Beautiful weather and a solid racing program that featured appearances by classic winner Da’Tara; a graded turf stakes, and a headliner that matched most of the nation’s finest 3-year-olds contributed to an astronomical rise in total handle Saturday from the corresponding day at Gulfstream Park last year.

Saturday’s main event was the $250,000 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth, won by Quality Road, whose victory moved him to the upper echelon of Florida and Kentucky Derby hopefuls. On-track wagering was up 52.79% from last year’s ninth Saturday of the meet, a card highlighted by the historic Gulfstream Park Handicap.

Intra-track wagering was up a nominal 2.99% but Interstate Wagering was up 37.22% and total handle on the day skyrocketed 35.90%.

“We’ve made a concerted effort to make new friends all year,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy, “and we’ve been succeeding.

“There is a real ‘buzz’ about this facility, something that our regulars, as well as our first-time visitors, have been saying throughout the meet. We’re fortunate to have been able to partner with Fasig-Tipton in presenting the Fountain of Youth, and Boyd Browning, President of the sales company, told me the team here ‘Did a great job all day.’

“We’re proud of the product we present here and especially proud of the employees who present it.”