Update from Tim Ritvo, President of Gulfstream Park (GP)
These meetings will be held every other Thursday at 10:30am in the horsemen’s lounge. All interested parties are welcome to attend.
Gulfstream’s goal is to bring South Florida racing to a better place year-round. Marketing is a very important part of this; $700,000 has been put into marketing this summer meet.
We recognize the importance of growing a solid 2-year-old racing program. The long term picture (looking a few years down the road) is to bring a larger percentage of “quality horses” to the region for the summer meet and run a 4-day week at a purse level of $250,00-$300,000 a day.
GP is still planning to cover Workers’ Compensation in the future.
GP will institute “awards” recognizing Groom, Trainer, Jockey, and Barn of the Month.
The Stronach Group and Churchill Downs are still talking, trying to solve the head-to-head racing issue on behalf of Gulfstream and Calder respectively.
Trainers asked for more Maiden Special Weight races.
Within the next few weeks, GP will begin a bidding process to choose the company which will provide shavings. Environmental rules require that the shaving continue to be provided in bags, not in bulk.
July rainfall was the most since 1984, and we were only off the turf one day. Very good reports and results on the drainage system and the overall condition of the main track.
Plans for the new double-decker barns are underway. The pad is currently being readied for the building phase.
The Claiming Crown will be held here for the next 3 years and through efforts by the FHBPA, the total purses for it will increase to $1million.
GP will look into the possibility to open the track earlier for training – perhaps 5:00am or 5:30am. Lighting is an issue that also may need to be addressed. If a horse breaks down during morning training hours, the track should be temporarily closed. For a few recent instances recently, there was a communication breakdown and the track stayed open. This will not happen again.
The new barns, 15 – 20, get very hot after sunrise, especially on the East side. GP will look into adding awnings.
Update from Phil Combest and Kent Stirling, FHBPA
New FHBPA offices will open at Gulfstream in about 2 weeks, in a trailer next to the Health Clinic. The offices will remain open in their current location at Calder in order to serve all South Florida members.
FHBPA members are urged to go to our website at <fhbpa.org> and to our Facebook page. It is an excellent way to keep informed about issues and they are kept up to date!
Update from Chaplain Tom La Pointe
Recent Activities: a fishing trip for back side employees and a trip to the Water Park is also planned.
Since there are currently more families and young children on the track, it provides new challenges (day care center, for example).
The roof and floor of the health clinic have been redone. We should strive to keep the clinic open year round.