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Gulfstream Horsemen’s Meeting Summary Notes Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kathy Davey
Next meeting: Thursday, September 12th.
A horsemen’s committee has been formed which will meet every other Thursday.  Everyone is encouraged to give suggestions and concerns to the members of the committee who will meet with Tim Ritvo the following day to discuss further.
Committee members are: Leo Azpurua, Joe Calascibetta, Phil Combest, Greg Griffiths, Barry Rose, Peter Walder, Milt Wolfson.
Items in the first meeting included:
The track now opens at 5:30 am every day;
Additional lighting is coming to the 22 Trackus poles around the track;
Two outriders will be on track at all times during morning hours. ° Moving the starting gate to the other gap is under consideration;
Tim brought up horsemen’s concerns about the condition and maintenance of the track and the horse paths (also a prominent issue discussed at the committee meeting).  Management is very aware of changes to the surface and is working to find solutions.  Problem areas seem to be around the trackus poles on the outside of the track; additional material will be added and worked back in to promote a more even consistency.
The GPTARP “not-for-profit”  license issue is still up in the air and a court date will be set soon.  See previous meeting notes for further information.
Talks between the two parent companies continue. GP is still working to add a third racing day per week to the current meet, most likely Monday.
Tim will be spending more of his time and efforts at the other tracks he oversees and therefore GP is looking to hire someone working with him who will be based at Gulfstream 100% of the time.  Gulfstream will still be Tim’s home base.
The Florida Sire Stakes (known through 2013 as the Stallion Stakes) will be at Gulfstream in 2014.  GP is contributing $400,000 into the project for next year. A strong marketing plan will be rolled out shortly. GP plans to offer a $50,000 bonus for any horse that sweeps the series; there will be a strong, well-designed series of prep races leading up to the stakes.
The winter meet’s stakes schedule is out. Brochures are available at the racing office.
The stall allocation issue was discussed further.  Anyone who wants to can apply for stalls at Palm Meadows for the summer/fall meet.  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.
Plans for additional stabling in the tents, with 370 additional stalls, are well underway.  Go look at the stall model at the entrance to the stabling area, and be aware it will be modified using thicker, stronger wood and sliding stall doors.  The stalls are 12′ x 12′ and will be housed in two 80′ x 600′ high-quality tents (rated to withstand 156 mph winds).  Anchors for the tents will go 15′ into the ground and the infrastructure (plumbing, electric, etc.) is now being put in. Beginning next spring/summer, there are also plans to elevate the old barn area to address flooding issues and, over time, completely replace all the old barns (# 1 – 14) with double-decker barns.
Stall applications will be out this week.
The new FHBPA office should open at Gulfstream by the end of the week of September 1.  The Calder FHBPA office will still be open every day.
Owner Carlo Vaccarezza will bring in a group for the September 12 meeting to make a presentation for a workers compensation package. Interested owners and trainers are urged to attend.
Chaplain Tom is trying to get the funding to keep the on-site health clinic open all year round.  Currently it is only open during the championship meet.
GP is always looking to find ways to increase charitable contributions. If GPTARP goes through, GP will be able to do so much more in this area.  Carlo V. suggested a volunteer contribution of 1/4 percent from purses to go to a program like this or any plan/program to help horses or the racing industry.