Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Tampa Bay Downs Resumes Racing on Wednesday With 'No Spectators' and New Pick 6 Pool

HRFLA Staff Report

After being dark on Monday and Tuesday, Tampa Bay Downs will resume racing on Wednesday with eight races and first post of  12:30  p.m.

The Oldsmar, Fla., track will again be racing without spectators and with no on-track  betting.

Tampa Bay is doing that as part of its effort to comply with federal and state guidances on limiting the nunber of persons at public  events during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

HorseRacingFLA's research indicaes that fewer than  ten U.S. Thorouighbred tracks are still running races--and they are doing that with no spectators.

And Tampa Bay has large fields in most races--in part because some trainers are keeping more horses in Florida because several tracks in  northern states have temporarily halted racing.

On Wednesday, each race has at least ten entrants including Also Eligibles.

There will be a new pool in the Ultimate Pick 6. It will be on races three to eight with the sequence scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.

On Sunday, Tampa Bay's most recent race day, there was just one ticket with all six winners in the Pick 6.  It paid $91,970   on a 20 cent bet.

That jackpot consisted  of the entire coming in carryover of $52,773 and 80 percent of the day's new Pick 6 bet of $47,776.

Program numbers of the winning horses were 3-1-3-7-10-3.

A key to there being just one winning ticket was the win by Tomero at 27-1 in the seventh and next to last race.  The other five winners were at single-digit odds.

Tampa Bay pays out the jackpot only on days when there is just one ticket with all six winners.

On other days, it takes out 20 percent of the day's Rainbow 6 bet.  It then divides 60 percent   among tickets with multiple  winners and adds 20  percent to the carryover. 

*Durig days when there is no-on site bettig atg Tampa Bay Downs, fans may watch and wager through Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) sites such as Twinspires, TVG, XPressbet and DRF Bets.

Races also can be viewed live and replays can be viewed m

on the track's Web sitewww.tampabaydowns.com/

Internet station RadioStPete

in conjunction with HorseRacingFLA, carries track announcer Richard Grunder's live call of the feature race. Bob Bauer, HRFLA's Tampa Bay associate editor and handicapper, provides pre-race and post-race analysis.

Tampa Bay Downs has live racing on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 3. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Tiz the Law Wins Florida Derby; Meet Sets Average Daily Handle Record

By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink
Tiz the Law was an impressive winner in the $750,000 Florida Derby (Grade 1)on Saturday and the bettors who generated record-level total handle, in the $50 million range, joined him as stars of Gulfstream Park's annual biggest day.

A large but not immediately determinable share of Saturday's betting was via advance deposit wagering (ADW) on Internet and phone accounts.

Gulfstream's all-time record of total handle for a single day (other than Breeders' Cup days) was $49,909,710 on March 31, 2018.  That also was a Florida Derby day.

Gulfstream had fourteen races each day.

As of mid-afternoon today (Sunday), Gulfstream had not released the number for its total handle (all-sources handle)  for Saturday.

HorseRacingFLA's review of the Equibase chart for Saturday indicates that the total handle number came very close to or may have beaten the March 31,2018 number.

The recent  ADW wagering on Gulfstream races has included an undetermined number of bettors who would have been betting on Aqueduct and other tracks that are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic and/or on the cancelled NCAA basketball tournament and on games in the NBA which has suspended its season.

Gulfstream is ending its 2019-2020 championship  meet today.  Our review of Equibase data shows that Gulfstream will break its  all-time record for daily average total handle at a race  meet. The record of $10.56 million was set in the 2017-2018 championship meet.

The handle numbers for this year's Florida Derby day and for the meet are particularly impressive because since March 13 (including Florida Derby day) Gulfstream has raced with no spectators and no on-track betting due to precautions related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In the Florida Derby, the 7-5 favorite Tiz the Law took the lead coming out of the final turn and pulled away in mid-stretch to beat 80-1 shot Shivaree by 4 1/4 lengths.

Ete Indien, the 5-2 second betting choice, finished third and 5-1 shot Gouverneur Morris finished fourth in the nine-horse field for the 1 1/8 mile dirt stakes for 3-year-olds.

Tiz the Law won in 1:50.00 on the track listed as fast.  Manuel Franco rode him for trainer Barclay Tagg and owner Sackatoga Stable. It was his fourth win in five career starts.  His wins include the 1 1/16 mile  Holy Bull (Grade 3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 1.

The Florida Derby was a final round points qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1), which has been rescheduled from May 2  to Sept.5 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Ky.

The first four finishers earned 100, 40, 20 and ten points respectively.

Through Saturday, Tiz the Law is first in Kentucky Derby points with 122.  Ete Indian is third wth 74 points, Shivaree  is third with 40 points and Gouverneur Morris is tied for 23rd place with 14 points.

It is likely that between 40 and 50 points will be the cutoff for gaining one of the Kentucky Derby's eighteen starting spots reserved for point scoring horses in U.S. qualifying races.

NOTE--On Monday we will have more  inforfmation on the Florida Derby, the Kentucky Derby points race and Gulfstream handle.


The Tampa Turf test series continues today in Race 4, Post time is 1: 48 PM. A well-matched field of four year-old and up Fillies and Mares will travel eleven furlongs, a distance none of these runners has ever attempted.

NATIVE LION (4) is in top form now, winning her last race at nine furlongs vs. some of the contenders she faces here. Her running style suggests she might like the additional quarter mile in this contest. Ace jockey Dan Centeno returns for trainer Anthony Granitz.

THE BET $10 to win on NATIVE LION (4) and a $3 exacta box with MAD GRACE (1) and STORMY D (3).   1,3,4.     Total Bet $28             GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

rainbow 6 C oming Up Gulfstream

Today's Rainbow 6 will begin  with the ninth race at Gulfstream.

The schedled post is 3:34 p.m.  But it is likely yo go off around 3:45.

This is a mandatory payoff day.  Gulfstream will pay out  the entire carryover plus  80 percent  of the  day's  new Rainbow 6 bets--regardless the number of tickets with the winners of all six races.

The  carryover coming in is $1,664,396.  

Gulfstream has guaranteed that the pool will be at least  $5 million in the Rainbow 6  which hus a 20 cents per combination only bet.

Four Horses Scratched from Florida Derby

Four horses have been scratched from today's Florida Derby (Grade 1) at Gulfstream Park.

The scratches enabled Rogue Element, who was an Also Eligible to draw into the field--which now has nine entrants.

The scratched horses, with program numbers and posts, are:
3 -- Disc Jockey
4 -- Soros
6 --Ajaaweed
11-- Sassy and Smart

Luis Saez, who was scheduled to ride Ajaaweed, has switched over to ride Candy Tycoon (10).  He replaces Javier Castellano, who is in New York where he is quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The scratches could help the chances of Ete Indian, who drew the outside post 12 for the 1 1/8 mile Florida Derby.

He will move in by four gate positions, which could benefit his early speed--and perhaps lead to a repeat of his race in the 1 1/16 mile Fountain of Youth (Grade 2) at Gulfstream on Feb. 29.

In 1 1/16  mile and 1 1/8 mile races at Gulfstream, the run from the starting gate to the beginning of the first turn is less than 100  yards.

Thus, a clean break is essential for a speed horse on the outside.

In the Fountain, Ete Indian was in post ten.  Florent Geroux gunned him out of the gate.  He took the lead heading around the first turn and was never headed as he went on to beat Candy Tycoon by 8 1/2 lengths.

In the 1 1/16 mile  Holy Bull (Grade 3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 1, Ete Indian led most of the way.  Tiz the Law, with Manuel Franco riding, caught Ete Indien in the final furlong and on by seven lengths with Ete Indian hanging on for second place.

Today, Franco is back on Tiz the Law for trainer Barclay Tagg and Geroux has the return ride on Ete  Indien for trainer Patrick Biancone.

Tiz the Law drew post sevenm, and will keep that program number as he starts from the four hole.

This link
www.equibase.com/static/entry/GP032820USA-EQB.html#RACE14   is o the Equibase entries for the Florida Derby.  It has limks to handicapping material, some for free and some at cost.

Florida Derby to Be Run Without Spectators; Tiz the Law and Ete Indien Head 12-Horse Field

Florida Derby to Be Run Without Spectators; Tiz the Law and Ete Indien Head 12-Horse Field

HRFLA Staff Report

Saturday, March 28, 2020--Today is Florida Derby day at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

We will have coverage throughout the day that  will be known as the "coronavirus Florida Derby" and the "Florida Derby when nobody could come."

Gulfstream will hold the races with no spectators.  It has been doing that since March 13, as part of its effort to comply with federal and state guidances on limiting the size of public gatherings during the coronavirus (CIVD-19) pandemic.

First post is 11:30 a.m. for Saturday's 14-race card.  Ten of the races are stakes.

The Florida Derby (Grade 1) is the 14th race with scheduled post at 6:36 p.m.

It is  1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds and is a final round points qualifying race for the Kentucky Derby (Grade 1) which has been rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs in Louisvile, Ky.

The Florida Derby has a full field of twelve horses.

Tiz the Law and Ete Indien are the probable favorites.

Tiz the Law beat Ete Indien by three lengths in the 1 1/16 mile Holy Bull (Grade 3) at Gulfstream on Feb. 1.

Ete Indien led at every call and won the 1 1/16  mile Fountain of Youth (Grade  2) at Gulfstream on Feb . 29.

Regular jockey Manuel Franco will ride Tiz the Law for trainer Barclay Tagg.   Regular jockey Florent Geroux will ride Ete Indien for trainer Patrick Biancone.

This link
https://www.equibase.com/static/entry/RaceCardIndexGP032820USA-EQB.html  to the Equibase Web site has the entries for Gulfstream's Saturday card.  It has links to handicapping material--some free and some at cost.


Today's feature is the eleven furlong Tampa Turf test with four year-olds and up competing under $16,000 Starter Allowance conditions. Post time is 3:55 PM.

Sometimes, the key to handicapping a marathon like this is simply finding the runner with the most success at long routes. Most in this group have never been beyond nine furlongs.

FAST FIRE (2) has shown that he likes the distance and appears to be in a good spot with top jock Gallardo returning. This veteran gelding has been victorious at a mile and one-half and was second best at two miles, both with Gallardo in the irons at Presque Isle Downs on artificial turf. This son of WAR CHANT (DANZIG) does just fine on real grass too, and is worth a bet at 6/1 on the morning line.

THE BET  $10 to win on FAST FIRE (2) and a $3 exacta box with HOPE AGAIN (3) and DOMAIN (8). 2,3,8.  Total Bet $28  GOOD LUCK!!

Friday, March 27, 2020


Three year-old and up Fillies and Mares will go a mile on the lawn under $16,000 NW2L conditions in Race 6. Post time is 3:21 PM.

VAUNT (1) a lightly raced (only 2 attempts) five year-old mare, seems to really love the turf. She won a Maiden grass event in her debut last April, vs. Maiden Special foes. She is the only one in this field to accomplish this. The rest beat Claiming rivals to graduate from their Maiden condition.. She returned to the races on March 13, finishing second with $25,000 claimers. Today the tag is $16,000. Dan Centeno rides for Arnaud Delacour.

THE BET $20 to win on VAUNT (1) and a $2 exacta box with SUGAR FIX (6) and FINEST JEWEL (7). 1,6,7. Total Bet $32 GOOD LUCK!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Gulfstream is Racing Despite Broward Order

The Wednesday ten-race card is underway at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Gulfstream is racing even though a new Broward County executive order does not include horse raacing, or any similar category, among the "essential businesses" that can remain open during the coronavirus (CIVID-19) pandemic.  

If a government agency or law enforcement agency does not shut it down, Gulfstream will be able to run its stakes-laden card on Saturday March  28--topped by the Florida Derby.


A competitive group of three and up Maidens look to graduate at eight and one-half furlongs on the lawn, in Race 6. Post time is scheduled for 3:18 PM. 

ENJOY THE MUSIC (1) makes his second grass start for ace turf trainer Arnaud Delecour, after an ok show finish in his first attempt. This one has some early foot and should have good inside position to save ground.  Go-to rider Danny Centeno returns, these connections have had a strong season so far, (17 % winners, 57% in the money) 9/2 on the morning line.

THE BET $10 to win on ENJOY THE MUSIC (1) and a $5 exacta box with NORTH DAKOTA (2) 1,2. Also a $2 exacta box with those two and RIONERO (4) 1,2,4.     Total Bet $32              GOOD LUCK!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Broward County Could Halt Gulfstream Racing Under New Order Concerning Coronavirus

By Jim Freer and Barry Unterbrink

The Broward County government's new list of "essential businesses" that can remain open during the coronasvius pandemic does not include horse racing tracks or the more general categories of sports venues or entertainment venues. 

But officials of Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., are planning to keep on racing, including  the  Florida Derby (Grade 1) which is set for this coming Saturday March 28.

“Right now, we’re scheduled to run,” Gulfstream Park spokesman David Joseph said of the Florida Derby in an email to  the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday night, Broward County issued an order that requires all nonessential  businesses to close immediately and stay closed until the Florida and Broward governments termnate their state of emergency orders regarding the coronavirus  (COVID-19).

The order  lists more than 30 types of businesses that Broward County feels are essential. Many of them are in categories for medical services. food stores and transporttion services.

The order allows nonessential businesses to seek to remain open on their minimum  capacity if they feel that is necessary to maintain the value of the business or property.

That could give Gulfstream leeway to seek permission to race on Florida Derby day, its traditional biggest betting and highest profile day of th
e year, but not on other days while Broward's "nonessential" order is in place.

Gulfstream is scheduled to resume racing this Wednesday with first post of 1:00 p.m.

Gulfstream's 2019-2020 championship meet is scheduled  to end on Sunday  March 29.

The Gulfstream spring meet is scheduled to begin on Thursday April 2, with racing Thursdays through Sundays.

Gulfstream has continued its regular racing schedule amid the coronavirus crisis.

But since  March 13 it has done that without any spectators and with no on-track betting as it attempts to comply with federal and Florida government guidelines on limiting the number of people at public gatherings.

Several other major tracks are running "no spectator" races, including Tampa Bay Downs.

In most cases, those tracks are temporarily not offering simulcast betting on Gulfstream races.

That has left advance deposit wagering (ADW) phone and Internet betting services with a larger share of the market.

The size of the ADW market during the "no spectator" days is not readily available.

But HorseRFacingFLA's review of Equibase charts indicates the nationwide popularity of Gulfstreeam's championship meet and its overall brand.

During the first  five days of Gulfstream's no spectators  racing, Friday March 13 through Thursday March 19, its daily average total hanld e was $8.6 million.

That was 13 percent  lower than Gulfstream's daily average of $9.9 million from Friday  March 6 to Thursday March 12--the track's most recent stretch of betting with spectators. 

The $8.6  million average was the best among U.S. thoroughbred tracks and the 13 percent decline was, in our view, low under the circumstances.

*The Florida Derby is 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds, and is a points scoring race for the Kentucky Derby (Grade ) at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Ky.  Due to concerns  about the coronavirus, Churchill Downs has postponed this year's Kentucky Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Schedule: Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Continue Racing With No Spectattors

HRFLA Staff Report

Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs will both have racing on Sunday, and both will be doing that with no spectators and no on-site betting.

Gulfstream has a nine-race card with first post of 1:00 p.m.  

The carryover on the Rainbow 6 is seventeen days old and has grown to 1,244,356. 

Gulfstream has guaranteed that the pool (today's Rainbow 6 bets plus carryover) will be at least $1.8 million if there is just one ticket with all six winners.

The 20-cents per combination begins on the third race with the sequence scheduled to start at 2:37 p.m.

Tampa Bay has an eight-race card with first post at 12:25 p.m.

The Pick 6 has a carryover of $31,438.  The 20-cents per combination bet begins on the third race with the sequence scheduled to start at 1:19 p.m.

The two tracks are racing without spectators as they attempt to comply with federal government and Florida government guidelines of limiting the size of public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

They are allowing only jockeys, trainers, owners, backside workers and essential track employees on their properties.

Bets may be made on Gulfstream and Tampa Bay races at the relatively few simulcast and off-track betting locations that are still open.

Bets on the two tracks also may be made via Twinspires. XpressBet, DRF Bets and other Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) Internet and phone services.


Today's feature is in Race 7, Post time 3:20 PM. Older Fillies and Mares will spar over five grassy furlongs under $16,000 Optional Claiming NW1X conditions.

BEANTOWN BABY (4) appears to be a lawn mower and should be hard to beat today. She is a perfect two for two sprinting on turf and was claimed after her last victory by the powerful Delacour barn. Go-to jockey Dan Centeno rides and she is a good bet to win right back for the her new connections.

THE BET $20 to win on BEANTOWN BABY (4) and a $5 exacta box with TRACY ANN'S LEGACY (6). 4,6 Also, a $2 exacta box with those two and FIESTY CHI CHI (7) 4,6,7.
Total Bet $42   GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Turf Sprint Stakes Coming Up at Gulfstream

Today's co-features at Gulfstream Park are a pair of five furlong turf stakes--both with $75,000 purses.

The Melody of Colors is for 3-year-old fillies and is the ninth race at 4:49 p.m.  Hear My Prayer, Concentrate are likely favorites in an 11-horse field.

The Texas Glitter is for 3-year-old males, and is the 11th race with scheduled post of 5:52 p.m.


A wide-open group of $16,000 NW2L Fillies and Mares go a grassy eight and one-half furlongs in Race 6. Post time is 3:05 PM.

SMARTY CAT (5) is a good bet at 8/1 on the morning line. This sophomore filly won a Maiden race back in December with $32,000 rivals. After that, she twice faced $75,000 company and was overmatched. Today, she should run big on the drop to $16,000 condition claiming. Regular Tampa rider Wilmer Garcia returns for trainer Bill Sienkewicz.

THE BET $10 to win on SMARTY CAT (5) and a $2 exacta box with PREMIUM MOTION (7) and DON'T FIGHT (1).  1,5,7  Total Bet $22        GOOD LUCK!!

Saturday: Gulfstream, Tampa Bay Racing Again Without Spectators

On Saturday, Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs  will both have racing with no spectators and no on-track betting.

The two tracks are doing that as they attempt to comply with federal government and Florida governmment guidelines on limiting the number of people at  public  events amid the coronavirus panedmic.

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 12:35 p.m.

Friday, March 20, 2020


Today's feature is Race 5, six and one-half furlongs on the main track for $25,000 Optional 
Claiming older Fillies and Mares. Post time is 2:48 PM.

Miami shipper DAY BY DAY (5) should be the chalk, (6/5 on the morning line) she appears to be fast enough to win here. However, she has never gone more than six panels and never raced in Oldsmar. Might be vulnerable at a short price.

SUZIE'S STEPPINOUT (1) likes the Tampa track, having a record of eleven in the money finishes from thirteen starts, including four wins. She is the only runner here having a victory at this tricky distance. Figures to have a good closing set-up to nail the speed. Veteran Ron Allen Jr. returns for trainer Maria Bowersock.

THE BET $10 to win on SUZIE'S STEPPINOUT (1) and a $5 exacta box with DAY BY DAY (5) 1,5 and a $2 exacta box with those two and CAUGHT UP IN YOU (7). 1,5,7. Total Bet $32.

Gulfstream Cancels Friday for Safety Review; Will Resume Racing Saturday With No Spectators

(Editor's Note--Gulfstream Park has called off its race card scheduled for today, Friday March 20, when it will review its safety and health protocols at  its track in Hallandale Beach and at its Gulfstream Park West/Calder and Palm Meadows training facilities.

Gulfstream will resume racing on Saturday with  twelve races and first post of 12:45 p.m.

It will continue racing with no spectators as it seeks to comply with federal and Florida government guidelines on restrictions of events with large numbers of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gulfstream issued the following news release on Thursday evening:

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - At Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows, the health, safety and welfare of every person and every horse in our community is our top priority. With that in mind, Gulfstream Park will suspend racing for one day, Friday, March 20, to update its protocols in a number of areas, including the Jockeys’ Room. Racing is scheduled to resume on Saturday, March 21.
Last week, Gulfstream Park took strict measures to limit exposure by closing the facility to the public for live racing and simulcast. Gulfstream Park has operated in full compliance with all government and local health orders, while ensuring the protection of the essential personnel that care for the over 3,200 horses that are stabled at Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows. 
The following protocols have been implemented at Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields and the Maryland Jockey Club and are now in force at Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows.
Controlled Access and Documentation:
  • Following recommended guidelines by health and government authorities, limited gatherings will be enforced in compliance with current recommendations for social distancing.
    • These specific areas include the Receiving Barn, Saddling Barn, Jockeys’ Room, Grandstand, Track Kitchen, Morning Clocker Stands.
  • Only horses racing and shipping from in-state training centers – and accompanied by essential, licensed personnel - will be allowed to the stable entry gates.
    • Once at the stable entry gate, essential personnel will be tested by American Medical Response (AMR).
    • Horses will only be allowed to enter the stable areas of Gulfstream Park, Gulfstream Park West and Palm Meadows between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Gulfstream to Resume Racing Without Spectators As Rainbow 6 Carryover Hits $1 Million

On Wednesday, Gulfstream Park will begin what it expects will be its first full five-day stretch of racing without spectators.

The Hallandale Beach, Fla., track is doing that to keep up a flow of revenue from wagering as it complies with federal government and state government guidelines on the size of public gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Gulfstream is limiting access to trainers and their employees, owners, jockeys and essential track employees. It  began racing without spectators on Friday March 13.

Gulfstream today (Wednesday) will have ten races with first post at 1:00 p.m.

The Rainbow 6 has a carryover of $1,003,138--built up over thirteen day without the jackpot payoff requirement of just one ticket with the winners of all six Rainbow 6 races.

The 20 cents per combination bet will be on races five through ten with the sequence scheduled to start at 3:03m p.m.

We will have reports on this blog.


Sophomores will travel eight and one-half furlongs on the lawn under $40,000 Optional Claiming conditions in Race 4. Post time is 2:15 PM. These runners are all recently graduated Maidens trying for their second victory.

BRONX RUMBLE (4) appears to be the one to catch here. His early foot should put him on an easy lead and speed has been good on the sod lately. Ace turf rider Pablo Morales returns for 30% trainer Mike Stidham. They won a Maiden Claiming race at this distance on February 12,  
by eight lengths. A repeat of that effort should get it done.

THE BET  $20 to win on BRONX RUMBLE (4) and a $2 exacta box with MATTY'S EXPRESS (5) and RECKLESS SPIRIT (7). 4,5,7. TOTAL BET $32.  GOOD LUCK !!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Gulfstream Closes Casino

Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., has closed its two casino rooms for a indefinite period.

Gulfstream closed the rooms at 10:00 p.m. on Monday.

Since last Friday, March 13, they had been the only parts of the Gulfstream property that were open to the public.

On Friday, Gulfstream has been running its races without spectators. It will begin a five-day race week on Wednesday, with ten races and first post at 1:00 p.m.

On Monday evening, Gulfstream issued this statement:

With the utmost regard for the safety and well-being of our customers and employees and in following the best available guidance from local and international health authorities, the Casino at Gulfstream Park will temporarily close to the public tonight at 10:00 pm and will remain closed until further notice.   

Gulfstream Park will continue live racing as scheduled with only those personnel essential to racing who are licensed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Racing in attendance which will provide our fans at home with the opportunity to stay connected via our 1/ST BET and Xpressbet apps. 

(Editor's Note: Fans can watch and wager on Gulfstream races via other Internet  and/or telephone services - including Twinspires.com, TVG and DRF Bets.)
All areas of the Clubhouse, including the walking ring and the apron, will be closed with perimeter fencing and security.

The Village at Gulfstream Park will remain open however, we encourage our guests to check with specific retailers’ operating hours.

Kentucky Derby Rescheduled for Sept. 5

Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN) announcd onTuesday that it is postponing this year's Kentucky Derby (Grade 1)  to Saturday Sept. 5 and is postponing the Kentucky Oaks (Grade 1) to Sept. 4.

The Derby, folr 3-yer-old males,  had been scheduled for Saturday May 2 and the Oaks, for  3-year-old fillies, had been scheduled for Friday May 1 at the track in Louisville, Ky.

Churchill Downs officials made the change due to concerns about the possible spread of the coronavirus.

Now that a new date is set for the Kentucky Derby, changes could take place in the dates for the Preakness (Grade 1) at Pimlico in Baltimore and for the Belmont Stakes (Grade 1) at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

The Preakness is scheduled for Saturday May 16 and the Belmont is scheduled for Saturday June 6.

Date  changes also are possible for the Florida Derby (Grade 1), scheduled for Gulfstream Park on Saturday April 28, and other stakes races that are final preps for the Kentucky  Derby.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Churchill to Make Annuncement on Date of Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN: Nasdaq) is scheduled to make an announcement at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday about the timing of this year's Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.

This year, the Oaks is scheduled for Friday May 1 and the Derby is scheduled for Saturday May 2 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control has recommended that all gatherings with 50 or more people should be postponed at least until mid May.

There is speculation that Churchill Downs will postpone the two races until  a weekend in June.

The determination of that rescheduling will depend partly on possible rescheduling of some major Kentucky Derby preps.

The Preakness is scheduled for May 16 at Pimlico in Baltimore and the Belmont Stakes is scheduled for June 6 at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

The Kentucky Derby, for 3-year-old males, is traditionally run on the first Saturday in May and the Kentucky Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies, is traditionally run the previous day.

On each day, Churchill has six or more additional stakes races and "Derby Week" is annually the most  lucrative of the year for many businesses in Louisville.

Gulfstreasm Coronavirus Cut into Last Week's Handle, But Overall Meet Numbers Still Strong

During its first three days of racing with no spectators on site because of the coronavirus scare, Gulfstream Park posted an average daily total handle of $10.06 million.

That was the highest average handle among U.S. thoroughbred tracks for the three days between Friday 13 and Sunday March 15, according to HorseRacingFLA's review of Equibase charts. 

But Gulfstream's $10.06 million average was a decline of 19 percent from a daily average of $12.32 million from the previous week's three-day period of Friday March 6 through Sunday March 8.

Through this past Sunday, Gulfstream was averaging $10.93 million in daily total handle  (also known as all-sources handle) for the first 77 days of its 2019-2020 championship meet.

Gulfstream's all-time record is $10.56 million - set in its 2017-2018 champions meet.

Several factors related to the coronavirus should determine whether Gulfstream will set a new record during the Spring Racing meet.

There are ten more race days scheduled for the meet, which is set to end on Sunday March 29.  The Florida Derby is scheduled for Saturday March 28, and Gulfstream's latest official word is that it plans to  finish the meet - without spectators (i.e. on-site bettors and patrons).

However, as of Monday morning, there are widespread expectations that circumstances may require Gulfstream and other tracks to cancel racing indefinitely.

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that no events with fifty or more people should be held at least through mid-May of this year.

On race days,  Gulfstream and other tracks have far more than 100 people on site - with track employees, trainers, jockeys, officials of state regulatory agencies, etc. 

Total  handle for a U.S. thoroughbred track is a combination of these bets made on its races: on-track; simulcasts at other part-mutuels and at Off-Track Betting locations; Internet and phone bets via Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) services; sports books in Nevada, several other states and several offshore locations.
Gulfstream Park Crowd, Jan., 2019

Gulfstream seldom provides public information
on the components of its handle.

However, officials of the track have said that is among those where on-track bets are less than ten percent of the total.

Those on-track bets are now gone at Gulfstream - indefinitely.

Numerous simulcast sites that take the Gulfstream signal are now closed.

Meanwhile, the sharp recent decline in the stock market and other financial concerns are forcing millions of Americans to reduce their discretionary spending. That, no doubt, is leading many ADW customers to cut back on their betting.

On the other hand, horse racing is one of the few sports where competition is continuing. How? Some bettors which usually would be wagering in events such as college basketball tournaments likely are betting on thoroughbred horses now.

In the next post this week, we will have additional stories on the how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting thoroughbred racing.