Calder Begins Project to Cool Barns

Calder has begun coating the roofs of 60 barns with elastomeric material.

from Calder Race Course

Calder Race Course said Feb. 9 it has begun application of a new elastomeric coating to 60 barn roofs in the track’s stable area, a project that will help reduce stable temperatures normally hiked by the South Florida sun.

Calder vice president and general manager of racing John Marshall said the project will improve the "quality of work life in our barn area. We anticipate the treated stables to be up to 10 degrees cooler in comparison to similar conditions of past summer months.”

The Florida Power & Light-approved substance is proven to produce immediate results. Trainer Ron Spatz, whose horses were stabled in a test barn last year, said: “I had horses in two different barns, and I could certainly feel the difference in the barn with the treated roof.  It was several degrees cooler.”

“Our horsemen are delighted to hear this news," Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association president Sam Gordon said. "We appreciate Churchill Downs’ investment, and our association looks forward to working with John, his staff, and our horsemen to further improve our racing program.”

Douglas Roofing of Hollywood, Fla., will perform the work, which includes pressure-cleaning and priming before the application of the special coating to the barns. The company is starting the project immediately and expects to complete two barns per day. The entire project could be completed within two months, provided there are no weather delays.

In preparation, Calder racing secretary Mike Anifantis and stall superintendent Chip Spencer are working with trainers on temporary accommodations within the stable area.

Calder has 80 barns on its premises. The barns under treatment all received new roofs in 2006 after damage from Hurricane Wilma in the fall of 2005. The barns not slated for the elastomeric coating are of different construction with higher roofs and are not affected by the summer heat.