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Gulfstream Horsemen’s Meeting Summary Notes Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 16, 2013
Update from Tim Ritvo, President of Gulfstream Park (GP)
The purpose of these biweekly open meetings is to share information, ideas, and marketing strategies; and to get input from horsemen on current issues on the back side and in racing.  Tim appreciates the strong attendance and our patience as we work our way through this first summer season. He reiterated Gulfstream’s goal to bring South Florida racing to a better place year-round.
The GPTARP non-profit license will bring the possibility to partner with The Ginting Company.  If this results in another gaming venue in Dade County, it will mean another significant source of revenue for horsemen. Florida Breeders, Gulfstream, and the FHBPA are working together to make this opportunity a reality.
An RFP (request for proposal) is in the works for shavings and manure removal.  We are working to drive down costs.
It’s Official: the Claiming Crown will be held here at least through 2015 and through efforts by the FHBPA, the total purses will increase to $1million.    The Florida Sire Stakes (known through 2013 as the Stallion Stakes) will be at Gulfstream next year and hopefully in the foreseeable future.  GP is contributing $400,000 into the project for next year.
The current meet’s stakes schedule will be out later today.
Awnings are being prepared for the east side of barns 15 through 20 to cut down on the morning heat.
The graded stakes committee has ruled that in 2014 purses for grade 2 races will have a $200,000 minimum and grade 1 races, $300,000.  In 2015, the minimum purse level for grade 3 races will be $150,000.
The stall allocation issue was discussed at length.  Regardless of rumors that have circulated, Palm Meadows is open this summer without restriction and anyone who wants to can apply for stalls there.  Many trainers returning for the championship meet (December – April) will be stabled at Palm Meadows next year if there isn’t room for them at Gulfstream.  Tim reiterated that those here this summer who enter and run their horses will get stalls here in the winter.
Additional stabling: GP has plans well underway to provide state-of-the-art wooden 12′ x 12′ stalls in 2 – 80′ x 600′ high-quality tents (rated to withstand 156 mph winds) to be erected on the south end of the property and completed by October 15.  The infrastructure (plumbing, electric, etc.) is already being put in. Beginning next spring/summer, there are also plans to elevate the old barn area to address flooding issues and completely replace all the old barns (# 1 – 14) with double-decker barns.
The two-year-old program is very important to Gulfstream and trainers should be assured the racing program and stall allocation for two-year-olds will be excellent.
The marketing initiatives are bringing in families and a younger crowd to the races.  Our long-term investment is to grow the market, blend racing and other entertainment opportunities. For example, we give away $2 tickets, have folks mixing with the crowd  showing new customers how to bet, and bring in entertainers (e.g., Rapper Artist Flo Rida will present the trophy for this weekend’s stakes race and perform later that evening!)
The track will open at 5:30 am starting in the next few days.
A small horsemen’s committee will be formed to deal with the many concerns that have and will come up (e.g., lights on the track; restricting ponying, the warning system on the track when there is a loose horse or accident; outriders; turf racing, night racing, etc.)
Update from Chaplain Tom La Pointe
Back-to-School book bags will be given away to school children of back side employees.
AA meetings are held on the grounds twice a week.
The health clinic on the grounds doesn’t open until October, but there is a clinic in Hallandale near the Publix market which is available.