Part of the facilities at new South Florida training center.

Part of the facilities at new South Florida training center.

Palm Meadows Opens for Training

Magna Entertainment Corp.'s long-awaited South Florida training center Palm Meadows opened for business on Monday. About 250 horses were expected to hit the track opening day.

"We opened the stable area on Friday (Nov. 29)," said Gary Van den Broek, Palm Meadows general manager. "But we didn't open the track for training until today. George Weaver was one of the first trainers to have horses arrive and his Maybry's Boy was the first horse on the new track."

"Palm Meadows is a beautiful facility," Weaver said. "They've done a good job in getting it ready. The barns are great and the track is in excellent shape. My wife (Cindy Hutter Weaver) was on Maybry's Boy this morning and she had nothing but praise for the surface of the track."

The distance from Palm Meadows to Gulfstream is approximately 47 miles.

"Our horsemen will be thrilled by the amenities that Palm Meadows affords them now and those that will be offered when phase two is completed," said Gulfstream president and general manager Scott Savin. "To see the way that everything has come together has been amazing. It will be the finest training center for thoroughbreds in North America.

"The presence of Palm Meadows will be of great benefit to Gulfstream during our meet and beyond. The expanded stall availability will translate directly into increased field sizes, which will please both our fans and our horsemen. The response to Palm Meadows by horsemen has been overwhelming and every available stall has been assigned. We have a waiting list for stalls and that bodes well for the future of Gulfstream and Florida racing."

Palm Meadows, which sits on 304 acres in Boynton Beach, Florida, will accommodate 768 horses for the upcoming Gulfstream meet. The facility features a 1/8 miles dirt track and a one-mile turf course.

About 1,400 horses are expected to train at Palm Meadows by 2004. Boarding and training will be free during the first year because the facility is not complete.