After the start of Calder Race Course's opening-day card of nine races April 21, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association agreed to permit the racetrack to send its signal to New York's off-track betting companies. Six OTB outlets in that state received the signal for the last three races.
Ron Nicoletti, longtime South Florida racing personality and Gulfstream Park handicapper during its live meet since 1990, will join the Florida track on a full-time basis, taking the position of media manager.
Calder Race Course will open its 38th season April 21 with a schedule that again focuses on what it calls "big event day" Saturdays with multiple stakes. Calder's first highlight will be its inaugural Turf Million April 26, with four turf stakes with total purses of $1.15 million.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has given the new national Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group authority to negotiate terms with advance deposit wagering companies for betting on races at South Florida Thoroughbred racetracks. Also, Florida horsemen want an agreement on slots revenue with Calder before any contracts are signed.
Trainer Joe Orseno added another notable accomplishment to his resume Monday at Gulfstream Park, sending out five winners on the nine-race card.
Presious Passion went wire-to-wire in the 12-furlong marathon Pan American April 5 at Gulfstream Park, winning for trainer Mary Hartmann.
A wide-open field of eight has been entered for Saturday's $150,000 Pan American Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
William Clifton Jr.'s Hostess received a perfect ground-saving trip from John Velazquez, struck the front with a half-furlong to go, and edged away to win the $150,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a length March 30 on the turf at Gulfstream Park.
Gulfstream Park, in conjunction with the University of Florida (UF), announced the names of this year's three recipients from Gulfstream Park's $30,000 Barbaro Scholarship Program March 29.
IEAH Stables and Paul Pompa Jr.'s highly-touted Big Brown proved that all the hype was justified, as he led from start to finish in the $1-million Florida Derby, crushing 11 rivals to win by five lengths March 29 at Gulfstream Park while making just his third career start.
Five of the eight entrants in the $150,000 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) will face one another for second time in three weeks, as the older fillies and mares do battle March 30 on the turf at Gulfstream Park.
With Big Brown hung out in post 12, Elysium Fields is our preference to win the Grade I Florida Derby. He has two good races over Gulfstream's track, has been training very well, and has the fastest time of the field at the distance.
They finished one-two in a Feb. 20 allowance race, separated by just a neck, and on March 29, Run Sully Run and Sporting Art will have a rematch in the $150,000 Bulleit Bourbon Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
A full field of 12 was drawn for the March 29 Florida Derby (gr. I), which on paper has turned out to be the most intriguing prep race for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) this year.
Halsey Minor's 3-year-old Fierce Wind drilled a bullet half-mile in 46 4/5 over a fast track at Palm Meadows March 24 for trainer Nick Zito in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park March 29.
Despite a "muddy" track at Gulfstream Park, Garland Williamson's Cool Gator and jockey Eddie Castro got to know each other the morning of March 24 with a five-furlong breeze, the final workout for the 3-year-old son of Macho Uno before the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 29.
The mere mention of 1971 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero Canonero II to most horsemen from Latin America immediately invokes pride. Trainer Dante Zanelli Jr. is no different, and he has a healthy respect for the achievements of the Venezuelan star who swept the first two legs of the American Triple Crown. He's just not ready to compare his charge, Jetset Racing's Tomcito, to the legend.
Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) runner-up Elysium Fields and impressive allowance winner Big Brown turned in works this week in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) March 29.
In a written decision March 19, hearing officer William Greely has reversed a decision made by Gulfstream Park stewards and has disqualified Green Girl from victory in the Feb. 3 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Stronach Stables' homebred mare Sugar Swirl will try to extend her winning streak to four on March 22 at Gulfstream Park, as she faces six rivals in the $200,000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II), a seven-furlong test for older fillies and mares on the main track.
Zabeel Racing International's Stream of Gold won for the first time in nearly three years, and recorded his first win on American soil March 16, as the 7-year-old gelding scored by a neck over True Cause in the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Gulfstream Park turf.
The Florida Senate approved March 13 two slot-machine bills that would help the state's Thoroughbred racetracks and other pari-mutuel facilities. However, there is considerable opposition to the bills in the Florida House of Representatives, and the influential Seminole Tribe of Florida is expressing concerns about the legislation.
Robert Evans' Elysium Fields, runner-up in last month's $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), worked March 12 at Gulfstream Park in preparation for the $1 million Florida Derby (gr. I) Mar. 29.
Gulfstream Park has voluntarily dismissed a federal lawsuit that sought to block slots being installed in casinos operated by Florida Indian tribes, saying it will await the outcome of a similar Florida Supreme Court action.
Gulfstream Park reported its all-sources pari-mutuel handle is down about 5% and on-track handle off 30% year-to-date through early March.
Making her stakes debut, Stronach Stables' homebred Spring Waltz split rivals at the furlong marker, surged to the lead at the sixteenth-pole, and romped to the wire under Javier Castellano with an impressive 3 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) March 9 on the Gulfstream Park dirt.
Tracy Farmer's Commentator proved to be back in the top form he was nearly three years ago when he won the 2005 Whitney Handicap (gr. I), this time trouncing five rivals to take the $200,000 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) by 13 3/4-lengths March 8 at Gulfstream Park.
In his first workout since his strong runner-up performance in the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 29, Robert Evans's Elysium Fields posted a half-mile breeze March 6 at Gulfstream Park.
Graded stakes winners Tessa Blue and Golden Velvet will take on impressive allowance winner Spring Waltz in the $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) March 9 at Gulfstream Park. A field of seven has been entered for the main track event.
Seven rivals will look to knock off Lazy F Ranch's red-hot Chatain March 8 in the $200,000 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
Lawrence Goichman's homebred J'ray and Robert Scarborough's Mauralakana head a field of older fillies and mares in the $100,000 The Very One Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park March 8.
The parent company of Magna Entertainment Corp. says the racing and gaming company needs to sell off assets as quickly as possible to drive down debt, and may not be able to repay loans that are set to expire in May.
Two bills that would help Thoroughbred racetracks, the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., and the state's other pari-mutuel facilities will be on the calendar when the Florida legislature begins its annual two-month session March 4.
An appeal seeking to overturn a stewards ruling that supported the original results of the Suwannee River Handicap (gr. IIIT) will be heard March 19.
Golden Velvet, Darley Stable's candidate for the March 9 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park, and the dead-heat co-winner of the Sabin Handicap (gr. III) Jan. 6, was found after that race to have been "sponged," track officials have announced.
Bsharpsonata continued her ascent to the top of the 3-year-old filly ranks, splitting horses in the stretch to win the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II) by two lengths March 2 at Gulfstream Park, her fourth consecutive triumph.
Bea Oxenberg's 3-year-old Hey Byrn reaffirmed his credentials as a potential Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) contender March 2 at Gulfstream Park when he drew off to win a 1 1/8-mile allowance race by six lengths under jockey Edgar Prado.
With one analyst tagging the proceedings "Groundhog Day," Magna Entertainment Corp. announced Feb. 29 more losses during a short, testy conference call that discussed year-end financials for 2007.
Amy Tarrant's 5-year-old Kiss the Kid may have gone off at odds of 46-1 in the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I) at Gulfstream, but a strong third-place finish in that race has him looking like the favorite for the March 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II).
The fractions and final time for the Feb. 24 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) have been adjusted, with Gulfstream Park's official final time for the 1 1/8-mile race now to be listed as 1:50.07.
Juvenile champion War Pass was impressive in his 3-year-old debut Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park, looking sharp in a one-mile allowance race against four overmatched foes.
Cool Coal Man took over at the top of the stretch and then held off a stubborn Elysium Fields by a half-length to take the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
The 24-year-old jockey was thrown from his mount in the seventh race Feb. 23.
Ross Morton, Gulfstream Park's announcer for 23 years and Finger Lakes' announcer throughout its 46-year history, died the night of Feb. 20 in Hollywood after suffering a massive stroke. He was 74.
Gulfstream Park has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a compact allowing tribal casinos to offer Class-III slots and banked card games in Florida, the latest attempt by the track to curb gaming competition from neighboring wagering facilities.
Top three finishers earn an automatic berth in the championship in Las Vegas next year.
A star-studded field of 12 3-year-olds, highlighted by a pair of starters for trainers Bill Mott and Nick Zito, will contest the $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) Feb. 24 at Gulfstream Park.
Isle Racing & Casino at Pompano Park will cut race purses about 35% starting Feb. 22, and will not hold harness racing on Monday and Wednesday nights during most of March and April.
The owner of La Dolce Vita has formally appealed the decision of Gulfstream Park stewards not to change the outcome of the Feb. 3 Suwannee River Handicap (gr. III), saying the decision challenges the integrity of horse racing.
The 5-year-old mare pulled away in the stretch to take the Hurricane Bertie (gr. III) Feb. 17 at Gulfstream Park.
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