Hialeah Meet Leaders

Hialeah crowns meet leaders, looks forward to summer's casino opening.

Edited Press Release
March 7, 2013

Hialeah Park

Historic Hialeah Park announced its meet leaders for the 2012-2013 season, its fourth year of Quarter Horse racing.

For the second consecutive year, the leading owner for the meet was Rancho Los Dos Portillos, LLC. The ownership group’s biggest stars include James On The Run, Honor Me Good and Sstrickortreat. James on the Run won the FQHRA Stallion Stakes Futurity as a 2-year-old after winning his futurity trial. He later went on to place third in the South Florida Derby on the meet’s closing day. Honor Me Good launched his Hialeah season with a third in the Orange Blossom Stakes before winning the City of Hialeah Stakes in January with regular rider Oscar Rincon.

Trainer Brandon Muñiz topped the training ranks for the meet, as the primary trainer for Rancho Los Dos Portillos. Muñiz got his season off to a strong start with four qualifiers for the FQHRA Stallion Stakes Futurity, including winner James on the Run, as well as Biscayne Stakes winner Dont Tell Lila, and stakes starters Streakin Carter and Dashing Coverage.

The meet’s leading rider was Francisco Ramirez, Jr. In addition to piloting Dashing Coverage and Streakin Carter, Ramirez scored an upset with Ms Southern Dynasty in the Hialeah Lassie. He was also aboard stakes runners Panther Speed, Smokin Habenero, Hello Georgia, Droppin Timber, and Political Hope.

“The biggest advance in the racing was to increase our simulcast outlets from 400 to 500 during this past season” commented Vice President and General Manager Randall E. Soth.

John J. Brunetti, owner of Hialeah Park offered these comments regarding the recently concluded race meet. “With the conclusion of another very successful race meet, Hialeah Park opens a new chapter in its remarkable history as we prepare for the opening of the Casino at Hialeah Park this summer. Our objective is to develop a comprehensive entertainment venue for South Florida while creating in excess of 500 full time jobs during this first phase of construction. When our master plan development is complete, we will have infused our local economy with approximately $1 billion in development dollars and provided over 3,000 jobs to South Florida based entities and personnel.”

Race dates for the 2013-2014 racing season and other racing programs will be announced in the coming weeks.

In related news, Cuban recording superstar Willy Chirino will be the face of The Casino at Hialeah Park, which is scheduled to open this summer.

Willy Chirino, who left his native Cuba at the age of 14, began his musical career in Miami and has gone on to record over 20 albums with several of them attaining platinum and gold status. Taking home a Grammy in 2006 for “Best Salsa Album” and being nominated for a Latin Grammy award in 2007, Chirino has become an international icon while staying grounded in his adopted city of Miami. Chirino is recognized throughout the world as one of the creators of the Miami Sound, a unique fusion of Cuban, rock, jazz, Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms.

Chirino said: “I grew up in Hialeah and I am very aware of the tradition and importance of Hialeah Park and what it represents for South Florida as a whole. Therefore, being the spokesperson of The Casino at Hialeah Park is something that I assume with a great deal of responsibility. I am happy and honored to be able to work with the Brunetti family to bring back all the glamour and greatness that Hialeah Park enjoyed for many decades.”

Hialeah Park felt that it was important to stay true to South Florida and align the venue with Chirino, who embodies South Florida’s dynamic cultural landscape. Chirino made a public appearance at Hialeah Park on the final day of racing (February 17) as he announced the winner of a season long contest which saw Hialeah Park give away a classic 1957 Chevrolet Shorty. Watching the capacity crowd’s positive reaction to Willy, gave Hialeah Park owner John J. Brunetti all the confidence he needed to name him the ambassador of The Casino at Hialeah Park.