A ‘New And Fun, Competitive Twist’: FTBOA, Gulfstream Park Announce New Florida Sire Stakes For Older Horses

Lonny Powell, CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association, and P. J. Campo, vice president of racing for The Stronach Group, announced today that the FTBOA will be sponsoring a new Florida Sire Stakes race at Gulfstream in 2018 and offering a new FSS bonus to be attached to the Grade 1 Florida Derby.

The new race, The FTBOA Wildcat Heir Florida Sire Stakes, will offer an attractive $150,000 purse and will be open to FTBOA registered FSS eligible 3-year-olds and older. The Wildcat Heir will be run at a mile on the dirt on the final Saturday of the Summer meet, Sept. 29, and will be run as a co-feature on a very strong racing card featuring more than $1 million in Florida-bred prize money. Other Florida-bred events planned for that day include the final legs of the nationally acclaimed Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-olds which is made up of the $400,000 In Reality for colts and geldings and the $400,00 My Dear Girl for fillies.

“The creation this year of the Wildcat Heir is just one of several examples of how we continue to evolve and grow the Florida Sire Stakes, which is a very important promotional and economic platform for our Florida breeders, stallion owners and thoroughbred industry,” Powell said. “The FSS is our major stakes and special race purse enhancement contribution to our state’s racing programs and directly benefits Florida owners and trainers. We are very excited to offer our first Sire Stakes for older horses and think it will be a nice addition to an already big FSS card and day at Gulfstream. When it comes to putting on the Big Show, Gulfstream sets the bar high!

“A race like this first came to mind in 2016 as I was planning for 2017. I have been bouncing it off of PJ for feedback during much of this past year. It’s the type of race that can bring back returning champions and rivals, pit the hot 3-year-old against seasoned older competitors, sprinters against distance runners—even a monster filly or mare taking on the boys. In other words, it offers a new and fun competitive twist and interesting story line for the Florida Sire Stakes, the race itself and our Sunshine State industry.”

In addition to sponsoring the new stake races, the Ocala-based state breeders’ association is offering a new $100,000 “Win-Only” bonus should an FSS eligible horse win the track’s signature racing event, the $1 million Florida Derby. The FTBOA will also offer FSS “Win-Only” bonuses on two of the track’s popular summer stakes fixtures for 3-year-olds, the $150,000 Carry Back Stakes (G3) and the $75,000 Azalea Stakes.

“Gulfstream is a big believer in working with the FTBOA and industry to build the Florida breeding and racing industry,” Campo said. “We appreciate their sponsorship of this new Wildcat Heir Florida Sire Stakes race as well as the bonuses for our Florida Derby and other races. Such partnerships support Gulfstream in its mission to grow the business and put on a great show for fans and horsemen alike.”

The importance of expanding and growing the FSS was top of mind for FTBOA racing committee chair and board member Joe O’Farrell, who also emphasized the new FSS eligible “Win-Only” $100,000 bonus on the track’s premier race—The Florida Derby on Mar. 31.

“Over the next 12 months we will be offering five new FSS races that have never been run before,” O’Farrell said. “Between Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs, we now have a total of 11 different Florida Sire Stakes races and too many bonuses and incentives to mention in one quote. As Florida breeders and stallion owners, we very much recognize the importance to our industry that the FSS represents and we will continue to seek support and promotion for this lucrative and vital program from the horsemen and tracks.”

The post A ‘New And Fun, Competitive Twist’: FTBOA, Gulfstream Park Announce New Florida Sire Stakes For Older Horses appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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