Magna Entertainment Corp. is expected to announce Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to run the inaugural "Sunshine Millions" on Jan. 25, 2003.
Though the declining stock price of its parent Magna Entertainment Corp. prevented Gulfstream Park from the major renovations it had planned, construction crews were at the Hallandale, Fla. track this week, razing a section of the grandstand.
Magna Entertainment's Palm Meadows, a Thoroughbred training center designed to relieve the stall shortage in South Florida, will be ready for equine residents this winter but dormitories for employees may not be ready.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering in August filed an administrative complaint against trainer Henry Collazo, alleging that a horse he ran at Calder Race Course tested positive for a derivative of morphine. The case has again put Florida's zero-tolerance policy under scrutiny.
Representatives of the New York Racing Association and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association confirmed they have held discussions about reopening closed Hialeah Park for stabling and a winter race meet, though they differ on the plan's prospects.
Caller One, the 5-year-old gelded son of Phone Trick who captured the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on World Cup Day earlier this year for his eighth career stakes win, fractured his right front sesamoid during a workout at Belmont Park July 9 and will likely be retired from racing.
The bird has flown, leaving us instead with the Aventura Stakes, Gulfstream Park's $250,000 replacement for Hialeah's signature Flamingo Stakes that served as a springboard to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for the likes of Citation and Seattle Slew. Based upon the returns of the inaugural Aventura, run on April 6, none of the nine 3-year-olds are likely to follow that path.
A week-old agreement between Gulfstream Park and neighboring Standardbred track Pompano Park to exchange simulcast signals may be imperiled by the opinion of the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering that such an agreement violates state law.
West Point Thoroughbreds Ethan Man pressed the pace while three wide then motored past Axis en route to a three-length win in Saturday's $150,000 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Under Pat Day, Ethan Man completed the seven furlongs in 1:22.29 on a fast track.
The sponsor of legislation that would authorize video lottery terminals at Florida's pari-mutuel facilities said budget concerns in the state give it some chance to pass. Meanwhile, two VLT bills in the Senate cleared committee March 6 and could be combined.
Girls just want to have fun. So sang Cyndi Lauper, the guest musician in Gulfstream's entertainment complex on Feb. 24, whose presence attracted the third-largest Sunday crowd ever at the track. Rosemary Homeister Jr. and Ms Brookski had fun also, by winning the meet's first two-turn stakes race for 3-year-old fillies on dirt, the Davona Dale Stakes (gr. II).
Gulfstream Park chairman Doug Donn visited Palm Meadows, the training facility being constructed by the track's parent company, Magna Entertainment Corp., on Feb. 22 and said he was pleased with its progress. The site is located 55 miles north of Gulfstream in Boynton Beach, Fla.
Stop us if you've heard this one before. Booklet, a tiny colt trainer John Ward calls "a walk-on, non-scholarship type of player," spurts to an open lead, and when finally collared late by Harlan's Holiday, refuses to yield, holding off that rival by a desperate nose.
Following a 90-minute hearing Feb. 14 that included expert testimony and a bitter exchange, Gulfstream Park's stewards reduced the suspension of jockey Eibar Coa from 30 days to 20, with an additional five days to be lopped off if he does not appeal. Coa's agent, Joe Ferrer, indicated Coa did not plan an appeal.
Jockey Eibar Coa will receive a new hearing before the Gulfstream Park stewards on a 30-day suspension he was levied for "rough riding" aboard Mr. Livingston in the Jan. 26 Fort Lauderdale Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Monarchos made his return to the races following a more than seven-month layoff in an optional claiming/allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, running a non-threatening third in a field of five.
There is a fountain of youth in Florida, just as Ponce de Leon originally suspected in the 16th century. But the Spaniard, who poked around the St. Augustine area looking for the elixir, would have been better off looking about 250 miles to the south, in the Calder Race Course barn of trainer Ralph Ziadie.
An eight-race, $5 million series of races for California- and Florida-bred horses has been approved by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association, the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association and Magna Entertainment Corp., at whose tracks the races would be run. The plan, however, may face a challenge from the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
The Calder meet that began in May--back when Sept. 11 was just another day on the calendar--came to a rousing conclusion during its extended closing weekend with five graded stakes, or exactly the same amount contested during the meet's first 166 days. Four of the stakes were on its Dec. 29 Grand Slam II card, the 32nd consecutive Saturday of racing at the Miami oval.
Tampa Bay Downs has signed a reciprocal simulcast deal with Gulfstream Park even though horsemen's groups outside Florida are trying to block distribution of the Tampa track's signal. Horsemen in Texas and Kentucky are battling with Tampa Bay Downs over what they see as mistreatment of the local horsemen's group.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 19, the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association has requested clarification on whether the Interstate Horseracing Act, which grants local horsemen's groups sanctions over outgoing signals, supercedes simulcasting contracts between racetracks.
While the public may have deserted him, the man who knows him best never lost faith. Though the highweight among the dozen starters, Band Is Passing, the favorite in 11 of his past 12 starts--each of which came in a stakes--could muster no more support from his home crowd than the 7-1 fourth-betting choice in Calder's Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Dec. 8. But his handy win by 3 1/4 lengths validated what his owner and trainer Stanley Ersoff had been saying all along.
Representatives from the Tampa Bay Downs Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association met with Tampa Bay president Peter Berube Dec. 4 in an effort to resolve a dispute over stalls that threatens the track's ability to receive out-of-state signals when the live meet begins Dec. 15.
Though horsemen's groups in various states did not vote to pull their signals from all wagering outlets in Florida in response to a stall-application denial by Tampa Bay Downs, their forces are being marshaled.
In what could be a major test for control of simulcast signals, horsemen's groups from a number of states were considering withdrawing their approval for the transmission of signals into Florida beginning Nov. 12.
Magna Entertainment's plans for a year-round training facility in South Florida moved forward Aug. 27 when Palm Beach officials amended local laws to allow the company to build accomodations for up to 500 grooms at its site near Boynton Beach. The previous limit was 20 grooms' quarters.
Sylvia Heft filed a lawsuit accusing Gulfstream Park of negligence involving a horse she claimed for $50,000 last year. It was determined that Brass Badge did not have on file a Coggins certificate verifying a negative test for equine infectious anemia (EIA) within the prior twelve months, as required by state law.
Churchill Downs Inc. has filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade, Fla., Circuit Court alleging that Hialeah Park has failed to make payments of approximately $185,000 in simulcast fees. Meanwhile, a North Dakota wagering company and South Florida horsemen also are seeking money from the racetrack.
A transfer of about $650,000 in funds to Calder Race Course on June 12 has ended a dispute between Florida horsemen and Hialeah Park. The funds represent all but $57,000 -- the total of accounts with negative balances -- that remained in horsemen's accounts as of the May 22 closing of Hialeah.
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.
On the basis of what he called "bad faith games playing with the court," Broward County, Fla., Circuit Court Judge Charles Greene ruled to strike the pleadings of defendant Steve Weiner in the Val's Prince lawsuit.