Gulfstream Requests Dates That Conflict With Calder

Gulfstream Park reportedly has requested a racing schedule for 2003-2004 that would overlap with the dates historically raced in South Florida by Calder Racecourse.

According to Daily Racing Form, Gulfstream has applied for a meet that would begin Dec. 26, 2003 and run through April 25, 2004. Calder requested a meet that begins on April 25 of this year and runs through Jan. 2, 2004, creating an overlap of eight days with Gulfstream, if requests by both tracks are approved.

Gulfstream Park is owned by Magna Entertainment, while Calder is owned by Churchill Downs Inc.

DRF reported that Gulfstream is not firm in its 2003-2004 dates' request, with the decision apparently made by Magna officials.

"We are far from reaching a conclusive decision on what our final dates will be for next year's meet, and we have until March 15 to make that decision," said Gulfstream president Scott Savin. The dates announcement was a Magna decision, Savin told the Form, "and right now that's the plan because it makes sense from the company's standpoint for us to mirror the dates of our sister track Santa Anita and more closely tie the two meets together."

According to the Form, Calder officials were surprised by the Gulfstream Park request. Ken Dunn, Calder's president, said Gulfstream's dates request "shows a total lack of sensitivity on their part."

Hialeah Park also applied for racing dates in 2004, from Jan. 3 through April 25, although the dates are unlikely to be granted. Hialeah has not run a racing meet since 2001.