Florida HBPA Blocks Export of Calder Signal

Action taken with purse contract negotiations stalled, the horsemen group said May 1.

The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said it revoked simulcast approval for Calder Casino & Race Course April 30 when the two parties failed to agree on a purse contract.

Calder reacted by slashing purses 20%.

The purse contract expired Dec. 31, 2012, but Calder didn't offer live racing until early April of this year. The Florida HBPA said it granted an extension of the last contract through April, but its "efforts were to no avail" in seeking a resolution.

The horsemen's group is seeking what it calls "open access" that would allow horsemen to freely ship between Calder and Gulfstream Park, which will reopen for weekend racing in July. The upcoming overlap in meets has generated conflict in South Florida.

The Florida HBPA also said a series of events in the past year "directly violated" its purse contract with Calder.

The next live racing date for Calder is May 2. The Florida HBPA, under the Interstate Horseracing Act, has the right to prevent the track from exporting its signal.

Calder on May 1 said the Florida HBPA decision results in a "direct result of lost purse revenue," so overnight purses were reduced 20%.

"The Floirda HBPA's action denies out-of-state and online fans the opportunity to watch and wager on Calder's live races," Calder vice president and general manager of racing John Marshall said. "We remain hopeful the Florida HBPA leadership reverses its decision quickly for the benefit of the South Florida racing industry."