- DRF Bets
- Handicapping & PPsHorsemen's ProductsReports
Access past performances
- The Wizard
- DRF Gameplan
- Quick Sheets
- DRF Picks
- Today's Racing Digest
- Key Race Report
- Positive ROI Report
- Moss Pace Figure Reports
- Debut Reports
- WE Handicapping Report
- Clocker Reports
Racing and Wagering InformationTools
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- DRF Classic PDF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF HarnessEye PPs
- DRF Daily Harness Program PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- NewsCategoriesTrack Notes
- StorePast PerformancesHarness PPsPackagesDRF PlusREPORTSPICKS
Gulfstream Park: Claiming Crown highlights early opening day
By Mike Welsch
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Early is better.
That’s what Gulfstream Park officials are hoping when they launch the 2012-13 season on Saturday, Dec. 1, the earliest opening in track history.
If results from the 2011-12 meet are any indication, the early kickoff should again prove a huge success. Gulfstream pushed its traditional Jan. 3 opening back a month last year and was rewarded with a banner meeting that saw total ontrack handle eclipse $50 million for the first time since the new facility opened in 2005 and total all-sources handle gain nearly $80 million, or 13 percent, from the previous year.
Saturday’s opening-day program was designed to get the campaign off to a flying start, with Gulfstream Park playing host to the popular Claiming Crown series for the first time. As a result, the opening-day program will include seven stakes races, topped by the $200,000 Jewel at 1 1/8 miles on the main track and the $125,000 Emerald over the turf, which features a rematch between King David and King Kreesa, the one-two finishers earlier this fall in the Grade 1 Jamaica at Belmont.
The Claiming Crown is simply the warm-up for what lies ahead at Gulfstream this winter. After offering just two graded stakes in December, the Grade 3 Sugar Swirl and the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, the meet really gets rolling New Year’s Day with the Gulfstream Park Derby, the first major 3-year-old test of a season that will again be highlighted by the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30.
Gulfstream also will play host for the first time this winter to the Eclipse Awards program, which will begin shortly after the conclusion of the Florida Sunshine Millions program on Jan. 19.
“We’re ecstatic to play host to the Claiming Crown on our opening day,” Gulfstream president Tim Ritvo said. “Horses competing in the claiming ranks are many of the toughest in the world. They’re game and they build loyal followings within the Thoroughbred community. I think this is a great opportunity for Gulfstream to help showcase these horses. It’s also a great way to kick off what we believe will be a memorable winter meeting.”
As expected, the seven Claiming Crown races all drew large fields. The Jewel lured a dozen horses, including Private Tale, who finished fourth in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap in his last start, and the Grade 1 stakes winner Homeboykris.
The best race on the card, however, is the Emerald, which attracted a full field of 14 plus four also-eligibles. Besides King David and King Kressa, the field includes stakes-caliber types such as Nikki’s Sandcastle and Major Marvel.
Just saw the conditions on the Gulfstream web site. 2 races for horses started for 7500 or less 2 races for horses started for 16k or less 2 races for horses started for 25k or less 1 race for horses started for 35k or less ALL SINCE JAN 1 2011. That is a bit ridiculous. I hate when they go back that far.
Looks like a nice wagering card. Especially the first two races. What were the conditions for the claiming crown? Start for less than 16k last year or two? You can't tell by the drf entries link.
Unfortuantely there are no longer enough diehard horse racing fans to revive the sport. We are gonna need the shops, restaurants and casinos to keep the sport alive....It pains me, but this is going to be the future of horse racing.
Great jess is gone now i will not hear her voice.Now RonNic is next.The last winner he had was Holy Bull.He get's the name's all wrong.He must work real cheap.
Why did Jessica Pacheco get fired? America needs some answers. I bet Ron Nicoletti got her fired. Those two didn't get along I heard. https://twitter.com/JessicaRPacheco
I love Gulfstream. Number "1" in my book. Other venues could learn from them.
Gulfstream Park Lost its Beauty. It is now a Racino with shops that do not have any business.The front of the Grandstand does not accommodate many people - and is filled with mostly smokers. Also, the majority of bettors do not know what the Claiming Crown Series is!!! The series became popular when Julie Krone won on "Debonair Joe" at Canterbury Park. Calder still has Beauty. But, the 3rd floor needs a redo.
and not to mention making sure the Breeders Cup never comes back to Florida :(
i wish them well. I am just sad how they riuned one of the best tracks in the country to attend to make way for all the high end shops, and their casino.
- 1.Posted 12/05/2013 04:54PM
- 2.Posted 12/08/2013 09:52AM
- 3.Posted 12/07/2013 07:42PM
- 4.Posted 12/07/2013 03:42PM
- 5.Posted 12/08/2013 06:53PM