HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – With the installation of its Tapeta racing surface nearing completion, Gulfstream Park will become the first pari-mutuel facility in the Americas with three distinct racing surfaces.
Workers began laying the Tapeta over the base of the track late last week. Horses will begin jogging and galloping on the Tapeta after the inner safety rail is installed. Races are expected to be carded on the all-weather surface beginning the week of Sept. 23.
The multi-million-dollar project, which also includes a new drainage system, will provide Gulfstream with three racing surfaces – a 1 1/8-mile dirt track, 7/8-mile turf course and a mile-and-70-yard Tapeta track.
The installation of the Tapeta track continues 1/ST Racing and Gulfstream Park’s commitment to the safety of its athletes and its investment in state-of-the-art technology.
“The Tapeta surface is a truly exciting addition to Gulfstream Park,” said Aidan Butler, COO of 1/ST Racing. “The three unique surfaces plus the new drainage system will allow many options for the horsemen, provide bettors interesting wagering opportunities, and protect our turf course during inclement weather. We are very much looking forward to this new chapter in Gulfstream’s history and thank everyone for all their hard work in getting it done.”
“The new Tapeta track is a significant advancement for Gulfstream Park,” Florida HBPA President Stephen Screnci said. “It creates flexibility that will benefit our horsemen in a number of ways. It will be easier to preserve the turf course. There will be more opportunity to run when races are rained off the turf, and more options in the condition book. Perhaps most important, fewer scratches in off-the-turf races generates increased handle and increased purses. This is good news for South Florida racing.”
Credit: Lauren King Photo