Monthly News & Updates

February, 2023

FTBOA, FTHA, Gulfstream Park Announce

2023 Florida-Bred Two-Year-Old Incentives

FTBOA, FTHA and Gulfstream Park today announced 2023 Florida-bred racing incentives at Gulfstream Park totaling $1.75 million. The renewed Florida-Bred Incentive Fund (FBIF) will distribute a total of $450,000 in bonuses to Florida-bred two-year-old maiden winners. The 2023 Florida Sire Stakes series, to be run at Gulfstream for the 10th consecutive year, offers $1.2 million in purses.

The FBIF program offers Florida-bred two-year-old open maiden winners a minimum bonus of $2,500 for maiden-claiming races and up to $10,000 for a Florida-bred two-year-old winning an open maiden special weight race at Gulfstream.

This program was created thanks to a joint “Tri-party” Agreement between 1/ST RACING, the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (FTHA), and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association (FTBOA). FTHA has pledged additional funds from the purse account to ensure that FBIF bonuses are available the entire 2023 racing year.

“It’s imperative that we all work together to promote and build a robust breeding and racing industry in the state of Florida,” Billy Badgett, 1/ST RACING’s Executive Director of Florida Racing Operations, said. “To that end, it’s important to attract new owners to our sport throughout Florida and the industry. These incentives, and the change in dates of the popular Florida Sire Stakes program, gives us a great opportunity to fulfill these goals.”

FTBOA offers an additional $100,000 of win bonuses for eligible Florida-sired winners of open maiden special weight overnights, paying $5,000 for up to 10 filly races and 10 colts/geldings races. Combined with the FBIF and FTHA contributions, registered Florida-sired Florida-bred winners in open maiden special weight races collect as much as $15,000 in added incentives.

The dates of the $1.2 million FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series move later in the calendar to provide owners and trainers more time to prepare for these important races. The 2023 dates of the FSS races will be:

Sept. 9: $100,000 FSS Desert Vixen S. and $100,000 FSS Dr. Fager S. at 6 furlongs

Oct. 21: $200,000 FSS Susan’s Girl S. and $200,000 FSS Affirmed S. at 7 furlongs

Dec. 2: $300,000 FSS My Dear Girl S. and $300,000 In Reality S. at 1 1/6 miles

“Florida’s stakeholders are aligned with one focus – what can we do to help our breeding and racing industries?” said FTHA President Joe Orseno. “We need to find ways to make it worthwhile for breeders and owners to invest in our state. We believe that the new Bonus Program will encourage greater interest in buying and breeding Florida-breds. By moving the dates of the FSS races, late-developing two-year-olds will have a better chance of participating. We are excited about the future of the Florida Thoroughbred industry.”

“FTBOA is pleased to work with Gulfstream and FTHA on a program for 2023 featuring our priority Florida Sire Stakes program while enhancing our Florida Breeders Incentive Fund for the benefit of our highly regarded Florida-bred two-year-olds at Gulfstream on a summer through winter basis,” commented FTBOA CEO Lonny Powell.

FTBOA President George Isaacs added, “We are pleased with the continued FSS races as our industry centerpiece promoting Florida stallions and farms. I also consider it a plus anytime we can offer purse incentives for our bread and butter two-year-olds competing at all levels at Gulfstream. We anticipate this will be one of many cooperative efforts improving the industry economics and stability.”

Photo: Awesome Strong, Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson

Gulfstream Park Hosts Groom Elite Graduation

The Groom Elite Program, which this year returned to Gulfstream Park for the first time since the pandemic, hosted its graduation ceremony and luncheon at Ten Palms Feb. 15. Sixteen students attended the classes, and 10 completed the course and were awarded certification. Sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and 1/ST RACING, the program provides education on a variety of topics, including Horse Behavior, Health, Conformation, Digestive System and Feeding, and Bandaging and Tacking.

“We have a lot of good horsemen and women working on the backstretch who know how to do things, but maybe not why they are doing it,” said Reid McLellan, the executive director and chief instructor for Groom Elite. “We also have inexperienced grooms and hotwalkers looking to improve their skills. This program gives them the tools they need to do a better job for the horses.”

One of the students, Neosaris Mullins, is currently a hotwalker for Amador Sanchez, but she would like to move up the ladder.

“I love horses - I love all animals – and I want to be a groom,” Mullins said. “This course was perfect. We all learned so much, and we are so grateful for the opportunity. We want to continue to learn – we can’t wait to take the next course [Groom Elite 201].”

FTHA’s Special Project Coordinator Herb Oster said, “It was great to see the enthusiasm of the students. They were so eager to learn – even when class was over, they would stay to talk and ask questions. We hope the program will grow from here, and that we will have even more students the next time Groom Elite is offered here at Gulfstream.”

Photo: Coglianese Photos/Ryan Thompson

Ballots Are Out for 2023 FTHA Election

The ballots for the 2023 Election of the FTHA Board of Directors have been sent. The FTHA has hired Election Services Co. as our independent third-party election provider. Ballots have been sent by email to all FTHA members who have a valid email address on file. If we do not have a valid email address on file, we will send a paper ballot to the mailing address on file.

A total of six candidates are running in the 2023 FHBPA Election. They are: Owners Gerardo Amado, Tom Cannell, David Geofroy, and Jeffrey Siskin; and Trainers Patrick Biancone and David Fawkes. 

If you believe you are entitled to vote in the 2023 FTHA Election and do not receive a ballot, please contact the FTHA Office at (954) 457-3516, or, and we will provide election materials to you.


Click here for the FTHA provisions for Elections and Voting.

Fashionable Fillies, benefiting The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation, at Gulfstream Park on Friday, March 31!

The Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation is a charitable trust which provides financial relief and assistance to needy members of the Thoroughbred industry and their families.

Click here for tickets or more information.

The Uniform National Trainer's Test Study Guide is now available in the FTHA Office. If you are interested in taking your trainer's test, please stop by the office to take advantage of this valuable resource.

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