Jim Freer

Hialeah Readies to Break from Gate Nov. 28

Hialeah Readies to Break from Gate Nov. 28

Driving into the parking lot at Hialeah Park Nov. 23, one could see a large satellite dish that was not there several weeks ago and a Teleview Racing Patrol truck. There were also several dozen cars in the lot. Those were the first clear signs that racing will indeed resume Nov. 28 at the historic Hialeah, Fla., track.

Hialeah Still Awaiting Approval for Dates

Hialeah Still Awaiting Approval for Dates

Hialeah Park has set Nov. 14 as the date for the start of arrival of Quarter Horses for a 40-day meet it plans to run beginning Nov. 28. But as of Oct. 22, the Hialeah, Fla., track was still waiting for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to approve its application for racing dates.

Calder Has Big Plans for Gaming Operation

Calder Has Big Plans for Gaming Operation

Calder Race Course is preparing marketing plans for poker and a casino president and general manager Tom O'Donnell expects will attract a significant number of customers from some nearby pari-mutuel facilities and tribal casinos in southeast Florida.

Hialeah Starts Clearing the Way for Racing

Unlike a year ago at this time, you can stand at the rail at Hialeah Park and see the lake in the infield and the familiar flamingos. You also are next to the dirt track that Hialeah Park president and owner John J. Brunetti says could be ready for Quarter Horses before mid-October.

Ziadie Appeal Dismissed in Florida

A state court in Tallahassee, Fla., on Sept. 11 honored trainer Kirk Ziadie's request and dismissed his appeal of a 60-day suspension and $1,000 fine by the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for a violation of medication rules.

Could Gaming Compact Doom Tampa Bay Downs?

Tampa Bay Downs vice president and general manager Peter Berube says the track "might not be in a position to continue" racing if the Florida legislature accepts the latest gaming compact between Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Hialeah Plans Quarter Horse Meet for 2009-10

The Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association and Hialeah Park announced Sept. 4 that the Hialeah, Fla., track will hold its first Quarter Horse meet from Nov. 28, 2009 through Feb. 2, 2010. However, Hialeah Park had not applied for those dates or any other Quarter Horse race dates as of Sept. 4, said Alexis Lambert, a spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Deadline Looms for Florida Gaming

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are nearing their Aug. 31 deadline to approve a Gaming Compact, which would trigger a new law that would provide economic benefits for the state's Thoroughbred industry and for that tribe's casinos.

Calder Handle Rebounds From Troubled Year

Calder Handle Rebounds From Troubled Year

All-sources handle at Calder Race Course rose 48%, from $131.4 million to $195 million, during this year's second quarter, according to parent company Churchill Downs in a report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. But Calder's handle for the quarter ended June 30 was 22% below its handle of $249 million for the second quarter of 2007.

Florida Bill Would Reduce Slots Tax

The Florida Legislature passed a gaming bill May 8 that includes several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry, and a compromise on the contentious issue of table games at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.

Calder, Horsemen Reach Purse Agreement

Calder, Horsemen Reach Purse Agreement

Calder Race Course announced April 16 that it has signed a 2009 purse contract agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track and its parent, Churchill Downs Inc., reached the agreement with the Florida HBPA on the evening of April 15.

Minor Details Bid for Most MEC Assets

Minor Details Bid for Most MEC Assets

Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor said on April 3 that he has submitted a bid to Magna Entertainment Corp. under which he would buy substantially all of that bankrupt company's assets except Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Second FL Bill Leaves Out Racetracks

Members of the Florida House of Representatives March 24 released a draft of a bill that would require the Seminole Tribe of Florida to remove blackjack and baccarat tables from its casinos. The proposal would permit the Seminoles to keep the Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines they began installing at their Florida casinos last summer.

Florida Bill Calls for Gaming Expansion

Florida Bill Calls for Gaming Expansion

The chairman of an important Florida Senate committee March 24 introduced a bill that would allow Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course to have blackjack and baccarat, while permitting the Seminole Tribe of Florida to keep those two games and add roulette and crap tables at its casinos.

Slots, Indian Gaming on Florida Agenda

The Florida Legislature will begin its annual two-month session on March 3, with the state's Thoroughbred tracks and other pari-mutuels seeking changes in a gaming compact that Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed in 2007.

Gulfstream Retail Development Progresses

Magna Entertainment Corp. and partner Forest City Enterprises announced Feb. 26 the first 32 tenants for the retail portion of their The Village at Gulfstream Park development. Plans for the $1.2-billion complex, adjacent to Gulfstream's clubhouse/casino building, include a hotel and condominiums on the property in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Meanwhile, officials are reluctant to speculate on a possible bankruptcy filing by MEC.

Minor Files Suit Over Hialeah

Minor Files Suit Over Hialeah

Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor on Feb. 9 filed a civil suit that maintains John Brunetti, by not holding racing at Hialeah Park since 2001, is in default on agreements under which he purchased the historic race track.

Calder Handle Down Significantly

Calder Handle Down Significantly

Wagering in Florida on Calder Race Course's recently concluded Tropical at Calder meet fell 31% in 2008, according to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Gulfstream Seeking More Dates

Gulfstream Seeking More Dates

In a step some racing industry officials expected, Gulfstream Park has told Florida regulators that it plans to hold races during 2009's last five weeks--a lucrative set of dates on which Calder Race Course has raced exclusively in South Florida for more than a decade.

Gulfstream Banking on 2009 Meet Changes

Gulfstream Banking on 2009 Meet Changes

Gulfstream Park is hoping that a move to a five-day race week will help produce larger fields and attract more live fans and other bettors on days that have proven more popular than its newly-dark Mondays.

Florida DPMW: 27 Days Total for Lopez

Florida DPMW: 27 Days Total for Lopez

The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has ordered jockey Pascacio "Paco" Lopez to serve 27 days of stewards' suspensions, including seven days at Gulfstream Park's 2009 meet that begins Jan. 3.

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