With more than 75 years of history behind it, Gulfstream Park Racetrack in Hallendale Beach, Florida is one of the premier thoroughbred racing facilities in North America. With a racing calendar that spans more than 10 months, from December of the year through to the following October, it has one on the longest racing seasons in North America as well. Each year, Gulfstream Park hosts more than 40 graded-stakes races, and in January of 2017 will hold the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Stakes, which will be the richest horse race in the world. Gulfstream Park is also home to a casino and shopping complex.
Gulfstream Park Racetrack Picks
You have the opportunity to get in on the action of all the big races at Gulfstream Park when you make your Gulfstream Park Racetrack picks through an account with one of the online racebooks recommended below.
Gulfstream Park Racing Tips
Gulfstream Park has both dirt and turf racing surfaces, and in fact one of the three Grade 1 stakes held at Gulfstream is the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, which is run in early February and is open to horses aged four and older, racing 1 1/8 miles for a purse of $350,000.
Over the past decade and a bit, female trainers have enjoyed particular success in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, with Helen Pitts winning twice (2006, 2008) and Catherine Day Phillips (2007) and Josie Carroll (2016) each collecting one win. Four out of 11 is a fairly remakable statistic, considering men outnumber women as trainers in the racing world by a ratio of about 50/1.
Also on the calendar for the Gulfstream meet is the Grade 1, $1 million Florida Derby, held every year in late March or early April. First run in 1952, the Florida Derby is one the last - and therefore one of the most important - prep races for the Kentucky Derby. In recent years, Monarchos (2001), Big Brown (2008) and Nyquist (2016) have won the Florida Derby and gone on to win the Kentucky Derby, while Orb (2013) was the favorite in Kentucky following his win in the Florida Derby.
The last of the "Big Three" Grade 1 stakes races at Gulfstream has since 1959 been the Donn Handicap, named for the Donn family, who were one-time owners of the track. However, for 2017 the Donn Handicap has been replaced by the Pegasus World Cup, which will offer a total purse of $12 million, making it the richest horse race in the world, ahead of the $10 million Dubai World Cup, and twice the total purse of the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Speaking of the Breeders' Cup, Gulfstream has hosted the de facto World Championships of horse racing three times, in 1989, 1992 and 1999. The track is also known for hosting the Sunshine Millions racing series, which pits horses from Florida versus horses from California in a series of six races at various distances on both the dirt and turf surfaces.
In addition to the Grade 1 races at Gulfstream, the calendar also includes two other races that are part of the Kentucky Derby points series in the form of the Fountain of Youth and the Holy Bull Stakes. First run in 1945, the Fountain of Youth is a Grade 2 race held in late February, and os run at a distance of 1 1/16 mileson the dirt course, ofering a purse of $400,000.
Run one month prior to the Fountain of Youth, the Holy Bull is also a Grade 2 event, and is also run at 1 1/16 miles, with a slightly smaller purse of $350,000. In 2016, Moyhamen took both the Holy Bull and the Fountain of Youth and was a heavy favorite for the Florida Derby, where he finished fourth beaten by a horse named Nyquist. The two would meet again in the Kentucky Derby with exactly the same result, as Nyquist won the Run for the Roses, and Mohaymen again ran fourth.