Tuesday, March 3, 2009
All Access: Gulfstream Park
Horse racing draws thousands of fans everyday, but there's a lot of action going on off the track as well. Seve's Dave Kartunen takes you inside the stables for an All Access pass to Gulfstream Park.
WSVN -- Fast and furious, horse racing delivers the most exciting two minutes in sports, but there's hours of work that go into it before you ever reach the winner's circle.
For most of the crew at Gulfstream Park, the day starts at 4 a.m., seven days a week.
Sandra Bruno: "They become like your little dog or your children because we work with them all day, everyday. It's a labor of love."
Horses are the true love of Sandra Bruno, an assistant trainer for 30 years.
On this day, one of her fillies is getting new shoes, a job that takes two people to complete. Her horses are fed promptly, four times a day, about half a bale of hay, except if it's race day.
Sandra Bruno: "When the horses are training heavily, sometimes they don't eat as well. Just like a person that might be running a marathon, they're not hungry."
Which leads to a considerable amount of this... be happy our cameras don't have noses. The track trucks out 88,000 thousand pounds of manure a day.
Sandra Bruno: "We're just going to bring the horse out and take a little jog."
Senior veterinarian Patricia Marquis is busy everyday. It's her job to determine if each horse is racing sound.
Dr. Patricia Marquis: "We'll look for any kind of heat, pain, swelling, any kind of indication that would lead me to believe that the horse shouldn't run on that particular day."
Patty also checks each horse's tattoo to verify if the horse that's entered in the race. During her rounds she sees a lot of interaction between the horses.
Dr. Patricia Marquis: "They do like to see each other. They love to be able to put their heads out over the stall door and winny to each other. I quit high school when I was 16 to work with my dad as an assistant."
Talk about a true passion for horses, look no further than Derby-winning trainer Rick Dutrow. You may remember his triple crown run with Big Brown last year. The winning horse also took the Florida Derby at Gulfstream.
Rick Dutrow: "We loved having him here. He was like the coolest horse that I ever met in my life."
Rick Dutrow: "First race going as the first race with nine."
Nerves run high inside the racing office where jockeys and their agents wait to find out which post they'll take off from, something that could decide the winner.
The man in charge of managing those world class jockeys is Victor Sanchez, the clerk of scales.
Victor Sanchez: "If we need a jockey change, if a jockey falls off or calls in sick, I'll need to call the trainer or the owner."
Victor weighs in each jockey and if they are a few pounds over sends them to the steam room and sauna.
Victor Sanchez: "They'll lose like two, three, four, five pounds in a couple of hours."
There can be tension over a call, but off the track, Victor says, most jockeys like and respect one another.
Victor Sanchez: "They play dominoes together, they play cards, they play pool."
Important when your job is as dangerous as this one.
Dave Kartunen: "We hope you enjoyed the All Access look, and I want to warn you, I'm not a handicapper but odds are you may have seen something here that can help you identify the next Florida or even Kentucky Derby winner in Hallandale."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:Gulfstream Park
901 S. Federal Highway
Hallandale, FL 33009
Phone: (954) 454-7000
Toll Free: (800) 771-TURF