Gulfstream Park has cancelled live racing Sept. 7-Sept. 10 because of the unexpected path of Hurricane Irma, which the National Hurricane Center is calling “an extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm.
With winds in excess of 180 miles per hour, Hurricane Irma is likely to impact South Florida as early as this weekend. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a statewide emergency, and on the evening of Sept. 5, President Donald Trump declared emergencies in Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico because of Irma. Local officials placed the Florida Keys under mandatory evacuation orders Sept. 6, and Miami-Dade county could end up issuing similar orders.
Gulfstream Park is located in Hallandale Beach, Fla., in Broward County, about 18 miles north of Miami.
Gulfstream will be open this Thursday and Friday for simulcast wagering, and officials will monitor the storm throughout the weekend. Racing is tentatively scheduled to resume Sept. 13, which was a scheduled makeup day.
Gulfstream’s casino will be open through Friday evening.
“Obviously, our first priority is the safety of our patrons and our equine athletes,” said P.J. Campo, general manager of Gulfstream Park and vice president of racing for The Stronach Group. “Horsemen are being given the option to keep their horses at Gulfstream, Gulfstream Park West, or move to our training facility at Palm Meadows in Palm Beach.”