Horsemen Remain at Odds With Hialeah Park

Though Hialeah Park transferred $585,000 of the remaining $1.3 million held in horsemen's accounts to Calder Race Course on June 6, Florida horsemen remain dissatisfied both with Hialeah's failure to transfer the entirety of the balance as well as the track's under-funding of the account.

Acting on behalf of horsemen, representatives of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering performed an audit June 4-5. They confirmed calculations that almost half of the funds remaining in horsemen's accounts at the close of the meet May 22 had been forwarded to Calder. The June 6 transfer left a balance of about $715,000.

Hialeah executive vice president John Van Lindt said the only reason the transfer did not take place sooner was cash flow. "We have a receivable balance of between $3 and $4 million from simulcasting outlets," he said.

Meanwhile, the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said two owners reported that Hialeah checks worth about $65,000 had not cleared.

"We're trying to determine just how big of a problem we have here," Florida HBPA president Linda Mills said. Three checks were stamped "insufficient funds" and returned, she said.

The failure of Hialeah to forward funds from the horsemen's account to Calder was at issue June 2 at a special meeting of the Florida HBPA. Board directors instructed attorney Bruce Green to draft a formal letter of complaint to Paul Kirsch, director of Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, requesting that Hialeah's permit be pulled. Most of the $5.3 million was transferred soon after.