Hialeah Opens December 15

Miami racetrack opens December 15.

December 14, 2012

Hialeah Park

Quarter Horse racing returns to historic Hialeah Park this Saturday, December 15. The three-month meet will feature live racing Fridays through Sundays, with the first post at 2 p.m. EST. 

The track will also show a full simulcast menu Wednesdays through Sundays until April 5; gates will open at 11:30 a.m. EST on simulcast days. In addition to the import menu, Hialeah has increased their export menu, adding locations in Connecticut, Toronto (Woodbine) and California. In total, Hialeah will have their signal available in nearly 600 locations.

“We’re looking for this build to continue the growth we’ve seen season after season. We’re really excited about the additions to the simulcast network and are happy to offer our fans an industry-low 12 percent takeout on our pick four wagers,” said Vice President & General Manager Randy Soth.

Television star Avana will help kick off the meet’s first weekend with a concert Sunday, December 16 at noon, and of course the famous flamingos will decorate the infield each day following the 4th race.

The thirty-day race meet includes twelve stakes races, and will kick off with the trials for the $176,590 Hialeah Lassie Futurity and $192,520 Hialeah Derby on opening day. Both stakes will run December 30.

Sunday’s card will be made up of trials for the $209,440 Hialeah Laddie Futurity and $86,270 FQHRA Stallion Stakes Futurity, which will run December 30.

Track regulars may want to pause in memory of “Hialeah’s Horse” Skyline Lover, who died unexpectedly over the summer. The marathon veteran ended his career at over $300,000 in earnings, with wins in the Sailfish, Crystal River, Orange Blossom, Moonstone, and Key West Challenge Stakes; he set the 1,000 yard track record in the latter this February at Hialeah. Skyline Lover was campaigned by trainer Matt Frazier for owner Dan Frazier. This year’s marathon division will begin with the Orange Blossom Stakes (550 yards) December 23 and will finish with the 1,000-yard Sailfish Stakes on closing day.

Last year’s leading trainer, Charlton Hunt, will send out four runners in Saturday’s trials, including morning line second choice Sheza Smokey Uno. The two-year-old who will be vying for a spot in the Hialeah Lassie. 2011 leading rider Alex Baldillez Jr. will also return to the track with five mounts on the opening card.

Also returning this year is trainer Judd Kearl. Kearl was stabled at Hialeah for the inaugural meet in 2009, and comes back this year with five entries in Saturday’s trials. His Saturday string includes juveniles Head Trauma and Steakin Like A Hawk, who broke their maidens earlier this year and are contenders to become favorites at 3-1. Kearl’s regular rider, Rodrigo Vallejo will move his tack back to Florida for the first time in three years. Vallejo picks up six rides on the eight-race opener.

Absent from this season’s jockey colony will be rider Oscar Delgado, who will be battling the snow at Charles Town, pursuing opportunities at the track’s Thoroughbred meet.

The track will be dark Christmas Day, but, as a special gift for patrons, will feature an extra day of live racing Monday, December 24.

General admission and parking are free, and valet parking is $5. Closing day festivities will include a drawing for a 1957 Chevy Shorty. The meet concludes February 17.