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Monday, January 23, 2017

Sunshine Millions a "Huge Success," Sees $900K Handle Increase

Hallandale Beach – 2017 Sunshine Millions Classic, the last race of the day, Hy Riverside, longshot Nauset Beach and heavy-favorite Awesome Slew battle down to the wire, nip and tuck, head to head, in a super tight photo finish! And the winner…

Hy Riverside trained by Antonio Sano, owned by Mar Racing Stable and expertly ridden by jockey Jose Ortiz.

The perfect finish to a thrilling day of Florida-bred championship racing at Gulfstream Park.

In the winner’s circle light bulbs were flashing, and high-fives were flying. Handle for the 2017 Sunshine Millions jumped from $13,403,368 in 2016 to $14,309,524. A healthy 6.761% increase.

But the real winners were Florida-based owners, trainers, and breeders.

Bill White, President of the Florida HBPA, who for many years participated as a trainer in this benchmark event, was impressed with the quality of races and crowd participation.

“Huge, huge success,” he said. “Better than we expected. I’m thrilled we could keep the races as Florida Bred races. The FHBPA looks forward to expanding and supporting racing opportunities like this one for Florida-breds in the future.”

For those unfamiliar with the background story, the 2017 Sunshine Millions came perilously close to not running, due to the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association (FTBOA) declining to fund and participate at the last moment. But working together with Gulfstream Park the FHBPA struck a deal in which not only would the races run, but most importantly they were kept as restricted to Florida-breds.

A very competitive mix of Florida-breds showed up to battle for $600,000 in total purse money, with the Sunshine Classic purse totaling $200,000.

Sunshine Millions winners were:

Filly and Mare Turf: Family Meeting by General Quarters, trained by Thomas Proctor, owned by Glen Hill Farms and ridden by Jose Lezcano.

Distaff Sprint: Mia Torri by Sky Mesa, trained by Jorge Navarro, owned by Phillip Sagan and ridden by Javier Castellano.

Sprint: Early Entry by Keyed Entry, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, owned by Tommy Roberts Racing Stable LLC and ridden by Paco Lopez.

Turf: Our Way by Keyed Tizway, trained by Harold James Bond, owned by William L. Clifton Jr. and ridden by John Velazquez.

Classic: Hy Riverside by Macho Uno, trained by Antonio Sano, owned by Mar Racing Stable. and ridden by Jose Ortiz.

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