Saturday, July 4, 2015

Gulfstream: by the Numbers

Gulfstream: By the Numbers

By Jim Freer

Saturday, July 4 — Starting today, HorseracingFLA is reporting on the numbers for each race day’s handle, field size and race purses at Gulfstream Park.

We are beginning with numbers from Wednesday July 1, the opening day of Gulfstream’s 2015 summer meet, and Friday July 3, the second day of the meet.
For some days, such as opening days, we also will report on the comparable day’s numbers from 2014.

We are obtaining the numbers from Equibase charts. Please note that Gulfstream generally does not provide Equibase with breakdowns of handle components–live, Intertrack Wagering (ITW) and Interstate Wagering (ISW).

We anticipate that our daily reports will be an important gauge for readers in determining “how is Gulfstream doing financially?”

On Wednesday, Gulfstream began its summer meet that will extend through Oct. 3.
For this year’s opening day, it had eight races and all-sources handle of $2,781.090 and 62 starters.

Last year, Gulfstream opened its summer meet on Tuesday July 1. It had eight races and all-sources handle of $1,778.505 and 68 starters.

So, the opening day handle increase was 56 percent. No races were taken off the turf either day. Yesterday, Friday July 3, Gulfstream had nine races with total handle of $4,013,147. Gulfstream did not have racing on July 3, 2014–a Thursday.

This is Gulfstream’s third summer of racing, and the first time it can plan a summer meet without concern about competition from neighbor Calder Casino & Race Course.
From July 2013 through June 2014, Gulfstream and Calder raced head-to-head on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

In June 2014, there was the prospect of another 12 months of head-to-head racing.
But on July 1, 2014 the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering approved the two tracks’ plan that called off head-to-head racing and transferred control of Calder’s racing operations to Gulfstream.

That timing gave Gulfstream only limited options for planning a summer stakes schedule.
This year, Gulfstream has been able to plan for an expanded summer stakes schedule that includes tomorrow’s Summit of Speed and the addition of races for 3-year-olds to the Florida Sire Stakes Series.

Reviews of Equibase charts indicate that Gulfstream had daily averages of about nine starters per race and all-sources handle of about $3.5 million for its summer meet from July 1 to Oct.4.
Gulfstream handle: summer 2015
* Friday July 3
Races — 9
Handle — $4,013,147
Starters — 66
Purses — $199.000
Turf — 5 races, all stayed on
Conditions – fast firm

*Wednesday, July 1
Races — 8
Handle — $2,781,090
Starters — 62
Purses — $209,000
Turf — 4 races, all stayed on
Conditions — fast firm

Betsy Ross Handicap Highlight of GP July 4th Card

By HorseracingFLA Staff

Saturday, July 4 — Gulfstream Park will have ten races today, with first post of 12:45 p.m. EDT. The highlight is the $60,000 Betsy Ross Handicap at 7 ½ furlongs on turf for 3-year-old fillies. It is the eighth race with scheduled post of 4:47 p.m.

As of 10:30 a.m., conditions are fast and firm and there are no scratches in the Betsy Ross.

Katie’s Kiss is among likely favorites in a nine-horse field for the Betsy Ross.
Following an encouraging third-place finish against older horses in the Tiger Lily Handicap at Gulfstream on June 6, Stonestreet Stables’ Katie’s Kiss is set to face her own age group in the Betsy Ross.

The David Fawkes-trained 3-year-old filly earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 80 for her performance in the Tiger Lily, a five-furlong turf sprint on June 6. After settling in mid-pack early, the sophomore daughter of Kantharos closed steadily along the inside to secure the show. The only horses to beat her were Grade 2 winner R Free Roll and stakes winner Fascinante.
“Against older fillies, it was a spot that she really shouldn’t have been in, but she really ran a big race,” Fawkes told the Gulfstream press office.

“I think she came out of the race better than she went into it,” Fawkes said. “She looks stronger, she’s training better. Her color is fabulous. I’m really happy with her.”

Saturday’s 7 ½-furlong Betsy Ross will present a new challenge for Katie’s Kiss, as it will be the first time the filly will run beyond six furlongs on either dirt or turf, but Fawkes believes the extra ground will not present a problem.

“I don’t think that will bother her a lot, because she just falls out of the gate,” Fawkes said. “[Jockey Tyler Gaffalione] knows her. He’s won on her already. If you just break, you sit, and she’ll be fine. I think she’ll get the distance.”

Katie’s Kiss will face eight competitors in the Betsy Ross, including Westminister Road, winner of the Miss Patti Handicap on June 13.

Also entered are Susie Bee and Afleet Mary, the Miss Patti’s third and fourth-place finishers; Urtheoneeyelove, who has contested graded stakes in each of her last three starts; and multiple-stakes winning Holywell, who will make her turf debut in the Betsy Ross. The field is rounded out by recent maiden winner Princess Fiona, L. A. Style and Nevelee.

Summit of Speed
Flutterby, the emphatic winner of the Sea Lily Handicap on May 30, turned in a sharp three-furlong blowout Friday morning in preparation for a start in Sunday’s $250,000 Princess Rooney (G2), the co-featured event on the $1.175 million Summit of Speed program at Gulfstream Park.

The 4-year-old filly, under the tutelage of trainer Jerry Bozzo, breezed the three-eighths distance in 35.53 seconds, the third fastest of 28 workers. Bozzo will send the daughter of Congrats out on Sunday looking to make history. Should she win the Princess Rooney, she would make Bozzo, 94, the oldest trainer to win a graded stakes race.

Rated at 4-1 on the morning line, Flutterby is the Princess Rooney’s third choice behind graded-stakes winners Merry Meadow and R Free Roll. She will break from post five under regular rider Luca Panici.

The Princess Rooney is the 10th race on Gulfstream’s 12-race, 9-stake card Sunday. Along with the Smile Sprint (G2), the race is a designated ‘Win &You’re In’ contest for October’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Lexington. Sunday’s first race post time is set for 12:30 p.m.