Doug Donn, who since 1969 served in a variety of capacities at Gulfstream Park, ended his 35-year affiliation with the track by tendering his resignation as chairman of the board of the Gulfstream Park Racing Association.
Gulfstream Park officials said $150 million would be spent for a complete overhaul of the Hallandale Beach racetrack and Thoroughbred racing would be brought to a new Ocala facility if the Legislature changes the pari-mutuel laws allowing for more simulcast wagering.
The sponsor of legislation that would authorize video lottery terminals at Florida's pari-mutuel facilities said budget concerns in the state give it some chance to pass. Meanwhile, two VLT bills in the Senate cleared committee March 6 and could be combined.
Gulfstream Park chairman Doug Donn visited Palm Meadows, the training facility being constructed by the track's parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp., on Feb. 22 and said he was pleased with its progress. The site is located 55 miles north of Gulfstream in Boynton Beach, Fla.
A full field of 14 horses, including the Gary and Mary West entry of Mongoose and Ubiquity, was drawn Wednesday for Saturday's $500,000 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park.
Magna Entertainment's plans for a year-round training facility in South Florida moved forward Aug. 27 when Palm Beach officials amended local laws to allow the company to build accomodations for up to 500 grooms at its site near Boynton Beach. The previous limit was 20 grooms' quarters.
Having been rebuffed by State of Florida lawmakers in his efforts to revive legislation that would allow his track exclusive operating dates, Hialeah Park chairman John Brunetti said he does not expect the historic track to open in 2002 or, quite possibly, ever again.
The $1-million Florida Derby, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, will air during a special segment on SportsCenter Saturday, March 10, on ESPN2. Airtime for SportsCenter on March 10 is 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET), with wire-to-wire coverage of the Florida Derby scheduled to be shown approximately one hour after the live running of the Grade I race for 3-year-olds from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
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