Quantum Racing Team #1's Mambo Meister, a popular horse in South Florida who won three grade III stakes, was euthanized April 9 after suffering an injury while training at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Gulfstream Park's 2010 schedule is again laden with graded stakes, and one safe bet is that most of the 80 racing days will be warm and sunny. Otherwise, there are changes and questions in abundance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A switch to five-day racing weeks and a long stretch of dry weather are among the factors helping Gulfstream Park buck an industry trend of lower pari-mutuel handle.
Eclipse Award attendees and the TVG viewers tuned in on the night of Jan. 26 were anticipating, and many were hoping, that Curlin would repeat as Horse of the Year.
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.
Gulfstream Park said its opening day attendance was more than 15,000 Jan. 3, making it the largest turnout at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track since 2004.
Youbet.com has reached an agreement to take bets on Gulfstream Park for that track's meet which begins on Jan. 3, Sam Gordon, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said Dec. 30.
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.
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.
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.
Tampa Bay Downs is requiring veterinarians to pay their first-ever licensing fees for its meet that begins Dec. 13. A licensing fee for blacksmiths was planned but has been put off until the 2009-10 racing season.
Calder Race Course will not hold any overnight stakes through the rest of its meet that ends Jan. 2, 2009. Five have been cut from the next condition book, which runs through Dec. 14.
Churchill Downs Inc. said Nov. 14 that it has barred Pascacio "Paco" Lopez, this year's leading jockey at Calder Race Course, from riding at Calder and other CDI-owned tracks through Jan. 2, 2009, which is the end of the Tropical at Calder meet. The prohibition also includes current meets at Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds.
Handle at Calder Race Course's recently-concluded Calder meet fell 20% compared with 2007, according to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Sept. 19 asked the National Indian Gaming Commission to issue a temporary order to shut down the blackjack and baccarat tables and Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
- 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.
Reports that Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association are stalled in talks on a Calder Race Course slot machine contract are leading to concerns about possible cancellation of two contracts between CDI and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Calder Race Course will hold its sixth annual Juvenile Showcase on Sept. 6, with six non-graded stakes races for 2-year olds.
Calder Race Course has asked the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for permission to hold live racing four days a week, rather than five, during 11 weeks beginning Sept. 1.
Prospective Hialeah Park buyer Halsey Minor has sent consultants and accountants to examine the closed racetrack, and Minor and Hialeah owner John Brunetti say they are planning more talks on a possible sale.
Dennis Testa has left Gulfstream Park, where he has served as director of operations since 1998.
Florida's only harness track and several Thoroughbred industry executives are making plans for Quarter Horse racing, with potentially lucrative poker rooms serving as part of the attraction.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida July 17 asked the Supreme Court of Florida for a re-hearing on its July 3 ruling that declared blackjack and baccarat illegal at the tribe's casinos in the state.
Churchill Downs Inc. has appointed Ted Nicholson to oversee operations at Calder Race Course on an interim basis, one day after CDI implemented a company-wide personnel overhaul.
Calder Race Course resumed sending its signal to racetracks outside Florida July 10, and started receiving its full regular menu of simulcast signals from other tracks.
Calder Race Course posted entries July 7 for its July 12 Summit of Speed, a card with a quartet of six-furlong graded stakes that has become the highlight of the year at the South Florida track.
Churchill Downs Inc. announced July 7 that it has signed contracts with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on 2008 purses and on potential future slot machine revenue at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association announced July 5 it has reached an agreement with Churchill Downs Inc. on purses and slot machine revenue for Calder Race Course. If the contracts are signed, Calder could export its July 12 "Summit of Speed" program to tracks around the country.
Sixty-three horses, including IEAH Stable's Benny the Bull, have been nominated.
The Supreme Court of Florida ruled July 3 that Gov. Charlie Crist exceeded his authority last November when he signed a compact that has permitted the Seminole Tribe of Florida to have Class III Las Vegas-style slot machines, blackjack, and baccarat.
With two weeks left before Calder Race Course's July 12 Summit of Speed, Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association remain deadlocked in contract talks for the Miami Gardens, Fla., track.
A federal judge in Louisville on June 16 denied the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's request for a preliminary injunction to require Churchill Downs Inc. to consult with it before cutting purses at Churchill Downs.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida is preparing for the June 22 launch of blackjack and baccarat at its Hollywood, Fla., casino located 10 miles from Gulfstream Park, one of the racetracks that filed suits to stop the Seminole gaming expansion.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Churchill Downs Inc. are planning to meet June 9 to discuss contracts for CDI-owned Calder Race Course, where the financial impacts of a dispute are worsening each week.
Churchill Downs Inc. and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association on May 21 held their first meeting this month on 2008 contracts for Calder Race Course.
Churchill Downs Inc. said May 15 it reached an agreement with Maryland horsemen that will permit Calder Race Course to take Pimlico Race Course's signal May 16-17, including the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
An official of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association said on May 14 that his organization will issue a proposal that would enable Calder Race Course to carry the simulcast signal of the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) -- with a condition.
Calder Race Course and all other Florida tracks are facing the prospect of not receiving the signal for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and its Pimlico Race Course undercard.
Calder Race Course on May 9 announced it will cut purses for eight upcoming stakes, including six on its July 12 Summit of Speed card.
The Florida Legislature ended its annual two-month session May 2 without passing two slot machine bills that were sought by the Thoroughbred industry.
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