Saturday, May 20, 2017

New Florida HBPA Stakes Series Starts with Big Drama

Gulfstream Park, in partnership with the Florida Horsemen's  Benevolent and Protective Association, on Saturday will begin a new series of stakes races that will provide some significant summertime purse money for Florida-breds.

The first race in the series is the $100,000 Big Drama, at seven furlongs on dirt for Florida-breds 3-year-olds and up.

It is the tenth race, with scheduled  post of 5:54  p.m.  We will have  a preview and coverage on this blog.

Gulfstream has eleven races with first post at 11:00 a.m.
"This is just a fantastic start to the Florida-bred program which we helped to initiate. We’re hoping it goes over big so we can continue and possibly expand it in the future,” said Florida HBPA President Bill White.

All ten races in the series have  $100,000 purses. Six are restricted to Florida breds. Four are Florida-preferred, meaning they are open to horses bred in other states and that bonuses will be paid to owners of Florida-breds that finish first, second or third.
The Florida HBPA announced the new series in February.
Of the purse money, $500,000 is from money that Gulfstream and the horsemen had allocated in previous years for the Donn Handicap (Grade 1).  The Donn was replaced this year by the inaugural $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational that was run on Jan. 28.
The remaining contribution of purse money is being split 50-50 by Gulfstream and the Florida HBPA for the first year races in what is scheduled to be an annual series.
--Jim Freer


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