Scoping out Gulfstream
A wise man told me once that the secret to surviving in the racing industry is to outlast your competition, and you can't do that if you're not good at what you do.
One of the keys in the racing industry is the ability to make money.
At Gulfstream making money means you have the ability to filter all the information that is laid out in front of you.
Horses come from anywhere and everywhere in the state to race in Hallandale, Florida.
There are at the least 5 different training facilities that house thoroughbreds for the Gulfstream Park races, and countless number of small farms with training ovals muddying the waters.
In our last 8 years in Florida we have developed the ability to shake out the past, to scope out the present and keep that eye out in the future.
Florida is one of the toughest circuits to cover, and maybe the toughest, if you are trying to keep track of where the winners come from.
On a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest factor, we compare tracks, training facilities and what they offer to handicappers:
Track. Main Track Works Turf Works Gate Works 2yos/3yos
Gulfstream 2 1 2. 2*
Gulfstream Park West 3 X 3 3
Palm Meadows 4 5 4 4
Palm Beach Downs 4 1 4 5
Payson Park 3 3 2 3
Farms 3 X 2 3
*X - not offered
* during Summer Gulf hosts a number of 2yos.
The ratings 1-5 reflect the relevance of works from that training facility. Being stabled at Gulfstream Park has had little or no relevance at the Gulfstream winter meet. The best horses are stabled at training facilities other than Gulfstream Park.
Payson Park and Palm Beach Downs are privately owned facility and have their own rules and regulations. Palm Meadows Training Center is owned by Stronach.
Payson has no clocker, and all works are on the honor system. Palm Beach Downs has a Gulfstream employee as an official clocker.
We rated, from our experience, Palm Meadows and Palm Beach Downs as the two most important training facilities and from where the winners come from during the winter meet at Gulfstream Park.
Across the board we have found that being stabled at a host track is not an advantage, a work over the track is not an advantage, and this is based on our own experiences and over 28 years of covering workouts and handicapping.
Understanding where the winners come from at any racing meet is first and foremost the starting point to having an advantage at the windows. An advantage at the windows and cashing tickets keeps you in front of the competition.