Situated in the Hallandale Beach area of Florida, Gulfstream Park rightly boasts as being one of the most picturesque throughout the USA. Racing began at the track on 1st February 1939 when a crowd in excess of 18000 witness the first meeting. Although the War then intervened, the course reopened for business in 1944.

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Facilities improved rapidly at the course, with the grandstand extension completed in 1952 reflecting this. The period between 1982 and 1986 saw further significant improvements. The course is famed for holding the Florida Derby, first run in 1952, and for the Gulfstream Park Handicap first begun 6 years earlier. Twice the track was sold in the nineties, firstly in 1991 when bought by Bertram Firestone, and then again in 1999 when the present owners Magna Entertainment Corporation purchased it.

Shown opposite is a badge for the Breeders Cup meeting held at Gulfstream in 1999 from our American Racing Correspondent Richard Gauthier. The main race, the Breeders Cup Classic, was won by Cat Thief ridden by Pat Day.

The course hosts the Group One Donn Handicap, usually run in January or February, over 9 furlongs which was run for the first time in 1959 when One-Eyed King was victorious.

I am grateful to our American Racing Correspondent Richard Gauthier for the scan of the badges shown below.

The most famous race at the track is undoubtedly the Florida Derby for 3 year olds, a Group One race over 9 furlongs which was first run in 1952. That first winner was Sky Ship, and the latest winner the Kent Desormeaux ridden Big Brown.

The photo below shows Borderman, trained by George Stutts, gaining a victory on 20th December 1947.

Gulfstream Park had the honour of hosting the 1989 Breeders Cup. They also hosted it in 1992 and 199. Use the link to research Cup history.

The photo below shows Walter Blum steering Bird Walk to victory on 18th March 1967 on his way to recording 4382 successes. Walter Blum, who worked closely with trainer Ben Stutts, was an American jockey who was born on 28th September 1934 in Brooklyn, New Jersey. He rode his first winner on 29th July 1953 at Saratoga Racecourse, and he was still riding 22 years later when he recorded his 4382nd winner. The remarkable thing about Blum was that he achieved all of this despite being blind in his right eye. He was awarded a place in the Racing Hall of Fame in 1986, having won on Affectionately and Gun Bow (both Hall of Famers in their own right), and having captured the Belmont Stakes (1971), Santa Anita Derby (1966) and Florida Derby (1973).

If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email