Saturday, May 29, 2021

Gulfstream Ends Most Restrictions on Fans; Will Add Synthetic Racing Surface

HRFLA  Staff Report

Gulfstream Park announced on Friday that it has reduced and in some cases ended many of its COVID-19 protocols and restrictions, effective immediately.

Meanwhile, Gulfstream is preparing to replace the outer part of its turf course with a synthetic Tapeta racing surface. 

Gulfstream will continue to have a turf course and a dirt track, which will remain its main track.

As it makes that change, Gulfstream beginning June 7 will have a Friday through Sunday schedule of live racing for approximately three months. It will then resume a Thursday through Sunday schedule.

In regard to spectators. Gulfstream in Hallandale  Beach, Fla., is basically open again for regular business. 

Post COVID Changes

The changes starting this weekend include: restoring open access to outdoor areas; guests not being required to wear masks or other face coverings outdoors; and the return of free admission to the apron, walking ring and breezeway.

Gulfstream instituted strict COVID protocols in March of 2020 for the health and safety of its employees, guests, and horsemen.

Gulfstream began loosening some restrictions late last year. In recent months, it had been limiting attendance to about 2,000 per day.  

Other changes in protocols that began this weekend include: the removal of most barriers and temporary plexiglass; no temperature checks at entrances; and families with small children once again being welcomed to watch racing.

Guests will still be required indoors to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.

Seats inside the Silks simulcast area will remain free to Gold-and-up XBRewards members. Any remaining seats will be sold on a first-come basis. Those who have purchased seats to areas now open will have their seats reserved and payment refunded.

More information can be found on the Gulfstream Park Web site or by calling the Gulfstream box office at (954) 457-6201.

Here  is Gulfstream's schedule for Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday May  29 -- 12 races, first post 12:20 p.m.

Sunday May 30 -- 10 races, first post 12:50 p.m.

Monday May 31 -- 10 races, first post 12:50 p.m.

New Surface

The dirt track and turf cose at Gulfstream Park were put in prior to the 2005 race meet.

The dirt track is 1 1/8 miles in circumference. 

The turf course is seven furlongs in circumference and is 170 feet wide.  With use of portable rails, the width of  the turf enables Gulfstream to have what amounts to two turf courses.

In recent years, Gulfstream has scheduled about half of its races on turf.

But rain, especially during summer months, often forces switches to dirt--with numerous scratches.

Since 2013 Gulfstream has had racing, including turf, for ten months each year. In October and November, Gulfstream has sponsored the Gulfstream Park West meets at  Calder in Miami Gardens.  But the lease agreement with Calder ended last year/

Gulfstream will have twelve months of racing this year.  That leads to expectations of more wear and tear on the  turf course.

The addition of a synthetic course provides Gulfstream with more options.

Races taken off turf due to wet conditions will be moved to Tapeta,  a surface that is regarded as all-weather due to composition features.


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HorseRacing FLA staff