Thursday, September 14, 2023
HALLANDALE BEACH - Gulfstream Park’s Championship Meet – featuring the $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) on Jan. 27 and $1 million Curlin Florida Derby (G1) on March 30 – will offer 68 stakes in 2023-2024 with total purses of $14.875 million.
The Championship Meet, which includes racing over a new turf course, will begin Friday, Dec. 1 and conclude on Sunday, March 31.
The Pegasus World Cup Day program, a celebration of World Class racing, entertainment, fashion, food and fun, will feature eight stakes, seven of which have been granted graded status. The Pegasus World Cup, a 1 1/8-mile invitational for 4-year-olds and up, has established itself as the first major target of the new racing season for the classic division. The Pegasus World Cup Turf, a 1 1/8-mile invitational that will be contested by 4-year-olds and up, will be renewed over Gulfstream Park’s newly installed turf course. The $500,000 Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf (G3), a 1 1/16-mile invitational for fillies and mares 4-years old and up, will also be contested on Jan. 27 on the turf course that is scheduled to host 38 stakes during the Championship Meet.
The three Pegasus Day invitational races will be supported by the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), a seven-furlong test for older fillies and mares; the $200,000 William L. McKnight (G3), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older horses; the $150,000 Fred Hooper (G3), a mile stakes for older horses; the $150,000 La Prevoyante (G3), a 1 ½-mile event for older fillies and mares on turf; and the $100,000 Carousel Club, a mile-and-70-yard overnight handicap on Tapeta for older horses.
The Curlin Florida Derby, a 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-olds that has established itself as the premier Triple Crown prep with 25 winners going on to victory in the Kentucky Derby, will headline the March 30 program that will offer 10 stakes, five graded. The $250,000 Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2), a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies, will also be featured on the Curlin Florida Derby undercard that will include the $200,000 Pan American (G2), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older horses; and the $150,000 Orchid (G3), a 1 ½-mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares.
The $150,000 Ghostzapper (G3), a 1 1/16-mile race for older horses, will round out the graded-stakes action on the Curlin Florida Derby program, which will be supported by the $150,000 Appleton, a mile turf event for older horses; $150,000 Sand Springs, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for older fillies and mares; the $125,000 Sir Shackleton, a seven-furlong sprint for older horses; the $125,000 Cutler Bay, a 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-olds; and the $125,000 Sanibel Island, a 7 ½-furlong race on turf for 3-year-old fillies.
The $150,000 Mucho Macho Man, a mile stakes for newly turned 3-year-olds, will kick off the Road to the 73rd running of the Curlin Florida Derby on the New Year’s Day program Jan. 1, followed by the $250,000 Holy Bull (G3) on Feb. 3 and the $400,000 Fountain of Youth (G2) on March 2.
The Holy Bull, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds, will headline the Feb. 1 program that will also offer the $150,000 Kitten’s Joy (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds; the $150,000 Sweetest Chant (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for sophomore fillies; the $125,000 Claiborne Swale (G3), a seven-furlong test for 3-year-olds; and the $125,000 Forward Gal (G3), at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies.
The Fountain of Youth, the 1 1/16-mile key prep for the Curlin Florida Derby, will top a blockbuster program that will feature nine stakes, eight of which are graded, including the $200,000 Davona Dale (G2), a mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies that serves as the major prep for the Gulfstream Park Oaks. The $200,000 WinStar Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), an historic mile event for older horses, and the $200,000 Mac Diarmida (G2), a 1 3/8-mile turf stakes for older horses, will round out the Grade 2-stakes action on the program.
The Fountain of Youth Day undercard will also offer the $150,000 Canadian Turf (G3), a 1 1/16-mile grass stakes for older horses; the $150,000 Honey Fox (G3), a mile turf stakes for older fillies and mares; the $150,000 The Very One (G3), a 1 3/8-mile turf race for older fillies and mares; the $175,000 Herecomesthebride (G3), a mile turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies; and the $175,000 Colonel Liam, a mile turf race for 3-year-olds.
The $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), the $150,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3) and the $150,000 Suwannee River (G3) will be renewed on the Dec. 30 program, on which many entrants will be auditioning for invitations to the Pegasus World Cup, Pegasus World Cup Turf and Pegasus Filly & Mare Turf, respectively.
The 2023-2024 Championship Meet stakes schedule will be kicked off Dec. 2 by the finals of the Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds sired by nominated Florida stallions – the $300,000 In Reality and the $300,000 My Dear Girl for fillies, both at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
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