Florida Derby slated for March 30Jul 24, 2012 - 4:32 PM Hallandale Beach, FL (Sports Network) - The date of the 2013 running of the Florida Derby has been announced, as have the dates for Gulfstream Park's other stakes on the trail to the Triple Crown. Overall, the south Florida track will offer 61 stakes worth better than $10 million.
The $1 million Florida Derby will be conducted for the 62nd time on Saturday, March 30. The 1 1/8 mile race is Gulfstream Park's premier stakes for three- year-olds on the way to the Kentucky Derby.
In 2008, Big Brown became the most recent Florida Derby champ to go on and claim the Run for the Roses, joining 20 other horses to pull off the double. Big Brown would also notch a win in the Preakness Stakes, as have 18 other Florida Derby winners.
The track's road to the Triple Crown commences on New Year's Day with two $100,000 stakes, the Gulfstream Park Derby at a mile and the Spectacular Bid at six furlongs.
On Saturday, Jan. 26 the trek continues with the $400,000 Holy Bull at 1 1/16 miles, The following Saturday will be the $150,000 Hutcheson to be run at seven furlongs.
The 1 1/16 mile $400,000 Fountain of Youth will be Saturday, Feb. 23 with the $150,000 Swale at seven furlongs on March 2.
Gulfstream's top stakes for older horses, the $500,000 1 1/8 mile Donn Handicap, will be conducted on Saturday, Feb. 9. Four weeks later will be the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap at a mile.
"We believe the stakes schedule for the 2012-13 meeting is the most varied and valuable we have ever offered," said Gulfstream President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. "Because of the commitment to Thoroughbred racing by our Chairman, Mr. Frank Stronach, we have been able to work with our industry partners to bring the prestigious Eclipse Awards to Gulfstream as well as the popular Claiming Crown. We have made some slight adjustments to our stakes schedule, but we believe our horsemen, who have been incredible partners of ours, will find the changes beneficial and rewarding."
The 90-day winter meet begins on Saturday, Dec. 1 and runs through Friday, April 5.
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