Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 12:00 AM
Championship Meet Opens Saturday
"Claiming Crown" Card Draws 151 Entrants For 11 Races
As cold weather racing settles in at Aqueduct and hard boot New York trainers stay in action facing each other in short fields...as Kentucky racing switches to the all-weather surface at Turfway Park to accommodate that location's tough conditions this time of year...and even as Southern California racing returns to Santa Anita after Christmas but battles through short fields in January and February, we can at least be thankful for the 4 months of full fields of top notch competition at Gulfstream Park.
The meet opens this Saturday and continues through Grade I Florida Derby Day on April 2.
Name a top trainer and that conditioner will have a stable at Gulfstream. Name a top jock and that rider will be battling for the best mounts and the riding championship. And all of this competitive racing means full fields and great payoffs for bettors.
FULL FIELDS - GREAT PAYOFFS OPENING WEEKEND LAST YEAR
Compared to racing anywhere else in the country during this winter season NOTHING compares with Gulfstream. Last year the Championship Meet also opened with the Claiming Crown races.
The CLAIMING CROWN is a series of races in which horses qualify for entrance by having run in a claiming race at one or another level during a prescribed time period.
Take a look at this year's (Saturday, December 5) lineup.
Race 3 (TIARA STAKES) - 125K - 1 1/16 Miles Turf - 3YO & Up F&M That Have Run For A Claiming Price Of 25K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 4 (IRON HORSE STAKES) - 110K - 1 1/16 Miles - 3YO & Up That have Run For A Claiming Price Of 7.5K Or Less Lifetime.
Race 5 (DISTAFF DASH STAKES) - 110K - 5F Turf - 3YO & Up That Have Run For A Claiming Price Of 25K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 6 (RAPID TRANSIT STAKES) - 110K - 7 Furlongs - 3YO & Up That Have Run For A Claiming Price Of 16K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 7 (GLASS SLIPPER STAKES) - 110K - 1 Mile - 3YO & UP F&M That Have Run For A Claiming Price Of 12.5K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 8 (CANTERBURY STAKES) - 110K - 5 Furlongs Turf - 3YO & Up That Run For A Claiming Price Of 25K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 9 (EXPRESS STAKES) - 110K - 6 Furlongs - 3YO & Up That Have Run For A Claiming Price Of 7.5K Or Less Lifetime.
Race 10 (EMERALD STAKES) - 125K - 1 1/16 Miles Turf - 3YO & Up That Run For A Claiming Price Of 25K Or Less Since 1/1/14
Race 11 (CROWN JEWEL STAKES) - 200K - 1 1/8 Miles - 3YO & Up That Run For A Claiming Price Of 35K Or Less Since 1/1/14
As you would expect by looking at those conditions, this unique construct of races affords a great opportunity for horses that have proven much better currently than the lower level claiming levels they once competed at. This is why you get such competitive fields which yield such great prices. What sort of GREAT PRICES do you ask? Take a look at last year's 8 Claiming Crown Races (this year there will be 9 as the new DISTAFF DASH STAKES has been added.)
IRON HORSE STAKES (10 ran) - WIN $8.40...Exacta $33.80...Trifecta $99.90
EXPRESS STAKES (10 ran) - WIN $16.80...Exacta $163.80...Trifecta $5,639.40
TIARA STAKES (14 ran) - WIN $29.80...Exacta $397.00...Trifecta $2,160.00
GLASS SLIPPER STAKES (13 ran) - WIN $7.80...Exacta $60.00...Trifecta $334.60
CANTERBURY STAKES (14 ran) - WIN 16.00...Exacta $63.00...Trifecta $740.00
RAPID TRANSIT STAKES (14 ran) - WIN $11.00...Exacta $50.40...Trifecta $332.80
EMERALD STAKES (14 ran) - WIN $13.00...Exacta $94.40...Trifecta $619.40
JEWEL STAKES (14 ran) - WIN $37.80...Exacta $264.40...Trifecta $2,722.40
Any horse player that doesn't want to bet into these kind of races just doesn't want to win. And this was not just an isolated day due to all the great stakes races. There were many days like this throughout the meet.
In fact, on the very next day, opening Sunday (December 6) there were ten more races. And the average prices were just as, if not more generous. And keep in mind these were the same regular maiden, claiming and conditional allowance races one can expect on any given race day.
Average Field Size - 11.5 Horses
Average WIN PAYOFF - $16.80...Average EXACTA PAYOFF $193,70...Average TRIFECTA PAYOFF...$4.634.60
The Gulfstream Championship Meet opens on Saturday. You can wait before you begin playing. But why would you?