Gulfstream free picks for Saturday 6-17
Gulfstream Park Free Horse Racing Betting Tips:
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Back in 1939, when Gulfstream Park first opened just north of Miami at Hallandale Beach, nearly 15,000 people attended the first day of what was supposed to be a 40-day meet. Instead, the meet lasted just four days as attendance dried up. The track was shuttered until 1944, when local florist and horse lover James Donn Sr. was given permission to re-open Gulfstream Park.
Things went much better the second time around. The inaugural Florida Derby was held in 1952, and quickly became one of the most important Kentucky Derby prep races on the Triple Crown trail. This Grade 1 race, traveling 1 1/8 miles on dirt, now has a purse of $1 million. In 2013, Orb became the 15th Florida Derby champion to take down the Run for the Roses, following in the hoofprints of Big Brown (2008).
In addition to the Florida Derby, the Road to the Kentucky Derby also features the Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), both 1 1/16 mile races. Older horses compete in the Grade 1 $500,000 Donn Handicap over 1 1/8 miles; this is now one of the key North American preps for the prestigious Dubai World Cup.
The Stronach Group, and Magma Entertainment before them, has made considerable upgrades to the venue since slot machines were approved in 2004. The following year, renovations brought in a fresh nine-furlong dirt course and one-mile turf track, and $130 million was sunk into the grandstand and clubhouse. Upgrades have continued as Gulfstream Park continues to draw large crowds to these major thoroughbred races.