythepool, the Cherokee Frolic and, the Shake You Down—each named to honor former Florida claiming horses who went on to bigger and better things, complete the racing run-down.
Shake You Down, a winner of 22 races including six stakes and more than $1.4 million in earnings before retiring in 2007, will make a rare on-track appearance, parading in front of the stands between races. The 12-year-old Florida-bred winner of the 2004 Sunshine Millions Sprint now spends his days in Ocala, Fla., at the Marion County Correctional Institution where he’s a part of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation and the FTBOA’s vocational training program, which provides a safe home for retired racehorses and also teaches prison inmates vocational, emotional, and life skills through their work with the horses. Gulfstream will honor the TRF with a contribution.