HALLANDALE BEACH, FL—Led by the Grade 3 Princess Rooney, a pair of qualifiers for 2-year-olds to Royal Ascot, and the first two legs of the lucrative FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes, Gulfstream Park will offer 40 stakes worth $4.245 million in purses during the upcoming Royal Palm and Sunshine meets.

Gulfstream’s The Royal Palm Meet is scheduled to open April 4 and run through Sept. 1, leading into the Sunshine Meet schedule to open Sept. 6 and run through Nov. 24.

The seven-furlong Princess Rooney, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in November at Del Mar, headlines the Sept. 21 Sunshine Meet program which includes the $100,000 Ginger Punch Handicap for fillies and mares going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass; the $95,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint at five furlongs for 3-year-olds and older; and the $95,000 Aventura for 2-year-olds at one mile.

The $1.2 million Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds by nominated Florida stallions returns with the $100,000 Desert Vixen for fillies and $100,000 Dr. Fager sprinting six furlongs on Sept. 7. The series continues Oct. 19 with the $200,000 Susan’s Girl for fillies and $200,000 Affirmed, both going seven furlongs.

Additional to the released schedule, the lucrative FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes for 2-year-olds culminates Nov. 30, helping to kick off the 2024-25 Champions Meet, with the $300,000 My Dear Girl for fillies and the $300,000 In Reality, both at a mile-and-a-sixteenth.

The Sept. 7, Oct. 19 and Nov. 30 programming matches last year’s Florida Sire Stakes schedule with six weeks between each leg of the series.

The popular FTBOA Gil Campbell Memorial Handicap for 3-year-old and older Florida-breds at one mile returns Oct. 19. The $100,000 also features a $50,000 Top 3 bonus for runners eligible to the Florida Sire Stakes.

The Royal Palm’s May 11 program will feature the second running of the $120,000 Royal Palm Juvenile and $120,000 Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies, each sprinting five furlongs on the grass. Once again, each race will provide the winner with an automatic berth in one of six juvenile races during the prestigious Royal Ascot meet in England as well as a $25,000 equine travel stipend.

Last year, trainer George Weaver swept Gulfstream’s stakes with No Nay Mets (Ire) and the filly Crimson Advocate. Crimson Advocate went on to win the Queen Mary (G2) by a nose, while No Nay Mets ran ninth in the Norfolk (G2) but came back to win the Tyro at Monmouth Park and Rosies at Colonial Downs before running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1).

Royal Palm Meet stakes action begins Saturday, May 4 with the $100,000 English Channel for 3-year-olds and $100,000 Honey Ryder for 3-year-old fillies, both scheduled for one mile on the turf.

Independence Day weekend will feature the $95,000 Carry Back for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs July 5, and $120,000 Smile at six furlongs and $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer Handicap scheduled for a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass July 6.

Juveniles will also be in the spotlight Aug. 10 in the $95,000 Sharp Susan for fillies and $95,000 Proud Man, both sprinting six furlongs; Sept. 14 in the $95,000 Hallandale Beach for fillies going one mile; Sept. 28 in the $95,000 Hollywood Beach at five furlongs on the turf; Oct. 26 in the $95,000 Our Dear Peggy for fillies and Nov. 2 in the $95,000 Armed Forces, both at one mile on the grass; Nov. 16 in the $85,000 Juvenile Fillies Sprint and Nov. 23 in the $85,000 Juvenile Sprint, both going six-and-a-half furlongs.

Sophomores are featured May 18 in the $95,000 Roar sprinting five furlongs on the grass; June 1 in the $95,000 Game Face for fillies at six furlongs; June 8 in the $95,000 Martha Washington for fillies and $95,000 Not Surprising, each going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the turf; July 13 in the $95,000 Azalea for fillies at seven furlongs; Aug. 3 in the $95,000 Miss Gracie for fillies and $95,000 Bear’s Den, both contested at one mile on turf; Nov. 1 in the $95,000 Cellars Shiraz for fillies and Nov. 2 in the $95,000 Showing Up, each on grass scheduled for a mile-and-a-sixteenth.

Also on the stakes calendar are the $95,000 Monroe for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older scheduled for a mile-and-a-sixteenth on the grass May 18; $100,000 Big Drama Handicap at seven furlongs and $95,000 Mr. Steele going a mile-and-a-sixteenth on turf May 25; $95,000 Power Break at a mile on turf June 15 and $100,000 Musical Romance Handicap sprinting six-and-a-half furlongs, both for fillies and mares; $100,000 Sheer Drama Handicap for fillies and mares on Aug. 17 and $100,000 Benny the Bull Handicap for older horses on Aug. 24, both going seven furlongs.

Return to the March 21 issue of Wire to Wire