Tuesday, September 3, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH - The $16 million Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series, which has become one of sport’s most prestigious and exciting days, and the $1 million Florida Derby, which has produced the winners of 59 Triple Crown events, highlight Gulfstream Park’s 2019-2020 Championship Meet beginning Friday, Nov. 29.
The Championship Meet, which has attracted the world’s top horses, horsemen and jockeys since 1939, will feature 98 stakes races – including 39 graded – for total purses of $28.6 million.
Along with the Pegasus and Florida Derby, Gulfstream will again be the hub of racing events during the Championship Meet, hosting the Clasico Internacional del Caribe, Claiming Crown, and the 49th annual Eclipse Awards.
In just three years, the Pegasus World Cup Championship Invitational Series has attracted the sport’s biggest stars, including champions Arrogate, Gun Runner and California Chrome, as well as City of Light and international stars Magic Wand, Aerolithe and Kukulkan. In all, Pegasus World Cup Day will feature nine stakes – six graded –with total purses of more than $17 million.
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The $1 million Florida Derby, the country’s leading classic prep race that has produced 44 starters who have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown events, will be held March 28 as part of a Derby Day with seven stakes – four graded – and total stakes purses of $1.950 million. One of those stakes will be the $250,000, Gr. II Gulfstream Park Oaks, the 3-year-old filly counterpart to the Derby.
The Derby will culminate a rich and diverse stakes schedule for 3-year-old classic contenders beginning Jan. 4 with the $100,000 Mucho Macho Man and continuing Feb. 1 with the $350,000, Gr. II Holy Bull and $150,000, Gr. III Swale, the Feb. 22 $100,000, Gr. III Hutcheson, and Feb. 29, Gr. II $400,000 Fountain of Youth.
The Holy Bull has produced a number of Gr. 1 winners including Florida Derby and Kentucky Derby winners Always Dreaming (2018) and Barbaro (2006), Florida Derby winners Audible (2018), Dialed In (2011), Friends Lake (2004) and Harlan’s Holiday (2002), as well as Gr. 1 winners Jackson Bend, Editor’s Note and Keen Ice.
The Fountain of Youth has produced dozens of graded winners of the past 73 years, including Kentucky Derby and Florida Derby winners Orb, Thunder Gulch, Spectacular Bid and Tim Tam.
The Gulfstream Park Oaks will be the final race in a lucrative 3-year-old filly series on dirt which begins Jan. 4 with the $75,000 Glitter Woman and continues with the $150,000, Gr. III Forward Gal on Feb. 1 and $200,000, Gr. II Davona Dale on Feb. 29.
Gulfstream will also offer 3-year-old turf stakes, including the Jan. 4 $100,000 Ginger Brew on Jan. 4, the $100,000, Gr. III Sweetest Chant on Feb.1, the $150,000, Gr. III Herecomesthebride on Feb. 29 and the $125,000 Sanibel Island on March 28.
The world-class turf course will host a number of major events for 3-year-olds and up beginning in December with the $200,000, Gr. II Fort Lauderdale going 1 1/8 miles on Dec. 14, as well as six stakes scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 28. Other graded turf races for 4-year-olds and up include the $200,000, Gr. II Mac Diarmida and $150,000, Gr. III Canadian Turf on Feb. 29, the $100,000, Gr. III Appleton on March 27 and $250,000, Gr. II Pan American on March 28.
Graded turf stakes for older fillies and mares include the $150,000, Gr. III Suwannee River on Feb. 8, the $150,000, Gr. III Honey Fox and $150,000, Gr. III The Very One on Feb. 29, and the $100,000, Gr. III Orchid on March 28.
The Clasico Internacional del Caribe, featuring the top horses from Latin America and the Caribbean, returns for the third year on Sunday, Dec. 8. The five stakes, totaling $690,000, will be highlighted by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds.
For the eighth, Gulfstream will play host to the $1.11 million Claiming Crown on Saturday, Dec. 7. Made up of nine stakes races, the day will be highlighted by the $200,000 Jewel.
The $600,000 Sunshine Millions, featuring the leading Florida-breds, will be contested on Saturday, Jan. 18 with the feature being the $200,000 Classic, a race whose past winners include Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, multiple Gr. 1 winner Lava Man, and the popular Best of the Rest.
The first Saturday of the Championship Meet will feature six stakes for 2-year-olds with purses of $450,000.