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Dec 18, 2009

Gulfstream Park gearing up for opening day

By: By Don Agriss, Horse Racing Editor


Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Sunday, January 3 is the target date for Gulfstream Park to kick off its 2010 racing season. The Hallandale Beach facility will once again host some of the biggest names in horseracing.

Leading to opening day Gulfstream has been fine tuning its management staff with the purpose of gaining a bigger profile not only in the racing industry, but also in general media exposure.

Early last month Ken Dunn was hired to replace Bill Murphy as President and General Manager. Dunn has over 40 years experience in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. Prior to April, 2008 he served as the President of nearby Calder Race Course.

Also in November Mike Cronin was appointed to the post of Assistant to the President, for Marketing. Cronin will oversee all marketing/publicity staff and initiatives.

The most recent staff change is the hiring of veteran broadcast journalist Caton Bredar to the position of Executive Producer of the newly formed Media Development Department.

"I'm extremely humbled and excited to be coming back to Gulfstream Park at such a pivotal time," said Bredar. "Gulfstream has always been home to some of the greatest horses and horsemen. I'm grateful for the opportunity to expose that racing to an even broader audience."

In the 1990's the 44-year-old Bredar worked at Gulfstream as simulcasting and television host. The former exercise rider and trainer made the move to Los Angeles to launch Television Games Network (TVG), Thoroughbred racing's first network.

In her new job, Bredar will oversee a newly assembled team responsible for all broadcast operations. The purpose of the new department is to expand and enhance all types of media coverage.

"Caton is the definitive choice to lead this new and exciting initiative," said Cronin. "She has an extremely strong foundation in the sport. She gets it, and more importantly, she loves it. New and creative endeavors come naturally to her, and I'm confidant she'll bring the same credibility and popularity to Gulfstream Park that she brings to everything."

Gulfstream has its races broadcast on HRTV and the new Media Development Department will specifically focus on broadening the track's presence on HRTV. Over the past decade, Bredar has reported for HRTV along with FOX, CBS and ABC and works during ESPN's coverage of the Breeders' Cup from horseback.

"Caton has been a very valued member of our HRTV staff," said HRTV Executive Producer Amy Zimmerman. "We are very excited for her, and her presence and new role at Gulfstream will not only enhance their exposure on HRTV, but on a national level."

Gulfstream Park's 80 day meet begins Sunday, January 3 with Florida Derby winner Quality Road scheduled to run in the $100,000 Hal's Hope. Quality Road has not run since finishing second to Summer Bird in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The colt was scratched from the Breeders' Cup Classic after his refusal to enter the starting gate.

The $500,000 Donn Handicap for older thoroughbreds will be run on Saturday, February 6. Notable winners of the Donn have been Cigar in 1995 and 1996, Skip Away in 1998 and Invasor in 2007.

Three-year-olds on the road to the Kentucky Derby will be pointed towards the $750,000 Florida Derby on Saturday, March 20. In 2008 Big Brown easily won the 1 1/8 mile race in his last prep before the Run for the Roses.

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