Sunday, January 04, 2009

Huge Crowd Turns Out for 2009 Opening

A huge crowd delighted in balmy South Florida weather, full fields and winning performances from the popular gray horse Delightful Kiss in the Hal’s Hope Stakes and the ultra-fast 3-year-old Notonthesamepage in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park Saturday, opening day of the 79-day stand.

“This is what racing is all about,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy. “There were a few opening-day glitches, but we had them ironed out in short order and all in all it was a great day of racing.”

Admission, parking and most seats are free at Gulfstream, and with the free gate there are no turnstiles, which is to say no crowd count. However, track officials estimated attendance at more than 15,000, and veteran Gulfstream officials said it was the biggest turnout since Gulfstream Park’s renovations began in 2004.

On-track handle was $984,379.80; inter-track wagering (ITW) was $529,223, and intrastate handle (ISW) was $8,893,599.58 for a total handle of $10,407,202.38.

Racing at Gulfstream Park is conducted on a Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule through April 23. Closing day is April 23.

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