Serving Florida's Thoroughbred Horse Racing Owners, Trainers and Horsemen

President’s Message

A Message from Bill White

Dear Members:

The Florida HBPA is proud to introduce you to our new email newsletter and communication service.

As you are aware, the FHPBA provides both business and social benefits to our members. That reality drives our decisions as we work to develop fresh approaches, ideas, and solutions, manage our operations, drive innovation, engage with our owners, trainers, and members, and care for our employees and communities.

Our new service will:

  • Be the most direct way to quickly provide vital information to our members
  • Offer you a sign up platform via the web and social media
  • Easily maintain and update your contact information
  • Notify you of FHBPA sponsored events with one-click RSVP ability
  • Circulate opinion surveys to get your input on key issues
  • Provide a way for members to donate to charitable causes from an email
  • Alert members of all of the great family events put together by Chaplain Tom

We are proud of the positive effects of our collaborative efforts with Gulfstream Park and our fellow horsemen throughout Florida. We are even more excited about the possibilities ahead, as South Florida further separates from the pack into the industry leader for live thoroughbred racing.

These achievements would not be possible without the dedication of you, the horsemen, who deliver an outstanding show to our fans while supporting the communities we serve.

We look forward to your input and participation, as we work to keep you apprised of our progress in helping strengthen the South Florida thoroughbred industry.

Sincerely,

William P. White
President
Florida HBPA

P.S. If are not already on our email list and would like to be included, I encourage you to join us by clicking here.

FHBPA OFFERS SUPPORT TO FLORIDA BREDS

Horsemen,

This past week, Executive Director Glen Berman and I participated in a teleconference call with the leadership of the FTBOA.

The focus of this call was to finalize this year’s Sire Stakes and FTBOA Florida-bred funding of South Florida racing.
The following was the FHBPA’s strategy.

1) FHBPA PURPOSE:
To maximize the FTBOA’s financial contribution to support Florida-bred races/purses.
The FTBOA by law must return between 17% and 40% of the money sent to them by Gulfstream Park.
The amount of money sent to the FTBOA from Gulfstream Park is roughly $6,000,000.

2) FHBA POSITION:
The FTBOA has over 2.2 million dollars that could be put back into Gulfstream Florida-bred purses this year.
This figure represents the near maximum allowed by law (40% of $6,000,000).

3) FHBPA ANALYSIS:
The Sire Stakes is limited to and benefits a small pool of nominated horses/breeders.
The FTBOA has the financial ability to fund this series on their own without an additional FHBPA purse supplement.

4) FHBPA GOAL:
To encourage the FTBOA to fund Florida-bred races to the maximum of their statutory requirement (40% of the $6,000,000 received from Gulfstream/FHBPA).
In addition to and separate from the FTBOA races, to use the horsemen’s purse money ($1,000,000) and create a 10 race Florida-bred/preferred program that supports and gives additional strength to the Florida-bred program.
This concept would allow and would keep the Stallion Series fundamentally intact.
This plan allows both the two and three-year-old Sire Stakes races to remain solidly in place.

This new proposal would then expand the Florida-bred program beyond where it is with a series of 10 additional races.
The FHBPA believes this is a wise use of horsemen purse money while creating more opportunities and windows of participation for all Florida-breds.

An example of how the Sire Stakes could be funded with the FTBOA’s maximum contribution of $2,200,000 (nearly 40% of $6,000,000 received).
Two-year-old races:
$150,000 for the first leg. $250,000 for the second leg and $400,000 for the third leg of the Sire Stakes.
There would be a race for fillies and colts totaling $1,600,000.
Three-year-old races:
$100,000 for 6 races total with 3 for colts and 3 for fillies equaling $600,000.
The total amount of funding from the FTBOA would equal the $2,200,000 that the organization previously stated that they could contribute and nearly brings them to maximum contribution.

The FHBPA and Gulfstream Park would then create 10 ADDITIONAL Florida-bred/preferred races at $100,000 apiece ($1,000,000) to support the Florida-bred program.

The Results of the meeting:

The FTBOA does not agree.
The FTBOA insists that if the FHBPA/Gulfstream do not put additional purse money directly into FTBOA races they will cut their purse funding to the statutory minimum and reduce their own racing programs. In response, the FTBOA plans to eliminate the three year old races of the Sire Stakes and reduce funding across the board of their entire racing program.

The FHBPA is aware that many of our members are Florida-based owners, breeders, and trainers.
We have made a commitment to use $1,000,000 of purse money to create a new Florida-bred/preferred series of stake races.
The FHBPA has signed a contractual agreement with Gulfstream and will go forward with the creation of this new and supportive Florida-bred/preferred series.

Regards

Bill White
FHBPA  President

Purses

Horsemen,

Another year is soon to pass and with it is the anticipation of a new year and with it many challenges – both old and new. There are a multitude of issues facing owners and trainers both in the present and those looming on the horizon. The first issue is PURSES.

As president of the FHBPA,  I am often asked, “what’s up with the purses in South Florida”? Owners and trainers hear about record handle but the purses do not reflect the positive news reports. Handle is booming to record levels but purses are flat. Why is this?

The short answer is that wagering through the windows at the track on live races is now not the main source of track revenue. Money  wagered on live races at the  track is a small number compared to what is now bet through off track, simulcast/ADW sites. Beyond anyone’s imagination, within the last twenty years, off track wagering has become by far the biggest and main wagering revenue source. Nationwide, there are billions of dollars being bet through home computers and smart phones. A wager through the window on a live on site race,  creates the highest percentage takeout that goes to purses.

The percentage that goes to purses taken from wagers made through computers and smart phone betting is much less. The challenge for the horsemen with this historic shift of wagering, is to make sure that we are receiving our fair share for purses,  revenue from off track/on line wagering sites.

Another challenge facing the horsemen is the threat of decoupling. Decoupling is the removal of the connection of the casino to the funding of purses and running races. Most pari-mutuel facilities in Florida, after only ten years of the being granted slot casinos, are trying to decouple (get out of the racing game) and become stand alone casinos. This should be fought at all costs.Decoupling removes millions of dollars from horse owners purses and goes into Casinos pockets. Decoupling also stops the requirement to run live races. As long as a track is coupled to a casino, there is a statutory guarantee of live racing.

WITH DECOUPLING  – LIVE RACING IS REDUCED OR ELIMINATED.

Decoupling stops slot money for the funding of purses. Decoupling eliminates live racing. Any form of decoupling,  for any South Florida pari-mutual facility,  will eventually lead to total decoupling for ALL pari-mutuels in Florida.

Partial decoupling (dogs, Hialeah, Calder etc,)  is a virtual guarantee of the eventual total decoupling of all thoroughbred tracks in Florida. The FHBPA looks forward with great anticipation to the future. We must stay involved. We must be included and become an intrigal part of the process of finding solutions that impact us.

The FHBPA is  here to continue to protect what we have that is currently in place as we find ways to expand, improve and look for avenues to expand our industry.

Please contact the FHBPA offices anytime when we can be of assistance. If in town please stop by and have a coffee. We encourage and appreciate your input and involvement. We are here to help and assist the horsemen.

All the Best,

Bill White

 

 

Hurricane Matthew Update

As a result of Hurricane Matthew, there will be no racing at Gulfstream Park West tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, October 5 through 7. With the approaching storm, horsemen who are stabled in the lower level barns at Gulfstream may temporarily move their horses to available higher level barn stalls or may temporarily move their horses to Palm Meadows. For more information about moving horses please contact Billy Badgett at 516-641-2635. For moving to stalls at Palm Meadows please contact John Hoffman at 847-921-0567. For any other questions or updates, please contact the FHBPA office at 954-457-3516.

FHBPA Reaching Out

Horsemen,

During the past year, the FHBPA has reached out to our members outside of the South Florida area. I have been asked to come and address current issues with horsemen in the Ocala area on three separate occasions over the last several months. On each occasion, several of the FHBPA Board’s Directors have also volunteered to give their time and drive to Ocala to participate.

Each time I visited, I was amazed at the large number of horsemen that attended the meetings seeking information and asking questions. I have quickly come to realize that the FHBPA has a very large contingent of members outside of the Miami area that need to be embraced.

Although the Ocala area is known internationally as a breeding center, it is also a hotbed of horse ownership and training. Many of the breeding farms are also training centers with direct ties to South Florida racing. Income from boarding and training is a critical revenue stream to most Ocala farms.

Horsemen are usually not just an Owner, Trainer or Breeder. They are a combination of two and many times all three. Each of these facets are like the three legs of a stool. It is critical that all three work together – if one fails, they all fail.

The FHBPA stands ready to be the organization that listens. We invite and encourage all horsemen to contact us with suggestions, opinions and concerns. A phone call will not be ignored. You do not need an appointment to see us. Our Board Meetings are open and our elections are all inclusive.

We have a critical Legislative session coming again next spring and decoupling will be back on the menu. It is crucial that everyone understands the potential dangers that come with decoupling. There is a lot of misinformation that has been circulated about decoupling.

We also are continuing to focus on issues such as Worker’s Compensation, Medication and the demolition of Calder.

FHBPA has an election for Directorship coming up in a few months and we encourage potential candidates to run. I plan to visit Ocala again before the Legislative session to keep the Central Florida Horsemen in the loop.

We are here to help.

Regards,

Bill White – FHBPA President