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.
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.
Churchill Downs Inc. released its second-quarter results after the close of the stock market July 29, with a slight increase in earnings due to its advance deposit wagering system and slot-machine gaming.
Hal and Patti Earnhardt's homebred Indian Blessing will try to rebound from the worst start of her career, as she ships to Florida for the first time to take on eight challengers in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Six horses coming out of the April 25 Sumter Stakes will make up the field for the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile route on the dirt May 25 at Calder Race Course.
Grade III winner Indian Ocean got his first winner, at Calder Race Course May 16.
Despite growth in its online pari-mutuel wagering and Louisiana slots operations, the top executive of Churchill Downs Inc. said May 7 the company is not ignoring its racing properties, but needs legislative help to keep them viable entities.
Citing the absence of insurance payments received in 2008, Churchill Downs Inc. reported a net loss of $4.8 million in the first quarter of the year, but said a 12% increase in net revenues were attributed to strength in its Louisiana gaming business and on-line wagering operation.
The Florida Legislature May 1 extended its annual regular session for seven days, with pending bills on Thoroughbred and other pari-mutuel issues and on Indian gaming among unfinished business.
Customers of TVG will be able to wager on the Churchill Downs spring meet beginning May 1, it was announced in the early evening of April 30. The limited-term deal also includes wagering on the 2009 Arlington Park meet and Calder Race Course meet through Oct. 31.
The Florida Legislature will end its annual regular session May 1, and as of April 28 the House and Senate had not resolved major gaming issues including whether the Seminole Tribe of Florida should be able to keep blackjack and baccarat tables at its casinos.
Former jockey Gary Boulanger saddled his first horse as a trainer at Calder Race Course April 26, a 6-year-old mare named Tinkerbuck that finished second in the 11th race.
Darley Stable's homebred Criticism took advantage of soft early fractions en route to a wire-to-wire one-length victory in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) April 25 on the Calder Race Course turf.
Youbet.com will carry the Calder Race Course signal for the live meet beginning April 24, saying the move is another building block on "continued cooperation" between parent company Churchill Downs Inc. and the advance deposit wagering entity.
Customers of Philadelphia Park's advance deposit wagering system may not have access to Pimlico Race Course signals when the Maryland track opens its live meet April 18 as the result of an ongoing dispute with TrackNet Media Group, the head of the content company has confirmed.
Hialeah Park probably will begin Quarter Horse racing in 2010 only if the Florida Legislature makes three major changes in state racing laws, the track's owner John Brunetti said April 15.
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.
Calder Race Course begins its 39th season of Thoroughbred horse racing April 24 with a Thursday-through Sunday schedule.
Calder Race Course March 31 submitted its final filing for 2009-10 racing dates to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, and it confirms earlier reports that Calder will not run head-to-head with nearby Gulfstream Park during that period.
Gulfstream Park said March 27 it will run its next meet from Jan. 3, 2010 to April 24, 2010, ending speculation it could seek dates in November and December of 2009.
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.
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.
Calder Race Course announced its stakes schedule for the 2009 Calder Meet on March 20, a program that includes renewals of the Summit of Speed and Festival of the Sun, and the 28th runnings of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.
Fasig-Tipton will fine nine consignors because the riders of their horses misused their riding crops during the Feb. 27 under tack show for the Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course.
The Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, held March 3 at Calder Race Course, suffered downturns of 25.5% in gross revenue, 31.5% in average price, and 34.8% in median price. The number of horses sold rose 8.8% while the buy-back rate dropped to 35.5% from 40.4% a year ago. Read what people at the auction had to say about the market:
Churchill Downs has seen some weakness in ticket sales for its annual Derby-Oaks weekend extravaganza, but feels there is enough interest in the events to produce another strong showing for the racetrack company.
Profits from continuing operations at Churchill Downs Inc. grew 71% in 2008, the company reported March 4, despite handle drops at all of its racetracks.
Tackling the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression, Fasig-Tipton's Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered some bumps and bruises, but also scored a couple of minor victories. The number of horses sold rose from a year ago while the buy-back rate declined. Meanwhile, the gross revenue fell 25.5% and the average price dropped 31.5%. The median price was down 34.8%.
Cup o' Joe, a handsome Medaglia d'Oro colt, became the highest priced horse sold so far at the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training when he brought $1.6 million from Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager John Ferguson.
The fanciest juvenile sale in the world faces off against the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression March 3 at Calder Race Course, and based on the results of other recent Thoroughbred auctions, prices probably will be down considerably.
Here is a list of juveniles that buyers and consignors at Calder Race Course were talking about the most one day before the March 3 Fasig Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training.
These 2-year-olds stand out because of their workout times, yearling purchase prices, and pedigrees.
When Dubai-based Synergy Investments purchased Fasig-Tipton last year, Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock manager, John Ferguson, vowed the Kentucky-based auction firm would strive to offer higher levels of customer service. According to shoppers at Fasig-Tipton's Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, the company is fulfilling that promise.
The fastest times were slower than they were a year ago during the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training. But the auction firm's officials and consignors said they weren't surprised or disappointed for a couple of reasons.
One of Calder Race Course's miniature horse mascots, Lightning, will make her third annual appearance at the "Purina Walk for the Animals" Feb. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Miami's Bayfront Park.
Calder Race Course said Feb. 9 it has begun application of a new elastomeric coating to 60 barn roofs in the track's stable area, a project that will help reduce stable temperatures normally hiked by the South Florida sun.
Fasig-Tipton will catalog 272 horses for its Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, according to the company's chairman, Walt Robertson. The number is about the same as in 2008, when 270 horses were in the book.
A dispute over hub-fee agreements has left some Churchill Downs Inc.-owned tracks and related off-track betting facilities without racing signals from California.
Churchill Downs Inc. has announced several changes to its organizational structure that will include the recruitment of a new president for its signature racetrack.
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.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Dec. 22 it has reached agreements on advance deposit wagering contracts with Calder Race Course and Gulfstream Park.
Churchill Downs Incorporated announced Dec. 19 that John T. Marshall has been named vice president and general manager of racing for Calder Race Course in Miami. Marshall will report to Calder president and general manager Tom O'Donnell and begins his new role effective Jan. 19, 2009.
Hobeau Farm's 4-year-old homebred gelding Delightful Kiss worked three furlongs in :35 4/5 Dec. 19 at Calder Race Course to earn a 'bullet' for the distance. The roan/gray son of Kissin Kris posted his first drill since finishing second in the $400,000 Clark Handicap (gr. II) Nov. 28 at Churchill Downs.
Just as he did when taking the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) in wire-to-wire fashion this summer at Monmouth Park, Patricia Generazio's Presious Passion sprinted to an early lead and never looked back, as the 5-year-old gelding took them all 12 furlongs to win the W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) for the second consecutive year Dec. 13 on the Calder Race Course grass.
Lawrence Goichman was hoping for a storybook ending for his homebred mare J'ray. A win in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) would not only give the 5-year-old a victory in her final start, but would push her over $1 million in career earnings. Herboriste had other plans.
Trilogy Stables' homebred Yesbyjimminy earned his sixth consecutive score and the first graded stakes triumph of his career, as he shook off a pair of rivals at the top of the lane and cruised to an easy 2 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 13 at Calder Race Course.
Calder Race Course announced Dec. 12 that due to the continuing overpayment of purses at the current Tropical Meet, the racetrack is cancelling three stakes races from the schedule: the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) and $100,000 Frances Genter Stakes (gr. III) on Dec. 27, and the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) on Jan. 1. The 2008/09 Tropical Meet ends on Jan. 2, 2009.
Lawrence Goichman's J'ray, who has raced well over the Calder Race Course turf throughout her career, will try to earn her third graded stakes victory of the season as she takes on 10 rivals Dec. 13 in the $150,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT).
Grade I winner Presious Passion has not been in the best of form lately, but the 5-year-old gelding will try to get back to his winning ways in an event he scored in last year, the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/2-mile turf event is one of four graded stakes on Calder Race Course's $500,000 Grand Slam program Dec. 13 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
It took a wild stretch run and the perfect head bob, but Harlequin Ranches' Spice Route earned his first victory on American soil, prevailing by the narrowest of margins over Soldier's Dancer in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) Dec. 6 at Calder Race Course.
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