Gulfstream Park set attendance and handle marks on Florida Derby day Saturday in Hallandale Beach, Fl.
Total handle on Gulfstream’s program, which included seven stakes races worth $1.9 million, including the 61st running of the Florida Derby (G1), was $24.615 million, eclipsing the mark set last year on Derby Day of $19.759 million – an increase of 24.58 percent.
On-track handle Saturday at Gulfstream was $2.982 million, breaking the record set last year of $2.242 million – an increase of 32.98 percent.
Meanwhile, attendance on Florida Derby Day was approximately 18,000, surpassing the previous mark set last year of approximately 14,500.
“The energy and excitement in our facility Saturday was extraordinary,” said Gulfstream President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “The weather was perfect, the quality of racing was unparalleled, our jockeys and horses all returned safely, and our fans had a wonderful experience. Record-setting days like Saturday celebrate the vision of our Chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach.”
Trainer Pat Byrne, who saddled Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy, said on Sunday that the race was pretty straight forward for his charge.
“He’s an awful fast horse. He’s a good horse. He’s a good colt. You know, the racetrack was in great shape and there was no secret how the racetrack was playing. My horse has tactical speed and he’s fast,” Byrne said. “I wouldn’t call it a souped-up track. Horses were running on or close to the lead. My horse can be close or taken back. It worked out fine.”
Gulfstream Park Publicity contributed to this report.
Take Charge Indy/Coglianese photo