Calder Paddock and Grandstand

Calder Paddock and Grandstand

Leslie Martin

Group Thanks Calder Horsemen for Effort

The Florida HBPA thanked Calder horsemen who raced during a contract dispute.

The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association issued a statement July 8 thanking Calder horsemen who “took the full brunt” of purse cuts during a 2 1/2-month dispute with track owner Churchill Downs Inc.

The two sides announced an agreement July 7 by which the Florida HBPA and CDI signed off on purses and future revenue from slot machines at Calder. CDI also dismissed without prejudice claims against the Florida HBPA in an antitrust lawsuit.

There was no agreement on revenue from advance deposit wagering. The Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Group continues to negotiate an ADW deal for the Florida HBPA and other horsemen’s groups.

“The Florida HBPA would like to thank all those horsemen from around the country and their associations, whether HBPA or (Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), for all their support during this very trying two-and-a-half-month period for Florida horsemen,” the Florida HBPA said in the statement. “But mostly, the Florida HBPA would like to thank those Calder owners and trainers who stood behind and strongly supported the Florida HBPA in their negotiations with Churchill Downs.

“These individuals took the full brunt of the 30% cut in overnight purses and stakes purse cuts that were as drastic as from $100,000 to $36,000. They were the unsung heroes in this whole unfortunate situation. Without their complete support while being battered financially, this whole matter would never have been resolved in the positive way that it was.”

CDI, in a statement released July 7, said negotiations will continue regarding ADW revenue. The THG advocates an equal one-third split for racetracks, horsemen, and ADW providers.

 “We are happy that our fans who wager through racetracks and OTBs will soon be able to enjoy the Calder product, and we are committed to working with the Florida HBPA to ensure that our customers will also have the opportunity to wager via and other online wagering platforms as soon as possible,” CDI senior vice president Kevin Flanery said. “We appreciate the hard work put into these negotiations by the Florida HBPA on the slots and purses issues, and look forward to productive discussions moving forward.”