Horsemen Asked to Contact Their Florida Legislators
A contingent of Florida horsemen and their charges will be in Lexington, Kentucky next weekend to compete in the 32nd annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships on October 30-31, 2015 at Keeneland Racetrack.
Overall, more than 30 graduates of Florida Thoroughbred horse racing competition at Gulfstream Park will compete in the prestigious two-day series.
Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (FHBPA) Board Members David Fawkes, Milton Wolfson, Kathy Davey and Marcus Vitale will join fellow Florida trainers Kathleen O’Connell, Stanley Gold, Marty Wolfson and Jorge Navarro at this year’s Breeders’ Cup, along with a cadre of trainers from New York and other states who annually choose Florida as prime location at which to ramp up their valuable horses to major league status.
“In reality, it’s thanks to the live racing days and competitive purses that not only attract top horsemen from other states, but provide an incentive for top trainers like these to stay here year-around,” FHBPA President Bill White explained. “If decoupling is allowed to happen, these same horsemen will be long gone from Florida to do business in other, more horse racing-friendly states. Simply, decoupling woud cause Florida’s Breeders’ Cup representation to disappear.”
Florida horsemen have sounded the alarm at the recent surge of state legislative interest in “decoupling,” which would effectively expand gambling by immediately creating stand-alone casinos and eliminating Florida’s competitive edge in attracting horse racing business from other states.
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah is among the competitors in the $5 million Classic—the richest of the 13 Breeders’ Cup events.
More on the Florida-based horses and trainers who will be competing next weekend:
▪ Trained by Fawkes, Harold Queen’s Florida homebred Sheer Drama goes after her third straight Grade 1 win in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
▪ Based at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream’s satellite training facility in Palm Beach County, Vitali pre-entered multiple graded stakes winner Valid for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
▪ From the barn of Gulfstream Park West-based O’Connell is Ranlo Investments’ Lady Shipman, who is pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
▪ Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender Private Zone is trained by Gulfstream Park West-based Navarro
▪ Fellowship, from Gold’s barn, is pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
▪ Owned by NTS Stable and Davey, and trained by Milton Wolfson, Andreya’s Reward is a contender in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf
▪ Florida winners Sugar Swirl and Merry Meadow were pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, along with Dame Dorothy and Kiss to Remember, the latter who is trained by Gulfstream-based Wolfson.
For those who want to cheer on the Thoroughbred stars who used Sunshine State-based competition as a successful stepping-stone to the Breeders’ Cup, among the Florida pre-entered horses are:
▪ Curalina, Got Lucky and Wedding Toast in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff
▪ Ready for Rye and Mongolian Saturday in the $1 Million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
▪ For the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile are Gulfstream Park winners Barbados, Lea, Liam’s Map and Mshawish
▪ Mshawish and Lea are also pre-entered in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on turf. Joining them is Robert Masterson’s Tepin, a 2015 winner at Gulfstream.
▪ Barbados is also pre-entered in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint
▪ In the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf are Gulfstream record-setter Twilight Eclipse,along with Slumber, who placed in upper-level competition.
▪ Photo Call in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf
Also, 12-time defending Gulfstream Park Championship Meet leading trainer Todd Pletcher pre-entered 11 horses in 10 Breeders’ Cup races.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey, leading owners at the Championship Meet during the past three years, are represented by six pre-entries, five of them trained by Chad Brown, whose 14 pre-entries are most among Breeders’ Cup trainers.
Gulfstream’s summer meet continues to build in part due to its 2-year-old program, which was also represented with several Breeders’ Cup pre-entries.
Horsemen, please take the time to write your Florida Senator and State Representative and tell them “No Decoupling!”