Calder Closes Out 2004/05 Tropical Meet

Calder Race Course closed out its Tropical at Calder meet Jan. 2. with an increase in total wagering, including all sources and all days

Total wagering, all source and all days, was $333,082,801, compared to $322,331,529 in 2003/04. Though on-track and total combined handle were down slightly for the meet, full card simulcasting handle on live racing days was up 10.5%.

Average daily on-track attendance was 4,408, representing an 8.5% decrease over last year's figure of 4,816. Average attendance on dark days was 836, down 10.7% from last year's average of 936.

An average of 8.3 runners started each race, down from an average of 8.6 in the prior Tropical at Calder meet.

"We're very proud of the horsemen's participation," said Calder president Ken Dunn. "It's always a challenge with the number of races we run, but the meet was well-supported. The quality of racing, especially the stakes, was top-notch and the Grand Slam series of stakes events continues to grow and get better each season."

The race for leading trainer of the Tropical meet was competitive, but Dan Hurtak who secured his second title with 21 winners. Angel Salinas was second with 18 wins, while Manny Tortora finished third with 15.

Jockey Eddie Castro took leading rider honors with 83 wins, just one shy of the all-time single season record for the Tropical meet, set by Cornelio Velasquez in 2002/03. Manuel Cruz was second with 60 winners and Manuel Aguilar finished third in the standings with 39 wins.

Michael Sherman was the leading owner for the Tropical meet for the third year in a row with 17 winners. Dennis Punches was second with eight and JD Farms was third with season.