The first shipment of slot machines arrived at Calder Casino & Race Course Nov. 9. Track officials and state regulators were at the casino loading dock to check in 242 slot machines as several local media outlets captured the event on video.
Churchill Downs Inc. reported Oct. 28 that net revenue from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2009 totaled $100.9 million, an increase of $1.3 million, or 1%, over the $99.6 million recorded during the third quarter of 2008.
Jacks or Better Farm's homebred 2-year-old colt Jackson Bend overcame a poor start and a late challenge from a contender to win the $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Race Course's Festival of the Sun on Oct. 17. The victory made him the seventh horse in history to complete a sweep of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.
Dave Vivian sent out Soldier's Dancer to win the Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) in 2007 and Christophe Clement won the 2008 edition with Sporting Art when the race was run in the spring, and those two veteran trainers will have the favorites in the Oct. 17 renewal of the $100,000 event.
Marty Wolfson, who saddled Edmund Gann's It's a Bird in last year's Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III), appears to have the solid favorite in the 2009 renewal with Gann's 4-year-old Motovato, a winner of three of four starts at the Calder Race Course meet.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said on Oct. 5 that it is "extremely disappointed" by Calder Race Course's Oct. 3 announcement that it will cut overnight purses 15% beginning on Oct. 8.
Calder Race Course has barred trainer Kirk Ziadie from training and all other activity at its property. Ziadie said Calder officials handed him an indefinite expulsion late in the afternoon Aug. 20 "and told me I have 72 hours to leave the grounds."
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering expects that a state court in Tallahassee could wait until next April before it issues a ruling on trainer Kirk Ziadie's appeal of a 60-day suspension for a medication violation.
Although Churchill Downs Inc. posted a slight increase in revenue during the second quarter of 2009 despite the depressed economic picture with the U.S., the racetrack operating company's president and CEO said the "results from our racing operations were disappointing."
Game Face rebounded from a disappointing effort last out by romping to a 6 3/4-length score in the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) July 11 at Calder Race Course. As part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" series, the victory earned the filly an automatic berth in the Sentient Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
Andrew Rosen's First Passage won her third in a row and became a graded stakes winner in the process as she took over from pacesetter Kays and Jays in the stretch and went on to win the $200,000 Azalea (gr. III) by three-quarters of a length July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Trainer Kirk Ziadie scratched Robert Pastor's 5-year-old mare Marina Ballerina from today's $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) this morning, citing a possible oncoming illness.
Big City Man, who defeated champion Indian Blessing in this year's Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I), died July 5 of a strangulated cecum, several hours after a six-furlong work in 1:13.40 at Hollywood Park.
Last season, IEAH Stables and partners' Benny the Bull capped a five-race win streak in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II), a victory that solidified his Eclipse Award as the nation's top sprinter. Now, months after being brought back from retirement the 6-year-old horse will try to win the event for the second year in a row, as he takes on five rivals July 11 at Calder Race Course.
Lisa Kotula, daughter of longtime Gulfstream Park clerk of scales and Prime Time Manager Victor Sanchez, died in Atlanta Thursday after a long illness.
Last year's Eclipse Award winning sprint champions -- Benny the Bull and Indian Blessing -- are among the 96 horses nominated to the 10th annual Summit of Speed at Calder Race Course, to be held this year on Saturday, July 11.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a gaming bill June 15 that contains several changes sought by the state's Thoroughbred industry and some changes in the operations of the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos.
Trainer Marty Wolfson sent out back-to-back stakes winners during Calder's Summit Preview June 13 when Andrew Rosen's 3-year-old filly First Passage won the $95,500 Leave Me Alone Stakes. One race earlier, Wolfson-trained You Luckie Mann won the $84,000 Unbridled Stakes.
Jockey Eduardo Nunez, a mainstay on the South Florida circuit since 1986, became the all-time winning rider of the Calder meet at Calder Race Course June 4
The number 35 was on almost everyone's lips on June 3 when Calder Race Course broke ground for a casino it plans to open next January on its property in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Jockey Manoel Cruz, 39, rode his 2,000th North American career winner May 24 at Calder Race Course when he guided J C Stable's 4-year-old gelding Catch Rikki to victory in the seventh race for trainer Larry Pilotti.
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.
Dave Goldman, a Florida advertising executive and a former director of marketing for the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., died April 23 in Ocala, Fla. He was 76.
An almost five-year-old lawsuit over how Florida voters were allowed to decide if slot machines could be legal at certain state pari-mutuel facilities has been jointly dismissed, according to court records.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association, in conjunction with Florida stallion owners, have announced an agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Churchill Downs Inc., which will bring significant changes to juvenile racing at Calder Race Course this year.
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.
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.
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.
John T. Marshall has been named vice president and general manager of racing for Calder Race Course, Churchill Downs Inc. announced Dec. 19. He will report to Calder president and general manager Tom O' Donnell and begins his new role effective Jan. 19, 2009.
Gulfstream Park on Dec. 18 asked the Supreme Court of Florida to issue an order that would give law enforcement officials authority to shut down blackjack and baccarat tables at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos in the state.
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.
Churchill Downs Inc. more than doubled its net earnings against decreasing revenues from continuing operations in the third quarter, the company announced Nov. 5.
Herman Heinlein's 4-year-old homebred gelding Soldier's Dancer has been a leader in the South Florida turf stakes ranks the last two years, with major victories including the Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) and Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) as a 3-year-old last year. On Oct. 18, he will likely rule the favorite in the Miami Mile (gr. IIIT) with Manoel Cruz in the saddle.
Churchill Downs Inc., has implemented a new horseshoe policy at its four racetracks that bans the use of toe grabs greater than two millimeters. The new policy is effective immediately.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 5 on jockey Paco Lopez's appeal of a 30-day suspension from Calder Race Course stewards.
The two other pari-mutuels in Miami-Dade County, Florida, have moved ahead of Calder Race Course in announcing plans for casinos that would have Las Vegas-style slot machines.
Battling saddlecloth-to-saddlecloth with Fabulous Strike through the final yards, a determined Black Seventeen, the longest shot in the field at 23-1, got a head in front at the wire to take the $400,000 Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) over a sloppy Belmont Park surface in New York Sept. 27.
Walk around Calder Race Course and you'll keep hearing the word "Paco" from the lips of trainers, bettors, stewards, and other track officials.
Calder Race Course has announced another major cut in purses and the cancellation of eight $100,000 stakes races. The track, in a release, said it was trimming overnight purses by 17% effective Sept. 18.
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced Sept. 10 that they have reached an agreement on a contract for future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
- By Jim Freer
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association announced on Sept. 10 that they have reached an agreement on a contract for future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
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