Calder Casino & Race Course on Dec. 20 released its 2014 stakes schedule through July 5, when it will hold the annual Summit of Speed with four graded sprint stakes.
The schedule is notable in that it has no stakes races with purses higher than $75,000 from January through March, when the Miami Gardens, Fla., track is competing with Gulfstream Park.
Those are the prime winter racing months for Gulfstream Park, eight miles east of Calder. During those months, Gulfstream will have its usual schedule that includes graded stakes most Saturdays and Sundays.
The two Miami area tracks are racing head-to-head on Fridays through Sundays until the end of June 2014.
Calder is racing for the first time in January through March following the two tracks’ failure to resolve a dispute over racing dates.
Officials at Calder were not available for comment Dec. 20. But the track and its parent, Churchill Downs Inc., apparently decided not to spend purse money on stakes against the entrenched Gulfstream program.
"Their (Calder) stakes schedule is about what we expected, considering their economic reasons," said Phil Combest, a trainer/owner who is president of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Calder’s first 2014 stakes will be the $65,000 Chispiski on Jan.4. It will be at one mile on dirt for 3-year-old fillies.
A full list of Calder’s stakes from January through the Summit of Speed may be found at:
* April 5 -- $250,000 Calder Derby, 1 1/8 miles on dirt for 3-year-olds
* April 12 --$100,000 Calder Oaks, 1 1./16 miles on turf for 3-year-old fillies
* April 19 -- $100,000 Miami Mile Handicap (gr.. IIIT), 3-year-olds and up
The July 5 summit of Speed will have seven sprint stakes. The four graded stakes, all six furlongs on dirt are:
* Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II), $350,000, fillies & mares, 3-years-old and up
* Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II), $350,000, 3 year-olds and up
* Azalea (gr. III), $150,000, 7/5/2014 $150,000, 3 year-old fillies
* Carry Back (gr. III), $150,000, 3-year-olds