The Horseplayers Association of North America has rated Gulfstream Park 15th out of the 65 tracks studied in North America.
Cumulative Takeout Score: 2.38
Field Size: 8.7
Wager Variety Score: 1.0
Best Bet: Exacta Takeout
Total HANA Score: 2.098
Gulfstream provides not only exciting racing, and good field quality to its patrons, it also provides horseplayer value. In 2009 it has already been noted that field size is up from 2008 as management opted for racing one less day a week, and there is a resulting handle bump. From ESPN's Bill Finley, "Gulfstream is averaging 10.06 horses per race, a remarkably good number in an era where horses races so infrequently that the five-horse field is becoming an unfortunate but indelible part of the game. Through the first 12 days of racing in 2008, they had 9.19 horses per race. Even more significant is the upgrade in quality. With fewer races being run each week, the ones largely being eliminated are the lowest-level events. In 2008, 52 of the first 112 races at the meet were either starter allowances or claimers where the price tag was less than $35,000. This year, through the first 112 races, that number is down to 36."
From Gulfstream's January 24th press release: "Through the first 14 days of the 2009 meeting, on the eve of the ultra‐popular Sunshine Millions, Gulfstream Park recorded an 8.6% increase in “live,” or on‐track handle while also showing a 5.4% bump in all‐sources handle."
If this continues, it appears that Gulfstream is sure to crack the HANA top ten in 2009.