Total handle on Gulfstream’s program, which included seven stakes races worth $1.9 million, including the 61st running of the Florida Derby (G1), was $24.615 million, eclipsing the mark set last year on Derby Day of $19.759 million – an increase of 24.58 percent.
Meanwhile, attendance on Florida Derby Day was approximately 18,000, surpassing the previous mark set last year of approximately 14,500. Fans celebrated the day from 7:30 a.m. with Breakfast at Gulfstream to after 9 p.m. with a free concert in the walking ring. Many fans took advantage of Gulfstream’s new picnic area, which includes free bleacher seats and picnic areas with thatched roofs.
“The energy and excitement in our facility Saturday was extraordinary,” said Gulfstream President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “The weather was perfect, the quality of racing was unparalleled, our jockeys and horses all returned safely, and our fans had a wonderful experience. Record-setting days like Saturday celebrate the vision of our Chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach.”