South Florida

Breakfast with the ponies at Gulfstream Park

What's it like training a thoroughbred to race? How difficult is it for the announcer to distinguish the horses? What's it like being a jockey?

Those questions, and others, are answered every Saturday during Breakfast at Gulfstream, from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Hallandale Beach track.

Host Sandy Bruno, an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Woody Stephens for 19 years, says about 200 visitors, many with children, come watch trainers lead their horses on morning track workouts.

"So many people afterward say, 'I didn't know that,' " she says.

Track announcer Larry Collmus explains how he differentiates one horse from another as he calls a race. Jockeys such as Kent Desormeaux, Laffit Pincay and Jorge Velasquez answer questions about racing. And Bruno takes visitors on a tour of the barns, explaining the training techniques required to prepare a horse to race.

"It's a 24-7 operation, people may not know that," Bruno says.

Parents also get a quick photo op for their kids when the stable pony, which escorts the horses before the race, is brought trackside.

There's also an all-you-can-eat breakfast ($8) and occasional giveaways. Handicapper Ron Nicoletti also gives his input on the afternoon's races. Because some people like to bet a buck or two.

Go to GulfstreamPark.com.

NSortal@SouthFlorida.com

Copyright © 2015, South Florida
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