HIALEAH, Fla., (June 10, 2013) – The flamingos are ready and the calendar is set for the 2013-14 live racing season at historic Hialeah Park. The fifth consecutive year of live racing will include 40 days of racing with daily purses totaling $140,000. The schedule also includes 27 stakes races worth more than $1.2 million, with major derby and futurity trial purses set at $15,000 over last season.
The centerpiece of the 2013-14 meet will be the newly-created Hialeah Futurity, a 440-yard contest for 2-year-olds which will be worth $200,000 added.
“This will be a ‘signature race’ not unlike The Flamingo Stakes was for Thoroughbred racing, something that both horsemen and patrons can identify with Hialeah Park,” said Hialeah Park Chairman of the Board, John Brunetti. “This new race is to indicate that Hialeah Park is a serious entity and is looking to establish a position of prominence in North American Quarter Horse racing.”
Also new to the race program will be the Hialeah Marathon Series, which will link the 550-yard Orange Blossom, the 550-yard Crystal River, the 660-yard Moonstone, the 1,000-yard Key West, and the 1,000-yard Sailfish Stakes. The top five point-earning horses competing in this series will share in the $20,000 participation bonus.
Additionally, the Hialeah Invitational Championship has been renamed and is now the Sam Abbey Memorial Invitational Championship. Abbey, the longtime Director of Racing at Hialeah Park, was killed in an automobile accident after the close of the 2012-13 meet. He had spent much of his 43-year career in horse racing officiating at Hialeah, which had always been his favorite racecourse. The purse for the Sam Abbey will be $100,000 guaranteed.
The 2013-14 racing meet will be the fifth consecutive season of live Quarter Horse racing at the historic track since it reopened in 2009 to a crowd of over 25,000. Previous to its closure in 2001, the 92-year-old facility was a hotspot for Thoroughbred racing, and a well-traveled spot on the road to the Kentucky Derby. The Flamingo Stakes, named for Hialeah’s signature pink infield inhabitants, was considered a critical prep for the Derby.
The live racing season will commence on Friday, November 29 and will continue with Friday through Sunday racing until February 23, with additional Monday cards on February 17 and January 20. The Hialeah Park product will remain a great value for horseplayers, featuring an industry low 12% takeout on pick 3 and pick4 wagers. Parking and admission every day will remain free.