Anne M. Eberhardt

No Agreement Reached Over FL Race Dates

Dispute left unsettled after meeting between Frank Stronach and Bill Bill Carstanjen

A meeting in Louisville Feb. 25 between MI Developments chairman Frank Stronach and Churchill Downs Inc. chief operating officer Bill Carstanjen ended without resolving a racing dates dispute between the companies’ southeast Florida tracks.

“Mr. Stronach called this afternoon and said there was no agreement,” said Tim Ritvo, vice president of racing at Gulfstream Park, which is owned by MID.

That outcome means Gulfstream and Calder Casino & Race Course have not changed their plans to run head-to-head throughout the entire 12 months beginning July 1.

CDI spokeswoman Julie Koenig Loignon confirmed a meeting took place, but only said: “We have nothing to report beyond that at this time.”

Ritvo said: “Mr. Stronach told me he is glad that Florida has free enterprise and to get ready for the summer meet.”

The dates dispute began last Dec. 31, when Gulfstream in a preliminary filing with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering said it would begin its next racing season Dec. 2.

For the past decade, Gulfstream has raced from early January through late April and Calder has raced the remainder of the year.

In their latest preliminary filings, both tracks said they plan to race at least two days each week during the 12 months beginning July 1, 2011.

Gulfstream and Calder have until 5 p.m. Feb. 28 to submit their final date filings to the Florida DPMW for the 12 months beginning July 1.

Florida Thoroughbred tracks choose their own dates, with automatic approval from the Florida DPMW.