Saturday, April 4, 2020

Gulfstream Fast and Firm for Saturdy

Gulfstream Park's Saturday card is underway, with conditions listed s Fast and Firm.

As on every race day since March 13, Gulfstream is racing without spectators as it attempts to comply with govenment-issued guidances on not having large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the third day of  the spring meet.

There is a caryover of $93,239 on the Rainbow 6.  
 The 20-cents per combination bet is on races seven to twelve, with the sequence scheduled to start at 3:47 p.m.   

The feature 11th race is a $75,000 optional claimer with a $46,000 purse at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds. Scheduled post is 5:52 p.m.

Likely favorites in the eight-horse field are I'' Fght Dempsey, trained by Todd Pletcher. and Sonneman, trained by Mark Hening.

Both were maiden winners in their latest start.

I'll Fight Dempsey wired a ten-horse field at six furlongs on dirt in his career debut at Gulfstream on Feb. 29.  Luis Saez has the mount, taking over for John Velazquez who is not at Gulfstream today.

Sonneman rallied from eighth place, in a 12-horse field,  after a half mile and won at one mile on dirt at Belmont Park last Oct. 5. Joel Rosario will ride, taking the mount from Jose Lezcano who is not at Gulfstrea today.

Saturday: Racing Only at Gulfstream, Tampa and Oaklawn

Today is Saturday April 4 and, according to Equibase, only three U.S. thoroughbred  tracks are holding races.

Those tracks are Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Tampa Bay Downs in Oldsmar, Fla., and Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. 

As we will report this afternoon on this blog,all three could have big days in handle--mostly via advance  deposit wagering (ADW)

All three are racing with no spectators allowed, as they attempt to comply with federal, state and local guidances to limit the size public gatherings due to the coronavirus (CIVID-19) pandemic.

Gulfstream has a 12-race card with first post at 12:45 p.m.

Tampa Bay has an eight-race card with first post at 12:30 p.m.


Four year-olds and up will sprint five furlongs on the lawn in Race 3, under $16,000 Optional Claiming conditions. Post time is 1:30 PM.

MIDNIGHT BLUE NOTE (7) was a good second, only missing by a half-length in his last outing going the same trip as today. Leading rider Gallardo returns for trainer Tony Granitz and figures to get good position from the outside. The main rival here may be I'M CARDINAL (8) with Samy Camacho up. Gallardo and Camacho are separated by only four wins as they fight to the wire for the Tampa jockey championship. 

THE BET $10 to win on MIDNIGHT BLUE NOTE (7) and a $2 exacta box with I'M CARDINAL (8) and PHILOSOPHY (3) 3,7,8.
Total Bet $22  GOOD LUCK!!

PREVIOUS RESULTS  4/3 Lost $22. Bankroll is now plus $21.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Gulfstream Sets Records for One-Day Handle, and for Average Daily Handle at a Meet

By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink
Over the March 28th-29th weekend, Florida's Gulfstream Park set records of $53.8 million in one-day total handle and $11.3 million in average daily total handle for a race meet.

Those numbers are based on HorseRacingFLA's review of Equibase charts.

Gulfstream set the single-day record on Saturday March 28, Florida Derby day - and it did not include any "live handle."

2018 Gulfstream Park Xpress Bet Suite View

No Spectators.  As on all days since March 13, Gulfstream had "no spectators" racing on Florida Derby day as part of its efforts to comply with federal and state government guidances on limiting the size of public gatherings amid the  coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. No on-site media either, preventing us from reporting there on a day that usually has a festive atmosphere with a full house of more than 15,000 fans.

Gulfstream seldom provides detailed  beakdowns of the components of its handle. But it has said that its live share, like many other tracks, has dropped to the 10 percent range.  That share likely is larger on Florida Derby days with large  crowds.

While precise data are not readily available, there  are reports that the majority of the day's bets on Gulfstream races were done via advance deposit
wagering (ADW) Internet and phone accounts.

 Many race tracks and Off-Track betting offices that usually have considerable betting on Gulfstream were closed due to the coronavirus scare.

Gulfstream, especially its championship meet, is always popular among ADW bettors.

And ... on last Saturday, Gulfstream was like an "only game in town" for many of them. Santa Anita Park, Aqueduct Racetrack, Laurel Park and Fair Grouds were among major tracks that did not have racing due to the coronavirus situation.

In addition, the NCAA men's basketball tournament was cancelled, the NBA season was suspended and Major League Baseball had postponed its opening weekend.

Previous Records
The previous Gulfstream record for daily average total handle was $10.6 million, set in the 2017-2018 championship meet. 

Total handle is also known as all-sources handle. It is a combination of bets placed on a track's races from these locations: On site;
other pari-mutuels; off-track betting offices; advance deposit wagering (ADW) accounts; sports books in Nevada and other states; and sports books in various off-shore jurisdictions.

Gulfstream's previous single-day record of $49.9 million was set on March 30, 2018, which also was a Florida Derby day. Both days were rain free, with conditions Listed as Fast and Firm.

On both days, Gulfstream had fourteen races. Last Saturday, Gulfstream's attraction to bettors included an average field size 11.1 horses. It ran 155 starters - the most since HRFLA began tracking Gulfstream handle in July 2015.

For its 2018-2019 meet, Gulfstream had average daily total handle of $10.2 million. Florida Derby Day all sources handle was $47.5 million.

As of Friday morning, Gulfstream had not released any data on handle for its championship meet or on this year's first quarter. We will report that information when Gulfstream makes it available.

 We have been tracking Gulfstream handle data since July, 2015. Gulfstream officials have consistently said that the numbers we report are accurate.

What's Next
Over the coming weekend we plan to post additional reports on Gulfstream's handle, field sizes and race purses for the championship meet.

We also will have early reports on the racing and handle for Gulfstream's spring meet, which opened this past Thursday.  Last year, the spring meet had average daily total handle of $6.2  million.

What is Essential?

Gulfstream is in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in Broward County.

It has continued to race even though Broward on March 22 issued an executive order rhat does not list horse racing among "essential" businesses that can keep operating while government states of emergency remain in effect.

Gulfstream told the Broward government that it feels it should be among nonessential businesses allowed to operate at mnimum capacity to maintain the value of property and operations.

Gulfstream noted that it is responsible for 3,200 horses and for backside employees who care for them. Those horses need  to train and race, Gulfstream said in communications with the Broward government.

Broward County accepted Gulfstream's conten tion on training, but not for racing.  It also has noted that no workers at Gulfstream have come down with the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Gulfstream continues to emphasize the enhanced safety and health measures it has taken for jockeys, backside workers and track employees.

In recent days there have been no reports that Broward is planning to halt racing at Gulfstream.

It should be noted that as  Gulfstrream continues to race, it pays  taxes on racing-related revenues to Broward County and to Hallandale Beach.

Assuning a 20 percent blended rate, the takeout was about $10 million on the Florida Derby day's $53.8 million  in handle.

In percentages that are not readily determinable that takeout is divided among Gulfstream, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), ADWs and other sources of the betting.