By Kathy Davey
Next meeting: Thursday, November 7.
Approximately 30 people attended today’s meeting.
Paraphrasing Tim Ritvo’s opening remarks; The year round racing meet is going well. We have learned a lot and still want to improve in all aspects of the game. Our goal is to enhance the racing experience in Florida, improve the purse structure, and work with others to improve the breeding program. We want see an increase in new horse owners and hope former owners will return. We are fortunate that the relationship among the track, breeders and FHBPA is better than ever.
The GPTARP non-profit racing license project is moving along well and quickly. Gulfstream will work with the HBPA board as the process continues.
Work continues on the new barns on the south end of the racetrack; the first one is scheduled to be completed on November 1st, with the second one completed shortly thereafter. There will likely be both an “in gap” and an “out gap.” for horses to get on and off the track.
The additional (solar) lights for the racetrack should be installed in 2 – 3 weeks.
Stall assignments and allotments are now available. Anyone who is not happy with their assignments is urged to meet with Tim to discuss further. There were over 4500 applications for 2700 stalls at Gulfstream and Palm Meadows.
The turf course renovation is going very well. Weeds have been completely eliminated and the course was seeded and top sand added. Turf racing resumes November 2nd.
The Rock Picker will come down from Palm Meadows and will be run over the main track a few times. A rock picking party is planned with food and giveaways for back side employees.
Phil Combest reported on the legislative meeting on Gaming in Florida, held in Coconut Creek on October 23rd. Many FHBPA owners, trainers, vets, tack shop owners, Gulfstream representatives and back side employees attended. Media coverage was good. A number of people spoke in support of thoroughbred racing and how it is essential to the economy and identity of the State of Florida. Three other meetings are planned across the state in the near future.
Outriders will be given more latitude on infractions by exercise riders during training hours. Trainers will be fined after an initial warning. Soon there will be an integrated siren/lighting system following accidents/loose horses on the track.
Gulfstream is considering having all horses get January 1st Coggins tests. They will discuss this further with the back side committee.
Gulfstream is also considering performing “out of competition” drug testing toward protecting the integrity of racing, and will work further with the HPBA and the RMTC on this program.
The popular Breakfast at Gulfstream resumes on November 2 and will be every Saturday. Cost is $8.00 for the “all you can eat” breakfast and children under 2 are free. The first 200 guests this Saturday will get free breakfast. After breakfast there is a tour of the backstretch and barn area. This is very popular with families and visitors. Many additional parties and events are planned for the coming winter meet. See details at Gulfstream’s website.
By Kathy Davey