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Another Rout for Florida Breds in Sunshine Millions

Another Rout for Florida Breds in Sunshine Millions
 
February 11, 2011
By Kent H. Stirling, FHBPA Executive Director
 
 
The Sunshine Millions has been run now for nine years.  And for nine years the Florida Breds have defeated the California Breds on a 5-3-1 point scoring system for first, second and third.  This year the Florida Breds prevailed 33-21, although I did read a San Francisco paper that tried to make it a little closer by scoring it 31-23.
 
The Sunshine Millions is a unique contest where three races, formerly four races, are contested on the same day at both Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita.  What makes this series so unique (besides Florida-breds winning every year) is that Frank Stronach’s MID puts $200,000, formerly $600,000, into the purses at each track, while the Florida Breeders and the California Breeders each put up $350,000, formerly $600,000, and the purse pools from each track contribute another $350,000, formerly $600,000.  Again, that’s a racetrack diverting potential corporation bottom line monies to help create a $1.8 million, formerly $3.6 million race day.
 
This year long-shots prevailed at Gulfstream Park as Florida Breds reeled off winners such as Aegean ($20.20) in the Filly and Mare Sprint, Trip for AJ ($14.40) in the Filly and Mare Turf and Tackleberry ($6.60) in the Classic.
 
On the other coast, more reasonable winning prices prevailed at Santa Anita as California Breds returned the complement by winning all three races there with Amazombie ($24.80) taking the Sprint, Caracortado ($8.20) winning the Turf and Evening Jewel ($6.40) the Distaff.
 
Although the California Breds have been for the most part outclassed by their Florida brethren, they did actually win five of the eight races run in 2006, but the Florida Breds were saved by the point system, racking up a bunch of seconds and thirds.  Of late there has been less and less participation by California Breds starters, they were outnumbered 39 to 18 by Florida Breds this year.  While many horsemen seem to look at the concept of the Sunshine Millions as a failed one, it, nevertheless, always finishes in the top three or four wagering days at both tracks each year.