Gulfstream Park reopens doors for 2009 season
Preview: Gulfstream Park, USA, Saturday
Hal's Hope Handicap (Grade 3) 1m, dirt, 3yo+ (9:43pm)
GULFSTREAM PARK opens its 2009 season with several changes from a year ago - most notably the track will race five-day weeks rather than six as in the past in the hope that field sizes and wagering will increase.
Alan Garcia: rides Bribon in Grade 3 Hal's Hope HandicapPICTURE: Mattew Stockman/Getty Images
In the opening day feature, multiple graded stakes winner Delightful Kiss (Pete Anderson/Calvin Borel) heads the 14-strong field where he faces dual Grade 2-winner Anak Nakal (Nick Zito/Joe Bravo) and Cigar Mile third Bribon (Robert Ribaudo/Alan Garcia) among others.
Also on Saturday's card is the Spectacular Bid Stakes for three-year-olds over 6f on the main track.
Other races for three-year-olds during the meeting are the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes now run over 1m rather than 1m 1f on the main track on February 28 and the Grade 1 Florida Derby, run over 1m 1f on the main track on March 28.
Events for older runners include the Grade 1 Donn Handicap run over 1m 1f on the main track on January 31, the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap run over 1m 1f on February 1 and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap run over 1m (rather than 1m 1 ½f) on the main track on March 14.