Calder Racecourse

Calder Racecourse

Coady Photography

Calder Cancels La Prevoyante Handicap

Track says stakes didn't fill to level necessary to support the purse.

Calder Casino & Race Course said Dec. 23 the grade III La Prevoyante Handicap on the grass, scheduled for Dec. 28, has been canceled.

"As we approach the conclusion of the Tropical meet, projected purse revenues have to line up with purses to be paid," Calder vice president of racing John Marshall said in a release. "In the case of the La Prevoyante, the race did not fill to the level necessary to offer a positive value proposition to Calder purses.

"If more horses would have been entered into the La Prevoyante as we had hoped, the projections for wagering activity would have painted a far better picture. This was a business decision based entirely on economics."

Phil Combest, president of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said a Calder official told him the morning of Dec. 24 the La Prevoyante had eight entrants with one listed as main-track-only. Calder officials could not be reached for comnent.

"The horsemen are disappointed that Calder is canceling this year's running of one of its most established stakes, and doing it this short a time before the race," Combest said. "I am surprised in the sense that Calder did not give us a heads-up, and I hear that some trainers who planned to run are upset.

"Overall, I am not surprised because Calder is always insistent on ending a meet without an overpayment or underpayment (in the purse account)."

Calder has run the La Prevoyante, which would have carried a purse of $125,000, each year since 1974.

The grade III W.L. McKnight Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on the turf for 3-year-olds drew a field of 11 entries for the Saturday program. The purse is $125,000.

The 2014 Calder meet begins Jan. 3 and continues every Friday through Sunday with a first race post time of 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Calder is running head-to-head with Gulfstream Park for the first time.