Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see your favorite racecar driver compete in a race using only true horsepower? If so, you're in luck, as the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village in Delray Beach hosts two days of harness racing “county fair style” this September in the Sunshine Stakes.
The elite equine training facility has reached an agreement with the Florida Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (FSBOA) to hold races for two and three-year-old state-bred trotters and pacers on Saturday, September 13 and Saturday, September 20, with rain dates will be on the following Sunday.
“We are very excited that Sunshine Meadows has agreed to host the two days of stakes races,” said FSBOA executive director Joe Pennacchio. “We estimate that there will be in excess of $50,000 in purse money over the two days of racing. It will be exciting as the management team at Sunshine Meadows is committed to making the two race days a county fair type atmosphere centered on the live racing.”
Post time each day for the racing is set at 11:00 am. It is estimated that there will be from 10 to 11 races on each program.
“We are very excited about hosting these races,” said Brandon Mills, general manager at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village. “It is an opportunity to show our great facility to the general public and to have a fun community event for everyone to attend.”
There will be free parking and admission for the races. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as there is no grandstand or seating, only beautifully manicured lawns to watch from.
In addition to the Sunshine Stakes races there will be an exhibition race with Racing Under Saddle (RUS), the Florida Amateur Driving Club will be participating and a local media celebrity race will take place each race day. Possible entrants currently include Mazda Motorsports driver, and South Florida resident Tristan Nunez, as well as former host of Pass Time on SPEED Brett Wagner.
"I will be available on September 13th and I am really looking forward to it," added Nunez. " I would definitely like to have a bit of practice at the track before the big race!"
Parents and grandparents can bring the children as there will be pony rides, face painting and other children activities plus plenty of food vendors, arts and crafts and equine product displays.
“We are working to make this a very special event,” Mills said. “Something that people can look forward to attending every year. So many people drive by and see our signs on 441 but never think to come on in and check us out. We have a great facility here and want to show it off.”
The Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village features a one mile racetrack, a five-eighths mile training track and a half mile Euro strip. The facility has 18 barns that can house more than 650 horses, numerous show and jump rings and turnout paddocks. The facility is the winter home to world-renowned Standardbred trainers Jonas Czernyson, Chuck Sylvester and FrankAntonacci. World class trotters Maven, Spider Blue Chip and D’Orsay trained all winter at Sunshine Meadows. Also stabled at Sunshine Meadows are many riding horse trainers for English, Western and Dressage, who have shown successfully world-wide.
Any vendors wanting to reserve rental space during the two days of Sunshine Stakes racing, businesses wishing to advertise in the race program, sponsor races or host sponsorships can contact the Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village by calling 562-281-7659 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.sunshinemeadows441.com.