Gulfstream Park always offers a spectacular day at the track, from world-class thoroughbred racing to a fun, fashionable scene full of delicious food and stylish shopping. And you won’t want to miss The Xpressbet.com Florida Derby, taking place Saturday, March 31. Now in its 67th running, the world-class event will feature the top three-year old thoroughbreds in the nation competing for glory. Come dressed in your finest (think fedoras and fascinators) for a fun day -- admission and parking are free, while over $2.5 million is at stake. In addition to the championship racing, a day at the track is full of of fine dining, shopping and nightlife. Read on for a few of our favorite things to do at Gulfstream Park -- welcome to your playground!
The Florida Derby has been a taking place at Gulfstream since 1952. In the first 66 runnings, an impressive 44 starters have gone on to win 59 Triple Crown events. Beginning at 11:50 a.m., the Florida Derby will include 14 races. On Derby Day, admission and parking will be free, with a limited number of free seating options available on a first come first serve basis. To sit at the walking ring, make sure you purchase your tickets soon. And be sure not to miss the Divas and Dudes Hat Contest in the walking ring after the call to post race 8!
March 31st will be the last day of Breakfast at Gulfstream until December, so take advantage of the special event while you can. For only 10 dollars per person, enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and guest giveaways starting at 8 a.m. Kids eat for free, and they’ll love the special visit from pony Oreo and character appearance by Dori. If you’re more of a brunch person, Gulfstream has several options including Brio Tuscan Grille if you’re craving Italian and Cantina Laredo if you’re feeling like pitch-perfect huevos rancheros.
After breakfast, you’ll surely work up an appetite again with the heart-pounding action on the track. Head to any one of the more than 20 restaurants at Gulfstream. Enjoy a casual lunch at Derby Subs featuring tasty wraps, smoothies and salads, or head to Ten Palms, where you can pair mouth-watering filets and classic craft cocktails with breathtaking views of the racetrack and all the thoroughbred action.
Let’s face it, from searsuckers to dresses to hats, fashion is a big part of the racetrack experience. And so too is shopping at Gulfstream Park. Check out high end European women’s wear at Lilley McKay, or stylish, design-forward furniture at Crate&Barrel and West Elm. You’ll love taking a breather from all the white knuckle racing as you shop and stroll through the beautiful property. Feeling like you need to update your look? You can even treat yourself to a bit of self-care at Nadia Paris hair salon, Venetian Nail Spa or Ideal Image.
The entertainment at Gulfstream is endless. For a hands-on activity, go to painting studio Color Me Mine and choose from hundreds of ceramic shapes to paint. For the those over 21, you can BYOB. Music fans will love Gulfstream’s free live music every Saturday from 8-11 p.m. On March 31, check out the Latin sounds of Viva. If you enjoy a little friendly competition, visit the ultra-modern venue at Strike 10, featuring 11 AMF professional bowling lanes, pool tables, air hockey and an arcade room–along with a 50-foot bar with full menu for your favorite pub grub.
Just because the racing has wrapped doesn’t mean the party is winding down. Gulfstream Park’s nightlife is the perfect way to end your day at the track–and there’s no shortage of things to do. On March 31, be sure to go to the Florida Derby Closing Party. Admission is free and there will be a DJ, live entertainment and cash bars. For more fun, head to Yard House for classic rock music and the world’s largest selection of tap beers, or sing your heart out with friends and family at PlugIN Private Karaoke Rooms. For something even more high-energy, dance the night away to electronic music at club Fate.