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Dec 19, 2008

Gulfstream Park barn area getting crowded


Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - With less than four weeks until opening day, Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows Training Center are experiencing a steady increase in activity in their respective barn areas. Gulfstream Park opens for the 2009 season on Saturday, January 3.

Nearly 1,500 horses have already been stabled at the two facilities which are owned by Frank Stronach's Magna Entertainment.

"As of today (Wednesday) there are approximately 800 horses at Palm Meadows and 670 at Gulfstream Park," said Gulfstream's Racing Secretary Doug Bredar. "We have 1,324 stalls available at Palm Meadows and 1,024 available at Gulfstream. Both stable areas are full 'on paper' and I continue to have a 'hold list' for both properties. The majority of the stables not here yet are based in New York, Kentucky and Canada. And Woodbine (located just outside Toronto) just closed last weekend."

The road to the Kentucky Derby that goes through Gulfstream Park begins on opening day with the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes. The route culminates on Saturday, March 28 with the $750,000 Florida Derby.

Older thoroughbreds will be able to compete in the $1 million Sunshine Million Classic for Florida and California breds on Saturday, January 24 and one week later in the $500,000 Donn Handicap.

"I am particularly pleased not only by the amount of stall requests, but the quality of horses as well," Mr Bredar said. "Any track in the country would be thrilled to have trainers such as Tom Albertrani, Rick Dutrow, Allen Jerkens, Jimmy Jerkens, Michael Matz, Shug McGaughey, Kiaran McLauglin, Kenny McPeek, Bill Mott, Todd Pletcher, Jonathan Sheppard, Barclay Tagg and Nick Zito at their facility.

"Gulfstream Park continues to be the place to winter for top jockeys and trainers throughout the country. Our redesigned stakes program should be as strong as ever and I anticipate many maiden and allowance races to be loaded with the stars of tomorrow. Gulfstream's racing program has a rich tradition of getting 3-year-olds to the Kentucky Derby."

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