Tito's Calling is ready to make an impact at the 2023 Breeders' StakesRead this article
Gulfstream Park West Race Course
Gulfstream Park West is the track formerly known as Calder Race Course. Located in Miami Gardens, Florida, Calder opened its doors in 1971 and since then played host to some of the most prominent names in Thoroughbred horse racing history. In 2014, the operators of Gulfstream Park, the Stronach Group, began leasing the track under the new moniker, Gulfstream Park West. Since that lease began, the track has undergone both a physical makeover with significant renovations and has seen rejuvenation in the racing product as well.
Gulfstream Park West Horse Racing
Gulfstream Park West has a one-mile main track which is made up of a mixture of sand and clay. Their turf course, made up primarily of Bermuda grass, is 7/8 of a mile with a quarter mile chute. Owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated, an agreement was reached with The Stronach Group to assume operations and maintain racing and training at the track through 2020. In the fall, Gulfstream Park West operates a 41-day Fall Turf Festival.
Major Races and Events
In the fall, Gulfstream Park West operates a boutique meet known as the Fall Turf Festival. There are a total of 20 stakes races held over the course of the meet including a pair of graded stakes races which feature some of the top turf horses in the country. In addition, the track hosts several big days including Juvenile Showcase Day and Sunshine Millions Preview Day.
Tropical Turf Handicap
One of the premier races at Gulfstream Park West is the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap. A Grade 3 event run at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, the race was inaugurated in 1979 and was originally run on Christmas Day as the Christmas Day Handicap. The race routinely attracts a quality group of turf horses and has been dominated by trainer Christophe Clement in recent years – he has saddled the winners in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
My Charmer Handicap
The fillies have their own Grade 3 on the turf, the $100,000 My Charmer Handicap. Run at a mile and a sixteenth on the lawn, the race is held towards the end of the turf festival at the end of November. Some of the top trainers in the industry routinely send horses to Gulfstream Park West to compete in this race and it has been won by the likes of Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown and Robert Frankel as well as prominent Canadian conditioner Roger Attfield.
The Pulpit Stakes
The Pulpit Stakes is restricted to two-year-olds and highlights the closing day of the Fall Turf Festival. The race is named after Pulpit, a colt who enjoyed much of his racing success in Florida before going on to a tremendous stallion career. The Pulpit Stakes offers a purse of $75,000 and is contested at one mile on the turf as part of Juvenile Showcase Day, a day which features six stakes races for two-year-olds on both dirt and turf.
Sunshine Millions Preview Day
Gulfstream Park West may primarily host top class races on the turf as part of the Fall Turf Festival, but the track also holds a special preview day for the lucrative Sunshine Millions which features eight stakes races including the $100,000 Sunshine Millions Classic Preview. This day of racing offers both fans and horsemen an opportunity to prepare for Sunshine Millions Day at Gulfstream Park.