Hialeah Park Chairman John J. Brunetti had some harsh words for rival tracks Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park in discussing recent filings with the State of Florida for operating dates in 2002.
"The actions taken by the other tracks are contrary to their public façade of cooperation," Brunetti said, upset that both Calder and Gulfstream have filed for expanded live racing dates that infringe on Hialeah's customary operating period of March 17-May 22. Any changes should have come by way of discussion and negotiation";
While deregulation of racing dates commencing in June 2001 will allow Florida tracks to operate at any time they wish, Brunetti added that certain members of the state legislature have called him to express "surprise, dismay and anger" at the filings by Calder and Gulfstream."
Though Brunetti declined to name specific legislators, Hialeah vice president and chief legal lobbyist John Van Lindt predicted with certainty, "There will be a legislative program regarding racing dates before adjournment at the end of May."
In addition to the lobbying efforts, Brunetti indicated he would continue to pursue negotiations with top officials of the other South Florida tracks.