OCALA, FL—The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association announced today a substantial increase in awards paid to Florida breeders and stallion owners for 2024 through their Annual Awards Plan that was approved Thursday by the Florida Gaming Control Commission.

The Plan increases, which were enabled with the enactment of HB 7063, would increase Florida breeder and stallion awards by one-third, from the 15% level in 2023 to as much 20% of the announced gross purse in 2024.

HB 7063 is a $1.3 billion tax package championed by the FTBOA, ultimately supported the state’s Thoroughbred industry and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 25. It includes $5 million provided to the FTBOA for Florida breeding awards and incentives.

Breeder awards will be paid at 12.5% for first place, 5% for second place and 2.5% for third place, subject to specified caps. Those caps would also increase to $12,500 for first (an increase from $10,500 in 2023), $5,000 for second (an increase from $3,000), and $2,500 for third (an increase from $1,500).

Stallion awards in 2024 will be capped at $20,000 (an increase from $15,000) for wins in black-type races in Florida.

“The historic passage of HB 7063 has a profound positive effect on the Florida Thoroughbred breeder and stallion awards as evidenced by this announcement,” FTBOA CEO Lonny Powell said. “The Florida-bred benefit carries to the racing side in a big way in the form of significantly more lucrative purse supplements for Florida-breds at both Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs. At Gulfstream Park in 2024, we project that dollars offered to our Florida-breds will increase an amazing 90 percent in 2024 compared to this year. The Tampa Bay Downs incentives gain another 50 percent.

“We are already working on 2026 and beyond.”

The total Florida breeder and stallion awards budget for 2024 is projected to be more than $8 million, a 52% increase from $5.3 million in 2023.

“On behalf of our board, FTBOA members and industry, I can’t emphasize how important and significant these Florida-bred breeder awards and racing incentives are to the breeders and owners of Florida-breds and how they bring stability to the industry,” FTBOA President George Isaacs said. “Thank you to Lonny Powell, Matt Bryan, Jon Rees, Warren Husband and the team. The time is sure right to buy, own, race or breed Florida-breds.”

Return to the October 5 issue of Wire to Wire