Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course have started the annual process of picking racing dates, with Gulfstream stirring up yet another dispute by saying it plans to expand its four-month schedule.
Effective April 8 Gulfstream Park for the last three Fridays of its current meet is sending the simulcast signal of its full live card to two local facilities on an experimental basis.
Paul Micucci, vice president of the gaming division of Magna Entertainment Corp., has been named president and general manager of Gulfstream Park. He replaces Scott Savin, who had held those positions at Gulfstream since 2000.
Officials at the new Gulfstream Park said business during this year's 86-day meet was a reflection of the track's future direction. According to figures released by the Hallandale Beach, Fla., facility, total on-track handle, a figure that includes wagering on live racing and imports, increased by about 14% from 2005. Gulfstream estimated it handled an average of more than $1.4 million per day, or about $122.8 million for the meet.
Gulfstream Park president and general manager Scott Savin announced Monday a purse hike of $10,000 for each overnight race that closes with nine or more entries for the Florida Derby weekend, April 1-2.
Gulfstream Park opened for its 2006 live race meet Wednesday, its palatial new clubhouse only partially completed and its patron facilities falling short of management's expectations when the project was begun nearly two years ago.
"Go west, young man," was the theme expressed by Scott Savin as Gulfstream Park's president introduced the track's completely redesigned clubhouse during a walkthrough of the facility Monday, Jan. 2.
As the rebuilt Gulfstream Park races toward its opening day of Jan. 4, 2006, the track's top official said some temporary facilities would be used to accommodate patrons early in the meet.
South Florida's Thoroughbred tracks Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park have entered into an agreement to exchange simulcast signals of their live horse races as well as interstate racing signals.
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., has taken in 50 racehorses that had to leave nearby Calder Race Course because of barn-area damage from Hurricane Wilma.
In its effort to aid in the rebuilding process at Calder Race Course, Gulfstream Park bedded down 50 Thoroughbreds Friday that made the six-mile trip east to Hallandale Beach.
As Gulfstream Park enters into its self-proclaimed "new era in racing," it will be doing so without one of the key members of its management team.
For the fourth time in less than a year, a hurricane has disrupted Calder Race Course's racing schedule and track president Ken Dunn says he has seen enough.
Despite extensive renovations that necessitated the use of temporary facilities throughout the season, Gulfstream Park concluded its 2005 meet with a 1.7% gain in average daily handle from all sources.
Seven horses at Gulfstream Park's Palm Meadows Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla. have tested positive for the equine bacterial disease known as strangles.
Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park are just eight miles away, both straddling the Miami-Dade/Broward County line in South Florida. But following the results of the March 8 municipal elections, the tracks may soon be entirely different.
Racing was cancelled midway through Friday's 10-race program at Gulfstream Park when heavy rains and an impending severe lightning storm just to the North of the Hallandale Beach oval threatened the safety of horses, jockeys and patrons.
Gulfstream Park, currently undergoing a major reconstruction, will have a one-mile chute on its dirt track when its 2005 racing season gets under way Jan. 3. The 86-day meet runs through April 24.
In a move that could have significant implications for the slate of Triple Crown prep races, Gulfstream Park may revamp its schedule of 3-year-old stakes and delay by three weeks the 2005 Florida Derby (gr. I).
The rebuilding of Gulfstream Park continued June 29 when workers took down the roof above the Hallandale, Fla., racetrack's grandstand.
David Rovine, Gulfstream Park's director of marketing who played an instrumental role in bringing weekend rock and jazz to the South Florida track, was fired this week as part of a corporate restructuring, said track president Scott Savin.
Gulfstream Park's inaugural twilight racing presentation March 19 was a success, attracting 14,628 patrons. Attendance on the comparable Friday in 2003 was 5,240.
A Gulfstream Park record for commingled handle was set on Florida Derby Day Saturday when a total of $25,481,438 was wagered, according to Edward Mackie, director of mutuels.
For the second day in a row, racing at Gulfstream Park was cancelled after jockeys refused to ride Monday due to unsafe track conditions. Monday's racing program was cancelled shortly after the 1:30 post time for the first race.
Though it is early, with just four racing days in the books, Gulfstream Park's 2004 meet has thus far sent mixed signals. Although on-track performance has shown increases in attendance and wagering, the all-sources handle has shown a drop of nearly 19%.
All purses at Gulfstream Park will be increased by $2,000 each, effective March 22 and continuing through April 6, announced David F. Bailey, director of racing and racing secretary.
Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course have filed amended racing dates for the year ending May 31, 2004, that prevent any overlap.
The respective presidents of Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park said they have pulled out all the stops in marketing this Saturday's $3.6-million Sunshine Millions, a unique program matching Florida-breds vs. California-breds at the two Magna Entertainment owned racetracks.
Gulfstream Park will increase purses in all maiden special races and allowances by $2,000, effective with January 25, director of racing David F. Bailey announced.
Gulfstream Park reportedly has requested a racing schedule for 2003-2004 that would overlap with the dates historically raced in South Florida by Calder Racecourse.
Despite perpetual overcast and unseasonably cool temperatures that may have kept people away, Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., opened its 89-day 2003 race meet Jan. 3 with significant gains in overall handle and field size. And while the chill rendered it empty, the track also unveiled its new picnic area, created by the razing of the north portion of the grandstand at a loss of some 3,000 permanent seats.
Gulfstream Park's opening weekend, from Friday, January 3, through Sunday, January 5, features five stakes, free grandstand admission, giveaways and rolled-back prices on selected food and drink favorites, weekend appearances by leading thoroughbred trainers, concerts, and more.
Though the declining stock price of its parent Magna Entertainment Corp. prevented Gulfstream Park from the major renovations it had planned, construction crews were at the Hallandale, Fla. track this week, razing a section of the grandstand.
Magna Entertainment's Palm Meadows, a Thoroughbred training center designed to relieve the stall shortage in South Florida, will be ready for equine residents this winter but dormitories for employees may not be ready.
Gulfstream Park ended its meet April 24 with handle and attendance numbers significantly down from a year ago.
The New York Racing Association has ended dark-day simulcasting at Aqueduct, and its chairman, Barry Schwartz, targeted the product at Gulfstream Park as the main reason for the move. The president of Gulfstream disagrees with Schwartz's assessment of the product.
While California has worried about declining field sizes for about two years, Santa Anita Park has created hope this year by attracting 20% more starters per race in its first two weeks. On the East Coast, however, average field size has gone from boom to bust. Gulfstream Park came out of its 2001 season with an 8.2% increase in average starters per race, but this year field size lagged 18% during the first week of racing.
Tampa Bay Downs has signed a reciprocal simulcast deal with Gulfstream Park even though horsemen's groups outside Florida are trying to block distribution of the Tampa track's signal. Horsemen in Texas and Kentucky are battling with Tampa Bay Downs over what they see as mistreatment of the local horsemen's group.
Magna Entertainment is moving forward with its plans to recreate Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. The plans include specialty shops and entertainment facilities.
Magna Entertainment Corp. will break ground Oct. 30 on Palm Meadows, a major training facility to be located in west of Boynton Beach, Fla., about 47 miles from the company's Gulfstream Park.
The possibility that Hialeah Park may not open its stable area for the upcoming season threatens to change the landscape of winter racing along the East Coast.
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.
- By Scott Davis
Magna Entertainment officials, fresh off of their initial foray into team racing on March 10 at Gulfstream Park, are planning a second round of their Super Track series, possibly as soon as April in California. Organizers hope to work out some of the kinks that forced cancellation of the event in California in early March.
Linda Mills has been elected president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. She replaces Richard Root, who served as interim president when Scott Savin was named president of Gulfstream Park.
Though only two of 12 scheduled races were run, consensus was the Super Track Racing Series held at Gulfstream Park March 10 went well.
Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" Saturday, March 10, has been reduced to just a pair of races, carded as the ninth and 10th, on Gulfstream's Florida Derby card
The first of two rounds in Magna Entertainment's "Super Track Racing Series" has been canceled because of a lack of time to prepare and possibly complications tied to medication rules. The first round of the series -- six $100,000 races at Santa Anita Park March 3 -- has been scrapped, the Magna-owned California track announced Tuesday. The second round, scheduled for March 10 at Gulfstream Park, Magna's Florida track, will go as planned, officials said.
After months of negotiations, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs will begin swapping signals on Feb. 17 as the result of a simulcasting agreement executed Friday. "The final hurdle was just the clarification of some language concerning the Florida statutes," said Gulfstream's president Scott Savin, who added that the bulk of the negotiations were handled through the California- based Simulcasting Department of Magna Entertainment Corporation, Gulfstream's parent track.
It will be the Miami Cruisers taking on the Los Angeles Blaze in a pair of cross-country racing events, Gulfstream Park president Scott Savin announced Friday. Five days after what Savin called a "positive meeting" among horsemen at Gulfstream Park, Magna Entertainment Corp.'s idea for a rivalry between its flagship tracks, Gulfstream and Santa Anita, was endorsed by the Thoroughbred Owners of California, setting the stage for a series of six races on each coast.
In a meeting Saturday on the backstretch with a group of about 50 horsemen, Gulfstream president Scott Savin detailed Magna Entertainment Corporation's plan to create a rivalry between its flagship tracks, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita, by running a daylong series of races on each coast that would pit Florida and California horses against each other. Magna would foot the bill for 36 Gulfstream horses, each accompanied by a groom, to fly to Santa Anita for six starter allowance races, each with a purse as high as $80,000, on Feb. 25. Approximately two weeks later, the process would be reversed and Gulfstream would host California runners.
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