Calder, Horsemen Strike Temporary Agreement
by Jim Freer
Date Posted: 5/9/2013 1:01:47 PM
Last Updated: 5/10/2013 12:55:56 PM

Photo: Coady Photography

Calder Casino & Race Course and the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association May 9 reached an agreement that extends their purse contract through the end of the month and allows Calder to immediately resume sending its simulcast signal to racetracks and other wagering outlets outside of Florida.

John Marshall, Calder vice president and general manager for racing, said he expects the vast majority of Calder's 1,200 non-Florida outlets will carry and take bets on Calder's entire May 9 card. The Miami Gardens, Fla., track has eight races with first post time of 12:50 p.m. EDT.

"Some of those that take our signal don't have the technology to ramp up right away, and might not be back until later (May 9)," Marshall said.

Barry Rose, an owner/trainer who serves as treasurer of the Florida HBPA, confirmed the contract extension through May 31 had been agreed upon.

"We still have a lot of work to do to reach a formal agreement for the betterment of South Florida horsemen," Florida HBPA president Phil Combest said. "But both sides are motivated to get the job done."

"We are pleased to focus our energy on working with the Florida HBPA on a long-term contract," Marshall said.

Marshall said that effective May 9, Calder is restoring average daily overnight purses to about $180,000, their level prior to the four-day signal cutoff that began May  2. Calder had cut overnight purses 20% in anticipation of reduced pari-mutuel handle: a review of Equibase charts indicates Calder all-sources handle was down 50%-75% each of the days compared with the previous week.

Calder was not able to send its signal to tracks, advance deposit wagering companies, and off-track wagering outlets outside of Florida from May 2-5. It continued to receive signals from its regular non-Florida tracks, and continued to send those signals and its own signal to pari-mutuel outlets in Florida.



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