Gulfstream Park is one of the United States premier racetracks, and it is one of the key venues for thoroughbred racing in Florida. Gulfstream boasts one of the country’s longest racing meets with regular race-days held from December – October. Regular world-class thoroughbred racing is staged throughout the year, with events typically taking place Thursday-Sunday.
Ownership of the venue has changed hands over the year, with Gulfstream Park now owned and operated by the Stronach Group. They purchased the venue in July of 2011 and also own Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, and Pimlico.
It is located in Hallandale Beach, Florida and the track typically accommodates up to 16 000 spectators in the grandstand. The track has also hosted a number of concerts over the years, and also hosted the Miami Pop Festival in 1968. It is handily positioned between Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale. It boasts an adjoining casino and sits alongside the Village at Gulfstream Park, which is a hugely popular destination for shoppers.
The Floridian climate means that racing rarely gets canceled, and the track tends to ride fast.
Notable races taking place at Gulfstream Park include the Florida Derby, the Fountain of Youth and the Pegasus World Cup. It has also previously hosted the Breeders Cup World Championships, with the first being in 1989.
Gulfstream Park History
Gulfstream Park first began to host thoroughbred racing in 1939 and was granted the opportunity to host a four-day event. It proved to be extremely popular, and further dates followed, with a 20-day meeting attracting 18,000 fans just five years later.
At the beginning, Gulfstream exclusively hosted dirt racing, although turf action was introduced in 1959.
It has been the home to a number of historic moments in the sport, with Swaps setting a world record for a mile and 70 yards back in 1955, whilst the absorbing rivalry between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer was played out in Florida during the aforementioned 1989 Breeders Cup World Championships.
The track has undergone a number of much-needed renovations over the years, and it has always endeavored to keep up with technological developments. The world’s largest Tote board was erected in 1961, whilst the clubhouse received an upgrade just months later.
In 1982, the Grandstand received a makeover, with a new domed dining terrace being installed as part of the ongoing improvements. Its next renovation wasn’t until 2004, with $130 million worth of work being approved. It meant that Gulfstream Park was able to host the Sunshine Millions series.
Gulfstream Known Track Bias
Most racetracks will have the tendency to favor horses with a particular running style. It often depends on the layout of the bends, and it can also vary from surface-to-surface.
The track may have the tendency to favor horses drawn in a particular stall, and this is also related to the configuration of the track and can differ enormously between sprint and route racing.
For many years, dirt racing at Gulfstream has shown a significant bias towards inside stalls. Horses drawn 1-3 have shown good winning form on this surface, primarily in routes. In 2016, it was reported that almost 66% of dirt races competed over 1 mile 1/16 or above were won by horses positioned 1-3. Although this statistic has plateaued slightly over the last couple of season, it still remains a handy tool for handicappers to base their picks on.
This is likely caused by the short run to the first turn, giving fast-starters the opportunity to take up a position at the front of the field from the inside stalls.
It is a completely different story for the turf course, however, with wire-to-wire winners fairly scarce. Two turn races of 7f or above tend to not favor early speed, and Gulfstream Park’s turf course is definitely one for a closer. However, 5f sprints tend to favor fast starters, with closing horses often finding it difficult to generate enough pace around the final turn.
Unlike the dirt, races on the grass do not tend to favor a particular stall, and there is no obvious track bias towards the inside or outside horses.
Many tracks do not have an obvious bias, and punters can rarely find any correlation between the post-draw and the finishing positions, but there are many factors to be considered at Gulfstream Park.
Winning Post Positions
As explained above, there is an obvious bias towards horses drawn on the inside when competing on the dirt. During the 2019 Spring meet, 45% of winners in races below a mile came from stalls 1-3. In turf races, this actually increases to 46%.
In Turf contests of over a mile, the inside was actually the least profitable post position, with just three winners coming from this stall in a sample of 45 races. That’s less than 7%.
Top Trainers at Gulfstream Park
With racing taking place ten months of the year, there is always ample opportunity for Florida’s top horsemen to send their high-class thoroughbreds to the track. With a number of lucrative maidens being staged here, it is also a good opportunity to test out potentially exciting 3-year olds.
There are a number of trainers who should be noted whenever they send a runner to the track.
Stats for Spring Meet 2019:
Ralph Nicks (21% Win Rate)
Jorge Navarro (21% Win Rate)
Jason Servis (22% Win Rate)
Joseph A Saffie (26% Win Rate)
Edward Plesa (26% Win Rate)
Ronald Spatz (26% Win Rate)
Joseph Orseno (27% Win Rate)
Georgina Baxter (29% Win Rate)
Top Jockeys at Gulfstream Park
There are a number of Florida-based jockeys who are able to ride this track perfectly. These riders are experienced in their craft and are acutely aware of every single undulation in the circuit.
Regular jockeys around this track will know the track bias, and they’ll know how to ride their mount accordingly. They can play a crucial part in deciding the outcome of any given race.
Stats for Spring Meet:
Miguel Vasquez (17% Win Rate)
Nik Juarez (18% Win Rate)
Albin Jimenez (18% Win Rate)
Samy Camacho (19% Win Rate)
Edgard Zayas (19% Win Rate)
Emisael Jaramillo (20% Win Rate)
Paco Lopez (27% Win Rate)
Reylu Gutierrez (40% Win Rate)
Gulfstream Park Racing Season and Key Races
Gulfstream Park’s racing season is about as extensive as it gets. The tracks hosts thoroughbred contests for ten months of the year, and there is always a high-quality card taking place on a Saturday afternoon.
The Spring/Summer meet is the most popular, and it runs Thursday-Saturday between April and September. The last live racing day of this meet tends to be the final Saturday of September.
The Florida Derby typically brings the curtain down on their winter meet, with the iconic race typically taking place in the final weekend in March. The other Grade I events both take place at the end of January.
Grade I Races:
Pegasus World Cup
Pegasus World Cup Turf
Grade II Races:
Fountain of Youth Stakes, Gulfstream Park Handicap, Fort Lauderdale Stakes, Hutcheson Stakes, Pan American Handicap, Gulfstream Oaks, Gulfstream Park Sprint Championships, Honey fox Stakes, Holy Bull Stakes, Forward Gal Stakes, Inside Information Stakes, Smile Sprint Handicap, Swale Stakes, Princess Rooney, Handicap,Royal, Delta Stakes, Davona Dale Stakes, Mac Diarmida Handicap
Grade III Races:
Suwannee River Handicap, Appleton Handicap, Orchid Handicap, Azalea Stakes, Canadian Turf Handicap, Tropical Turf, W.L McKnight Handicap, Carry Back Stakes, Old Hat Stakes, Rampart Stakes, Sugar Swirl Handicap, Herecomesthebride Stakes, Sweetest Chant Stakes, Palm Beach Stakes, Miami Mile, Skip Away Handicap, Hal’s Hope Stakes, Hurricane Bertie Handicap, Marshua’s River Stakes, Dania Beach Stakes.
Gulfstream Park Racetrack Address
901 South Federal Highway,