Friday, July 18, 2014

Gulfstream to Raise Purses

Note: This article is based on an article  click here  published Thursday by click here
Both  are written by Jim Freer, Blood-Horse correspondent and editorial director of  this Web site.

Friday, July 18 -- Gulfstream Park announced on Thursday that it will increase purses an average of 10 percent starting with its July 24 Condition Book and also offer a $250 starter incentive to help horsemen offset the cost of workers' compensation.

In  a news release, Gulfstream said  the  purse increase is the result of an agreement signed July 1 between Gulfstream and Calder Casino & Race Course that ended a dates conflict and head-to-head weekend racing.

Gulfstream did not provide specific numbers.  But a comparison of upcoming  Fridays  shows purses  of $194,375 for  nine races  on July 18 and  of $238,000 for nine races July 25.   Both days’ numbers  include Florida Owners’ Awards.

Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach,  Fla., added that “since the agreement was signed, Gulfstream's total handle and field size has increased significantly.”   It did not provide specific numbers,.

However,  a Blood-Horse review of  Equibase  Co. charts showed that Gulfstream averaged an impressive $3.9 million in all-sources handle for its eight race days between July 1 and July 13.

The last day of head-to-head racing was June 29.  Gulfstream’s average daily handle was in the $3 million range  and Calder’s was in the $800,000 to $900,000 range during  the second half of June.

This past weekend of July 11-13, Gulfstream had average daily all-sources handle of $4.3 million. Gulfstream had 30 races over the three days with  an average of 9.6 starters per race.  It averaged  about eight horses per race during the second  half of last month.

Last weekend’s average wagering  per day on Gulfstream races was 59 percent higher than its $2.7 million on the June 27 to June 29 weekend--the last during which Calder  also had racing.

Gulfstream added that it has also made significant strides in reinvigorating the Florida 2-year-old program and the $1.4 million Florida Sire Stakes, which begins August 9.

"The solid increases we've seen in field size and handle confirms our long-held belief that a dates agreement would benefit racing and horsemen," Gulfstream President Tim Ritvo said. "Our strategy is to continue building Florida racing for our bettors, horsemen and breeders and create a healthy year-round racing program.”

Ritvo added: "Because of our increase in handle we will offer a $250 starter bonus to our horsemen through October 4 to help offset the cost of workers' compensation. While this will help in the short-term, our goal continues to work with horsemen on a long-term solution to workers' compensation."

Phil Combest, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA), said: "Florida horsemen are excited about summer racing again for the first time in years. A purse increase, starter incentive, the best field sizes in the country, and a track that is marketing and publicizing the sport. Why wouldn't we be optimistic?"

Gulfstream  is in  its  summer meet that will  run  through Oct. 4.  It has racing  Thursdays through Sundays,  with first  post time of   1:15 p.m.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please post your comment to our blog. It will be moderated and approved in a timely manner, then posted. Thanks for reading !

HorseRacing FLA staff