Backstory and Context
Gulfstream Park is located in Hallandale, Florida about 2 miles east of I-95 and has been an important horse racing venue since 1939. “Hallandale Florida, named after Luther Halland, is a city in Broward County which is located near Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Due to the large number of tourists who eventually retire in the city, Hallandale Beach has one of the fastest-growing populations in Broward County and in Metro Miami” (Hallandale Beach, Florida). Although Gulfstream Park is known for its prestigious horse racing, it also provides a wide variety of entertainment and fine dining options for its visitors.
Horse racing has made a huge economic impact in the United States alone. “In the U.S., where 38 states have legalized the sport, the annual economic impact of the equine industry is measured at $122 billion, according to a 2017 study published by the American Horse Council (AHC)” (Horn-Muller).
Gulfstream Park may be popular for its renown horse racing but is also quite the place for casino slot machines/poker, entertainment, and fine dining. “Gulfstream Park offers over 800 Vegas-style slot machines and South Florida’s finest poker room with over 20 live action tables” (About Gulfstream Park). People from all over come to watch horses’ race and go on to potentially being the Triple Crown winner which in fact has happened before. Horse racing is one of the most popular forms of gambling because if you bet on the correct horse, you could potentially win a lot of money. Betting on say, the Triple Crown winner, could earn you thousands if you play your cards right. The Triple Crown used to be one of the most popular sports achievements for a long time. “Triple Crown, in American horse racing, championship attributed to a three-year-old Thoroughbred that in a single season wins the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes” (Drager, Triple Crown). Even though the horses do most of the work, they still depend on their trainers and the jockeys on their backs.
There are different roles that go into having a winning racehorse. It starts with a good horse trainer. The duties and responsibilities of a horse trainer include the following. “The trainer must plan workouts, enter the appropriate horse races, advise the jockey on race strategy, notify owners of training progress and race entry options, supervise the stable employees, and lastly schedule health care and maintenance appointments for the horses” (Kramer, Job Description).
Another key component that goes into having a winning horse race is the jockey. A jockey is someone who rides on the back of the horse and whips them so that they can go faster. They also must report the performance of the horse to the trainer after every race or session. The jockeys are responsible for all the equipment such as saddles, helmets, goggles, whips, and boots. Although there are no academic requirements when it comes to becoming a jockey, an internship alongside a professional is helpful. “This training is available to candidates over 18 years of age, and it helps a jockey understand horses and their nature, breathing, feeding, and breeding patterns; shoeing; and work routine. It is also a good idea to take on the entry-level responsibility of walking horses, cooling them down after workouts, and exercising them” (Jockey Job Description). Knowing this information is crucial when it comes to needing to take care of the horses after every race or practice session that way they will be ready and healthy for the next. Another key component when it comes to being a jockey is the weight. It is ideal that a jockey would be small that way there is not too much weight being put on the horse while they are running. “An average jockey weighs between one-hundred and one-hundred and fifty pounds and is also in excellent physical condition” (Jockey Job Description). When it comes to a jockey’s salary, they make an average of around thirty-five thousand dollars a year but the exception is the prize money. A winning jockey can make up six percent of the purse, also known as the winnings of the horse, which in some cases to add up to a couple hundred thousand or even a million dollars. Although that money sounds nice, it doesn’t come easy.
Horse racing is widely popular. “Horse racing was the most important British sport imported to the Western Hemisphere during the colonial era, thriving mainly in the South, and it has been one of America’s main sports ever since” (Reiss, Sports in America). This sport is thought to be a sport of wealth due to the amount of money put in and taken out. Gulfstream Park is huge for horse racing and is known for having Triple Crown winners go in and out of their park which is why it is so popular.
“Hallandale Beach, Florida.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Sept. 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallandale_Beach,_Florida.
“About Gulfstream Park.” Gulfstream Park, http://www.gulfstreampark.com/info/about-gulfstream-park.
Kramer, Mary Hope. “Racehorse Trainer Job Description: Salary, Skills, & More.” The Balance Careers, The Balance Careers, 11 July 2019, https://www.thebalancecareers.com/racehorse-trainer-125758.
“Jockey Job Description, Career as a Jockey, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job.” StateUniversity.com, https://careers.stateuniversity.com/pages/7854/Jockey.html.
Riess, Steven A. Sports in America : From Colonial Times to the Twenty-First Century: An Encyclopedia. M.E. Sharpe, Inc, 2013. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=790595&site=eds-live.
Drager, Marvin. “Triple Crown.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 11 June 2018, https://www.britannica.com/sports/Triple-Crown-American-thoroughbred-horse-racing.
Horn-Muller, Ayurella. “Florida Banned Greyhound Racing In 2018. Is Horse Racing Next?” New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 4, 8 Oct. 2019, https://www.browardpalmbeach.com/news/pegasus-world-cup-and-horse-racing-continue-in-florida-after-greyhound-racing-was-banned-by-voters-in-november-10164209.