Just two days after Hurricane Irma left her mark on South Florida, Gulfstream Park, The Village at Gulfstream Park, Palm Meadows and Gulfstream Park West began returning to normalcy. Most notably, horses trained over Gulfstream, Palm Meadows and Gulfstream Park West Tuesday morning shortly after 6 a.m.
“I stood out here at 7 a.m. and, honestly, if you hadn’t known there was a hurricane two days earlier you never would have known what had gone on,” said trainer Chuck Simon, who stables at Palm Meadows. “We trained everyone. The track was perfect. Everyone showed up, the track was in great shape….like a normal day.”
Trainer Peter Walder, stabled at Gulfstream, added,”We jogged everyone. Track was fine. Believe it or not, the barn was perfect. We took everything out before the storm, but you never would have known there was a storm. I have nothing but good things to say about how everything was handled.”
Some 700 horses were moved from Gulfstream in the three days leading up to the storm, many to Palm Meadows. Approximately 75 returned Tuesday, with the rest expected Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Gulfstream will draw races Wednesday from live programs Saturday and Sunday.
Meanwhile, Gulfstream was preparing its facility for simulcast wagering to begin Wednesday, with Silks opening at 11:00 a.m. Most of the restaurants and shops at The Village at Gulfstream Park were expected to open Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Christine Lee’s was scheduled to open Wednesday evening, while Gulfstream’s poker room and casino opened Tuesday.