Bahamian Squall beat Fort Loudon by 3 1/2 lengths Sunday afternoon in the $100,000 Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach.
Close It Out finished third in the seven-furlong dirt stakes for Florida breds 3 years old and up.
Bahamian Squall went off at 7-1 in a strong nine-horse field.
Bahaman Squall won in the fast time of 1:21.12, and was ridden by Luis Saez.
The added attraction of racing’s Claiming Crown on Saturday helped Gulfstream set records for opening day attendance and handle.
• Gulfstream estimated Saturday’s attendance was 9,100.
• Total wagering on Gulfstream races was $12.1 million.
Fans at the track bet $1.4 million. The remainder was bet at other tracks, Las Vegas sports books and through Internet and phone betting services.
Gulfstream has told the Claiming Crown Corp. that it would like to hold the event again next year, said the track’s president, Tim Ritvo.
The national event is open only to horses that raced for a claiming price at least once during the previous 24 months.
The team of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker combined for four victories in seven Claiming Crown races.
Their winners included Parent’s Honor in the featured $200,000 Jewel Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds and up.
Calder Stall Rent
For the first time in its history, Calder Casino & Race Course will begin charging trainers rent for their stalls for horses.
The rent will be $10 per day for each horse from Friday through March 17. That is when racing is ongoing at Gulfstream.
Calder will continue its policy of not charging for stalls during its racing season, said John Marshall, the track’s vice president and general manager for racing.
Calder announced the stall rent Oct. 1, citing a need to increase its revenues amid recent declines in handle.
The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent Association has said that some of its member trainers and owners might not be able to afford the fees.
Official information on whether any trainers leave Calder will not be available until the first rent payments are due in mid-December.
Gulfstream is considering building extra stalls for trainers who do not stay at Calder, Ritvo said.
Gulfstream charges stall fees, some higher than Calder, but it rescinds those fees during any month when a horse races at Gulfstream.