Gulfstream Park has lined up a week's worth of activities for the $1 million Florida Derby, including a concert by a mystery Grammy-winning country artist, golf and poker tournaments, a cocktail party with jockeys serving drinks, and live and silent auctions.
All money raised at these events will go toward The Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program (www.gpaftercare.com) and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (www.pdjf.org).
“Led by our Chairman, Frank Stronach, the management and staff of Gulfstream Park believe it is our responsibility to reach out and meet the needs of the thoroughbred community at large,” said Gulfstream Park President and General Manager Timothy Ritvo. “Mr. Stronach has been an industry-leader and innovator in thoroughbred retirement and rehabilitation, and is a long-time supporter of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
“We hope the events leading up to the Florida Derby raise awareness and funds for both of these worthy charities while bringing our community together in celebration of the 61st running of the Florida Derby.”
In the 60 runnings of the Florida Derby, 40 starters have gone on to win 55 Triple Crown events. Past Florida Derby winners include Barbaro, Big Brown, Northern Dancer, Spectacular Bid and Foolish Pleasure.
The Florida Derby week of festivities schedule:
Sunday, March 25
Jockeys Race to the Bar
6:30 p.m. Sport of Kings
Jockeys tend bar with all tips going to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. Live DJ, silent and casual auctions, racing “goody bag” to first 100 people. Event t-shirts can be purchased. Hors d’oeuvres between 6:30-8 p.m.
Monday, March 26
Kiss Country Pop Up Concert
8 p.m. (Line begins forming at 7 p.m.) Sport of Kings
Grammy Award-winning artist to be revealed when the curtains open.
Tuesday, March 27
Florida Derby Charity Golf Tournament
10:30 a.m., Westin Diplomat
Jerry Bailey hosts the second annual Florida Derby Golf Tournament. Every other hole will have a satellite bar. There will also be a Burger Hole, 50/50 raffles, closest to the pin, longest drive and the Jerry Bailey Par-3 Challenge Hole. Tickets are $200 per person. Please contact Susan Stofsky at email@example.com or call 954.455.6672.
Wednesday, March 28
Post Position Draw
12:30 p.m. Ten Palms American Kitchen & Stone Crab Parlor
Draw Giveaway: Long sleeve Florida Derby t-shirt giveaway, Breezeway (free with program).
Thursday, March 29
$10,000 Aces for Aftercare Poker Tournament
6:30 p.m. First floor casino
$150 Buy-in. Please contact Scott Poole at scott.poole@gulfstreampark or call 954.457.6336.
Friday, March 30
Official Florida Derby Party Cocktails and Horse Tales, Auctions
7 p.m. Walking Ring
Light cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres, live band and silent and live auction with auction masters Ron Nicoletti and Ralph Pagano.
Saturday, March 31
$1 million Florida Derby, First race post 12:30 p.m.
Travel cooler giveaway with paid program, Polo shirt with seat purchase
$500 Ladies’ hat contest
Party in the Park – 7 p.m. (free to the public after the last race)
Sunday, April 1
Lobsters & Libations
Clam Bake/Sand Bake, 1-6 p.m. Frank’s Beach
--Edited Gulfstream Park release