Date: Saturday, December 9, 2017
Site: Gulfstream Park
For the first time in its storied history, the premier Thoroughbred racing event in Latin America and the Caribbean will be held in the United States, as Gulfstream Park hosts the 2017 Clasico del Caribe.
This unique event showcases the premier horses from Panama, Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic. Horses compete for $600,000 in purses, as well as national pride and prestige.
The showcase event, the Caribbean Classic, features a $300,000 purse and is one of the area’s most revered races. Past winning jockeys include Joel Rosario (2008), Jose Lezcano (2015), Laffity Pincay Jr. (1980), Jacinto Vasquez (1974), Cornelio Velasquez (2004, 2003, 1992), Fernando Jara (2006) and Emisael Jaramillo (2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2000).
Clasico del Caribe Day features five stakes races limited to horses from Latin America and the Caribbean:
Caribbean Classic ($300,000)
3YO – 1 1/8 Miles on the Dirt
Confraternity Caribbean Cup ($100,000)
3YO+ - 1 1/4 Miles on the Dirt
Invitational Cup for Imported ($60,000)
3YO+ - 1 1/4 Miles on the Dirt
Lady Caribbean Cup ($25,000)
3YO Fillies – 1 1/16 Miles on the Dirt
Caribbean Cup Speed ($25,000)
3YO+ - 6 Furlongs on the Dirt
Additionally, Gulfstream Park will host six other stakes races on December 9, 2017, all restricted to two-year-old horses:
Buffalo Man Stakes ($75,000)
2YO – 6 Furlongs on the Dirt
House Party Stakes ($75,000)
2YO Fillies – 6 Furlongs on the Dirt
Smooth Air Stakes ($75,000)
2YO – 1 Mile on the Dirt
Hut Hut Stakes ($75,000)
2YO Fillies – 1 Mile on the Dirt
2YO – 1 Mile on the Turf
Wait a While Stakes
2YO Fillies – 1 Mile on the Turf
Betting the Clasico del Caribe races? Be sure to keep an eye on these horses:
He figures to be one of the horses to beat in the Clasico Invitational on the heels of a 5 ½-length score in the Jose Celso Barbosa Stakes at Puerto Rico’s Camarero Race Track in July. Claimed for $40,000 in May at Belmont, this son of Include finished 4th in last year’s Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby and was most recently second, beaten just 1 ¼-lengths, in a prep race at Gulfstream Park West.
He swept through the Puerto Rican Triple Crown this year en route to a start in the Caribbean Classic, winning the Grade 1 Derby Puertorriqueno Stakes, Grade 1 Copa Gobernador Stakes and Grade 1 Copa San Juan Stakes between May and July by a combined 14 ½-lengths. Overall he has won 7-of-12 starts with earnings of $208K. This will be his first start away from Camarero Race Track.
US and Canadian race fans should be familiar with Coltimus Prime. He won the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in July 2014 and finished 5th behind Dance With Fate in that year’s Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. Earlier this year, he was transferred to Panama’s Hipodromo Presidente Ramon, where has he won the Grade 1 Clasico Presidente de la Republica in June. He’ll line up in the Clasico Invitational.
The defending champion of the Confraternity Caribbean Cup, Arquitecto has won 27-of-44 lifetime starts, including the 2012 Puerto Rican Triple Crown. He overcame a 6-month layoff to win the Grade 2 Antonio R. Barcelo Stakes at Camarero and figures to be the horse to beat in this year’s Confraternity. His backers should note, however, that he’s 0-for-2 away from Camarero.
One of the quickest horses in the Caribbean, Venezuela’s Crotone has won three of his last four starts by a combined 23-lengths. He has never raced away from the La Rinconada Racetrack, but figures to be one of the favorites based on his solid form at home. He is a son of Slew’s Tizzy, who won the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland in 2007.