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Gulfstream attracts 20,000 for Florida Derby Day
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gulfstream Park set an attendance mark and fell just shy of matching a record handle on Florida Derby Day.
A crowd estimated at 20,382 packed the facility on Saturday, surpassing the previous mark of 18,224 (since the current facility opened in 2006) set here last year on Florida Derby Day. Total handle on the 13-race program was $24.67 million, including wagers from Latin America, all but equalling last year’s record $24.69 million handle. Ontrack handle of $1.37 million was up 7 percent over 2012.
“Florida Derby Day was an incredible experience, and we continue to buck industry trends with our ontrack handle and attendance figures,” Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo said.
Big money on closing day
Due to a purse underpayment throughout the meet, the 2012-13 session will close with a bang with purses on Friday’s 13-race program totaling in excess of $560,000 without a stakes race on the card.
The final six races have drawn full fields of 12 or more horses each and will make up the 10-cent Rainbow 6. The Rainbow 6 carryover will exceed $2 million if it is not hit on Wednesday or Thursday, and the entire pool, which could grow as high as $8 million by post time for the eighth race, must be distributed on closing day.
$1.37 million on track handle? must have been a senior citizen day. pathetic. stronach chased away every horseplayer who used to come to florida to play the races. the place is a joke and caters only to the slot players. i saw people stand at the clubhouse turn to watch . absolutely pathetic.
According to Equibase, Gulfstream did 3.196 million on track, no?
The saddling area is a joke along with the ally way the horses take to the post parade.
Let's face it. Other than a few choice days/race meets large attendance at the track is a thing of the past. Aiken, Arkansas Derby Day, Saratoga, Del Mar, etc. are about more than just a horse race. They are about an overall experience. I don't think the move to scale down Gulfstream, install a casino, restaurants, bars and shopping is a bad move at all. It most likely makes the property profitable, creates a better environment, gives the general public something to do between races and aids in creating an overall event. It is a concept right out of the Vegas casinos - give people multiple things to do and they will stay. The idea to make it an entertainment destination is spot on. How else would one attract the more casual fan? Stronarch does plan to expand and create more racing friendly space and attract the Breeder's Cup. Within those plans are ideas that create multiple uses for the space being built. What's goin on right now in the Belmont facility now? ...most likely nothing. So the idea of having a large facility that is full for one day just doesnt seem like good business.
How about 70$$ for a seat in the tele theather on fl derby day.Yhis man would charge his mother to get in but not good looking young girls
i was there and there is no grandstand ??? i mean your in ft lauderdale, 20 miles north of miami and 20k, im with hunter, if stronach would have some insight into his own track,he would figure out how to build a grandstand, parking and start having breeders cup there again !!!
If GP would redesign the paddock, ground level of the grandstand, and actually have some meaningful grandstand seating they would pack in 30,000 plus. To be honest, as a horse racing fan and handicapper, the live experience presented at GP is just short of miserable. It's easy to throw out "estimates", and guess what? Next year will be a new attendance record at about 21,000, so the serfs can keep their job under Lord Frank...Ritvo's no dummy.....
What about any rain for the rest of the week? We need Mike to give us a weather report, as the turf course has played like the old Keeneland dirt surface for most of the past month. Hasn't there been any rain in recent days or weeks to soften the course?
Oaklawn will pack almost 80,000 into the track on Arkansas Derby Day, but I guess everyone has their own battles to fight.
Great wager please keep it going Ritvo.
- 1.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
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