HorseRacingFLA Staff Report
Barring any late weather changes, bettors will find large fields and turf racing this afternoon at Gulfstream Park and at Tampa Bay Downs.
Gulfstream in Hallandale Beach has a ten-race card with first post time at 12:35 p.m.
Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar will have nine races with first post of 12:27 p.m.
Today’s featured ninth race at Gulfstream is a $25,000 optional claimer at five furlongs on turf for 3-year-olds and up. The race has a $41,000 purse, with scheduled post of 4:35 p.m.
We will have a preview this afternoon as part of the coverage on our blog
Gulfstream has a whopping 138 entries today, including also eligibles and main track only. Six of the ten Gulfstream races have 16 entrants.
The maximum field size is either 12 or 14, depending on the distance and surface of a race, Thus, there will be several scratches in some of the races.
Five of today’s races are scheduled for turf. There is a 40 percent chance of rain in the afternoon forecast.
Gulfstream officials are hoping for a dry day that will enable then to run turf races, where the usual large fields are attractive to bettors.
This is the third day of Gulfstream’s 2015-2016 championship meet. On Saturday, opening day, heavy rain forced it to move four of its five scheduled turf races to dirt. On Sunday, Gulfstream shifted all five scheduled turf races to dirt due to wet conditions.
But total handle on Gulfstream races was still strong, with $10.1 million on Saturday and $5.7 million on Sunday.
Tampa Bay Downs
The feature sixth race is a $32,000 optional claimer at 6 ½ furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds and up. It has a $24,000 purse.
We will have a preview this afternoon on our blog.
Today’s nine races have 84 entrants. Three of the races are scheduled for turf. There is a 40 percent of thunderstorms during the afternoon.
In its four race days since Nov. 28, Tampa Bay has not moved any races from turf to dirt.
Gulfstream, Tampa Bay Both on Turf Today