Gulfstream to Continue Stall Rent Payments

The track is footing the bill for horses that ship in to race from Calder.

The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said Jan. 1 Gulfstream Park has agreed to continue to pay for stall rent through the end of February for horses stabled at Calder Casino & Race Course that race at Gulfstream.

From last Dec. 7 through March 17, 2013, Calder is charging trainers off-season stall rent of $10 per day for each horse they have on the grounds. It's the first time Calder has charged stall rent in its 42-year history.

Gulfstream, through an arrangement with the Florida HBPA, paid Calder rent for horses that ran at Gulfstream during December. Gulfstream has agreed to make those payments for January and February, said Phil Combest, president of the Florida HBPA.

Gulfstream will end its 2012-13 race meet April 5. Calder will begin its 2013 meet the following day.

"The Florida HBPA and all South Florida horsemen are grateful to Gulfstream for working with us and continuing to provide this important financial assistance," Combest said.

Some Calder-based trainers have said they are having difficulty making rent payments. For example, a trainer with 10 horses at Calder has a January payment of $3,100. If one of those horses runs at least once at nearby Gulfstream during the month, Gulfstream will pay for the rent owed on that horse.

According to Gulfstream, about 40% of the horses that race at its meets are stabled at Calder. That indicates Gulfstream is helping a significant number of trainers pay part of their Calder rent bills.

Calder on Dec. 7 sent out its stall rent bills for December, requesting immediate payment. No trainers were delinquent on those bills as of Dec.28, Calder officials said.

Gulfstream, in Hallandale Beach, is located eight miles east of Calder, which is in Miami Gardens.

In September, Calder announced it would start charging stall rent during its non-racing season to add revenue amid ongoing declines in pari-mutuel handle. John Marshall, Calder's vice president and general manger for racing, has said several times that Calder does not plan to start charging stall rent during racing months. 

In late December, Calder officials said about 1,300 horses are stabled at the track. Based on the 100-day payment period, the total stall rent at Calder is about $1.3 million; exactly how much is paid by Gulfstream wasn't available.

The Florida HBPA also announced Jan.1 that it  signed agreements with Gulfstream Dec. 31 on a purse contract and on a contract for slot machine revenue from the track's casino. Combest declined to provide details on the contracts, and Gulfstream officials were not available for comment.