Located in Hallandale Beach, Florida, Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino hosted its first race on February 1st, 1939. This track is one of the most beautiful in the United States, taking full advantage of the warm climate and its proximity to the Atlantic shore. Gulfstream Park hosts a variety of rich, high-profile races, including some important prep races for the Kentucky Derby.
Gulfstream Park Horse Racing
The turf course measures one mile in length while the dirt course is 1 1/8 mile long. Gulfstream Park features a movable rail that alters the perimeter of the course by setting the rail inside or outside either course. Renovations include grandstand and clubhouse upgrades that increases enjoyment for fans and competitors alike.
Major Races and Events
In addition to taking on prominent races from the Calder Race Course, Gulfstream Park has hosted prestigious races for more than a half-century. Grade 1 stakes include the Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap and the Donn Handicap while large Grade 2 stakes include the Holy Bull Stakes. The Sunshine Millions series provides the opportunity to compete for many different types of racehorses.
The Florida Derby is a 1 1/8 mile race for three-year-old thoroughbreds with a purse of $1,000,000. This Grade 1 stakes was started in 1952 and is part of the road to the Kentucky Derby, in which competitors can earn a spot in the prestigious triple-crown race by accumulating points in various races.
As a prep race for the Florida Derby, the Holy Bull Stakes is a Grade 2 competition with a purse of $400,000. Three-year-old thoroughbreds run a distance of 1 1/16 mile on the dirt track, although the distance of this race has fluctuated between one mile and 1 3/16 mile.
Named in honor of longtime former owners of the racetrack, the Donn Handicap is a Grade 1 event for horses four years and older at a distance of 1 1/8 miles. Since its inception in 1959, the Donn Handicap has grown to become perhaps the most significant prep race for the prestigious Dubai World Cup.
A Grade 2 competition that races three-year-old thoroughbreds at a distance of 1 1/16 miles, the Fountain of Youth Stakes was inaugurated in 1945. As a part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, the winner earns 50 points and qualifies for the $5,5000,000 Preakness Bonus. The Fountain of Youth Stakes also draws strong competition due to a $400,000 purse and qualification for the $550,000 XpressBet Bonus. Four different winners of two Triple Crown races have also won this race in the same year. Sensitive Prince set the record for 1 1/6 mile in 1978 by posting a time of 1:41.00.