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All About The Florida Derby

Start of the Florida Derby horse race at gulfstream park

What is the Florida Derby

Florida Derby is an annual horse racing event held at the Gulf Stream Park. It involves American thoroughbred three-year-old horses competing for a top prize of $ 1 million and grade one status. So far, the derby has awarded $ 2.5 million in total purses and numerous points towards participation to the Kentucky Derby.

The race involves going round a one and eighth mile (9 furlongs) along a left-handed dirt track. Every year, thousands of horse racing enthusiasts flock the park to witness the biggest race day in South Florida. They include famous leaders, models, renown television and film personalities, wealthy and ordinary people from across America and the world.

The Derby is held in preparation for the Triple Crown competitions. While there is no official dress code for the day, fashionistas advice those anticipating to attend to dress in easy-going dress fashion. This is because the event is normally held during the summer, and light casual clothes allow for for fun and elegance. Ladies can put on free flowing dresses or pant suits with medium to wide brim hats.

Where is the Florida Derby Held

The event is held annually at Gulf Stream Park. The park is located at 901 South Federal Highway in Hallandale Beach, Florida. The history of the park dates back to 1924 with the advent of Gulf Stream town. The name was inspired by gulf stream current, along Palm Beach County. The park opened its doors on 1st February 1939.

In the years that followed, the park was declared bankrupt and closed to be reopened later in 1944 by James Donn Senior. The commissioning of the Florida Derby was done in 1952. Beside hosting the Derby, the park opened to other entertainment activities in 1999, and most specifically the slot casino in 2006. To date, it boasts of the race track, casino, restaurants, night clubs, a bowling alley and a 1500-seater amphitheater.

The park is also famous for hosting the Pegasus World Cup in 2017, a form of racing inaugurated for the first time in the world. The park is among the highest income earners in Florida. In 2018, the Derby generated a total handle of $ 49,909, 070 breaking the previous record, earlier recorded by the Pegasus World Cup, of $ 49.9 million. This surpassed the 2017 record of $ 32.082 million.

Florida Derby Trophy
Florida Derby Trophy

When is the Florida Derby Held

The event is held every year at the end of March or beginning of April. It precedes the Kentucky Derby race held on every first Saturday of May every year. During race days, the park offers complementary parking that is open for everyone on a first-come criteria.

There are also open and garage parking as per individuals' liking. A parking map to guide those who might be stranded or first-timers is available upon request. Parking spaces for persons with disabilities are also available. Gulf stream park parking fee rates apply.

The admission charges during the Derby vary between $ 20 as from 10 am- 7pm to $ 10 between 7pm to 3am. It is important to note that these arrangements and charges are subject to change as often as the management deem fit. The next race will be held on 30th March 2019 at Gulf stream Park 100-40-20-10 Road to the Kentucky Derby.

The Importance of the Florida Derby

The race prepares competitors for the major Kentucky Derby. In fact, it has been dubbed 'the Road to the Kentucky Derby.' Winners of Florida Derby have made history by clinching coveted Triple Crown Classics such as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. In 2017, Always Dreaming, the winner of the Florida Derby clinched the top prize in the Kentucky Derby.

Many horses have won the prize including Nyquist (2016), Orb (2013), Big Brown (2008) and Barbaro (2006) among others. In total, 24 horses have won the Kentucky Derby between 1956 (Needles) to 2017 (Always Dreaming). In addition, 19 horses have won the Preakness Stake between 1955 (Nashua) and 2008 (Big Brown). 16 horses have won the Belmont Stake between 1955 (Nashua) and 2003 (Empire Maker).

Beside preparing the horses for the Triple Crown Classics, the event helps many horses launch their careers in horse racing. This is the arena for growth in the sport and trainers use this platform to advance their careers too. Trainers who present horses and win the derby are regarded as successful in this field. Moreover, the derby is a great earner for Florida.

Horse getting ready for the Florida Derby

Where to buy Florida Derby Tickets

The 2019 Florida Derby are already on sale. You can buy tickets directly from Gulfstream Park. Or you can call the box office 954.457.6201. StubHub are another source where you can buy tickets online. However, one website, vividseats stands out. Racing enthusiasts can visit the site, go through the race inventory and make their selection.

History of Florida Derby

Argument is rife that Florida Derby was inaugurated in 1926 at Tampa Bay Downs. Between 1929 to 1937, the event was moved to Hialeah ark. Around that time, the Derby was renamed to Flaming Stakes. The history of the current derby dates back to 1952.

Since 2013, the event has turned out to be a major platform for preparation of the Kentucky Derby. Initially, the event was held between the beginning and middle of March, preceding the Kentucky Derby held in April. The event was later rescheduled to five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, with the aim of allowing horses to rest well. The event held this year, 2018, marks the 67th edition of the horse race.

Horse and Jockey racing in the 2016 Florida Derby

Who Qualifies for Florida Derby

Three-year-old thoroughly bred American horses are the only horses considered for nominations to run. Horses that have won grade stakes or have participated in races in gulf stream do not attract entry fee. Horses that have finished second and third pay an entry fee of $ 2,500 while the rest of the horses pay an entry fee of $5,000.

Sometimes, nominated horses to the derby are subjected to out of competition testing before the major race. In situations where more than 14 horses are nominated, priority is granted to grade stake winners.

If your looking to participate in the Florida Derby and are looking for office space rental while visiting then feel free to contact us. At 221 building you can rent a private office, meeting room or take advantage of the other services for as little as 1 hour. Don't let the excuse of not being able to continue to conduct your business be a reason not to visit the Florida Derby this year.

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