The Florida Sire Stakes, formerly the Florida Stallion Stakes, is a popular summer series of six races for 2-year-olds sired by nominated Florida stallions. The event was run the previous 32 years at Calder.
The Florida Stallion Stakes, created by Ocala breeder and owner Dan Lasater, produced six Eclipse Award winners: Awesome Feather, the 2010 Juvenile Filly champion; Big Drama, the 2010 Sprint Champion; Holy Bull, the 1994 Horse of the Year and 3-year-old champion; Smile, the 1986 Sprint champion; Brave Raj, the 1986 Juvenile Filly champion; Not Surprising, the 1995 Sprint champion.
"FTBOA is excited to award our new and enhanced Florida Sire Stakes series to Gulfstream in 2014," said Lonny Powell, CEO of the FTBOA. "Frank Stronach’s team, led by track president Tim Ritvo, really did a masterful job in putting together a presentation that packaged both economic and marketing related considerations into a very comprehensive and forward-looking plan that really put the best interests of the Florida Thoroughbred breeder and owner on the national center stage. Those elements, combined with their outstanding facility and proven big-event experience as well as solid support from the horsemen, should make our program a first-class event in every sense.
“As we look forward with great anticipation to working with Gulfstream as our new host, we also salute long-time Florida Sire Stakes home Calder for their laudable past efforts and thank them for the historic role they have played in helping make Florida 2-year-old racing some of the top racing of its kind in North America. We look forward to our continued working with both tracks and our friends at the FHBPA in making Florida-bred racing at all ages and levels even more competitive and lucrative as a leader on the national breeding and racing scene.”
Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said, "The purses of the former Florida Stallion Stakes Series have grown stagnant over the last thirty some years. By moving the event to Gulfstream the total purses will increase $300,000 and become more relevant again, and, of course, we are all aware of Gulfstream’s ability to promote and market an event that was struggling, much as they did for the Claiming Crown."