With apologies to Mark Twain, “The reports of the death of Florida-bred racing have been greatly exaggerated.”
When you drive into Gulfstream Park you are immediately greeted by the towering statue of Pegasus stepping on the throat of the dragon in a sheer display of dominance.
In the same way, it is time for Florida-bred racing, with its rich history starting from Ocala to the race track at Hallandale Beach, to become a dominant factor in the sport once again.
That’s why the Florida HBPA has decided the time is now to make a commitment to help re-energize and empower Florida-based owners and trainers.
In a collaborative effort, mixed with out-of-the-box thinking, the Florida HBPA worked out an agreement with Gulfstream Park to create the FHBPA Stakes Series.
The series features 10 Florida-bred/Florida-Enhanced stakes races as part of Gulfstream’s 2017 Spring/Summer Stakes Schedule.
Starting May 20, 2017 with the Big Drama seven-furlong dirt sprint and ending September 23rd with the Bear’s Den seven-and-a-half-furlong turf sprint, the series allocates a sizable $1,100,000 worth of Florida-bred incentivized races to the schedule.
Florida HBPA President Bill White said, “The FHBPA recognizes that many of our owner members are also breeders. Most of our year-round trainers also have many Florida-bred horses in their shed row. We are stepping up to the plate in our show of support. We have been working on this concept for several months and are excited to see it come to fruition.”
The Florida HBPA Stakes Series:
- Allocates $1,100,000 worth of Florida-bred incentivized races to the schedule.
- Features 6 Florida-bred races each with a purse of $100,000.
- Includes 4 Florida-bred Enhanced races each with a $100,000 purse and $25,000 added for Florida-bred horses.
- The additional $25,000 will be split 70%,20% and 10% for a Florida-bred who wins, or finishes second or third.
Below is the Gulfstream Park Spring/Summer Stakes Schedule with the FHBPA Stakes Series highlighted:
From the time when Bonnie M. Heath II and Jack Dudley took a chance with a sickly colt named Needles, Florida-bred horses have made a huge impact on thoroughbred racing. How can we ever forget one of America’s fastest horses Dr. Fager, or Triple Crown winner Affirmed? Born of decades of experience, Florida has always produced innovators not imitators.
We invite all Florida-based horsemen and racing fans everywhere to join us and step into the future of Florida-bred racing.