On-track handle at Gulfstream Park on Sunshine Millions Day reached $1,449,863.50, an increase from the $1,319,197.80 handle recorded Sunshine Millions Day, 2008.

All-sources handle was also up significantly from 2008 figures, coming in at $13,602,677.28 this year as opposed to $12,368,226.13 last year.

“We had a beautiful day of racing and, in all truth, we sensed we were in for a big day,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Bill Murphy. “We knew the racing was going to be top quality and we also believe that people are growing acclimated to the surroundings here, recognizing that this is a beautiful and exciting venue.”

Some of the people who came to Saturday’s Sunshine Millions had never been to Gulfstream Park before, let alone a racetrack.

“I have absolutely no idea what's going on but this is awesome," said Susie Brennen from Cooper City. “The track is gorgeous and I love seeing all the people walking around and just going nuts during the races.”

Paul Gomez of Miami said, “The atmosphere in this place is incredible.”

Charlie Henry of Miami Lakes is a racetrack veteran. “I come here a lot, but a special day like today is on a different level. I like the atmosphere around the track. There’s some extra juice in here.”