08/26/2014 1:12PM

Florida launches breeders’ award bonus, stallion bonus program


The board of directors for the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced a 12 percent breeders’ award bonus and a 15 percent stallion owner bonus.

According to the FTBOA, those bonuses result in the highest payout to date in the state’s breeding program.

“This breeders’ bonus will elevate overall breeders’ awards paid [in 2013] to the highest percentage in our history -17 percent – which exceeds our previous record percentage we were able to award in 2012,” said FTOBA President George Russell. “Additionally, our stallion owners will benefit from a new bonus program. Economic progress in these challenging times for our industry nation-wide is not easy to achieve. We in Florida are fortunate to offer some of the top breeding and racing opportunities within one of the best environments in the country.”

The bonuses had been in discussion for nearly two years, but were stalled by the battle for race dates between Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course. The incentive programs were approved once the two tracks reached an agreement ceasing head-to-head racing.

“Over the last 20 months no race has been run at Gulfstream without a Florida-bred or FSS supplement, plainly showing owners and trainers the benefits of buying and racing Florida-breds,” said Fred Brei, chairman of the FTBOA racing and stakes committee. “At Gulfstream currently, Florida-breds are 58.5 percent of starters and make up 59 percent of the winners. And our 2-year-old program is the strongest it has been in many, many years. These two bonus payments are nothing but positive for the breeders, owners and trainers of Florida-breds.”

The breeders’ award bonus of 12 percent applies to recipients of Florida breeders’ awards for races run in the 2013 calendar year. The stallion owners’ bonus of 15 percent applies to current FTBOA registered Florida stallions whose progeny won Florida breeders’ awards in stakes races in the 2013 calendar year. The stallion must have been an FTBOA registered stallion the year their progeny won the breeders’ award and when it was conceived to receive the bonus.

As a future note, registering a stallion standing in Florida as an FTBOA registered stallion by Feb. 15 annually ensures that when bonuses are authorized, the horse meets the requirement to receive one. At this point, the Board has authorized a stallion bonus for 2013 only, however, the final goal is to establish a consistent, ongoing program annual in the future.

Bonuses will be paid out prior to the FTBOA annual meeting to be held Oct. 23. Breeders who won awards in 2013 are required to have a current W-9 on file if they have not done so. Breeders who have already won and been paid out awards in 2014, already have a current W-9 on file and do not need to re-file.

“The ongoing uncertainty about racing dates and wagering estimates over the past few years has really made projecting possible awards more than challenging,” Brei said. “We anticipate that situation improving under the new arrangement between Gulfstream and Calder and providing the Racing & Stakes Committee with some much needed consistency and stability that, on a go forward basis, should give us the foundation to better project and plan for possible additional enhancements in the years to come.”