04/01/2013 5:24PM

Gulfstream attracts 20,000 for Florida Derby Day

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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.

Nathan More than 1 year ago
$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.
mikey More than 1 year ago
AMEN BROTHER
Linda Parrymen More than 1 year ago
According to Equibase, Gulfstream did 3.196 million on track, no?
Robert Johnson More than 1 year ago
The worst track in the country for small timers, one of the best for high rollers.
mrm More than 1 year ago
The saddling area is a joke along with the ally way the horses take to the post parade.
mikey More than 1 year ago
The day to day racing at GP has gone downhill in the past few years.All GP is CALDER with more flowers.
deVoeStuMarc More than 1 year ago
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.
Joseph Patane More than 1 year ago
so how long have you been working for Frank? The casino is weak, not being able to watch the race live takes away from the horse racing experience. Stronach has more money than small countries, he cant take it with him so those parking garage he needs to build is a one time expense. The grandstand is needed anyways, and the rest of the logistics can be brought in for temporary use to accomadate the breeders cup. If he did that the breeders cup would be on an every 2 or 3 year rotation. Why wouldnt the breeders cup want to come as often as possible ? What a draw. you have Ft.lauderdale / miami,an ocean, hotels, calder,tampa bay downs, ocala, training facilities, (infastructure galore) ! I seen those shops and restaurants, they didnt look too busy even on florida derby day. Maybe he should focus on horse racing to drive some business to the place. Doesnt look like the "vegas" stuff is working like it should. Breeders cup every 2 or 3 years would probably be the building block they need for the future. Stronach is so rich all thats left for him is his legacy(hes a legend in his own mind) He can do better than leaving a (future) scuttled shopping center and rinky dink casino>"if you build it they will come"
mikey More than 1 year ago
He is a money hungry weasel.
mikey More than 1 year ago
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
Nathan More than 1 year ago
the boss likes the "working girls". younger the better.
mikey More than 1 year ago
His smile at the miss derby was that of a 5 year old on XMAS morning.He is a weasel and lowlife dictator
Joseph Patane More than 1 year ago
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 !!!
mikey More than 1 year ago
He killed the best place in racing for a casino.mall and condos.
geno More than 1 year ago
GP is going to add much more available seating in the coming yrs. They want to attract the BC
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
Frank Stronach is and has been lobbying to have the Breeders Cup permanently held at Santa Anita every year. Why compete with himself with Gulfstream Park? Makes no sense. Gulfstream is what it is, a casino with the odd horse running around in the back yard.
Bruce Baudoux More than 1 year ago
When did they move from Hallandale?
Hunter Delaney More than 1 year ago
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.....
Nathan More than 1 year ago
opening day, on a saturday, in 2011, had 3,000. the place is an insult to horseplayers.
Bill Opalka More than 1 year ago
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?
Wesley White More than 1 year ago
Oaklawn will pack almost 80,000 into the track on Arkansas Derby Day, but I guess everyone has their own battles to fight.
wolves More than 1 year ago
80,000? I doubt it
B More than 1 year ago
I highly doubt it too.
cbrook03 More than 1 year ago
65-80k will be in attendance at Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby. Gulfstream with nice weather and higher purses gets 20k and we are writing home about it why?
Brien Bouyea More than 1 year ago
Oaklawn drew 62,364 for Arkansas Derby in 2011 and track record attendance is 71,203 in 1986.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Great wager please keep it going Ritvo.