James Combest, a retired jockey who rode in the Kentucky Derby four times, died Jan. 8 at Southwest Ranches, Fla.
Gulfstream Park will begin its 2012-2013 race meet Dec. 1 and the track's president and general manager Tim Ritvo expects the opening day Claiming Crown to help provide a fast start on the track and in wagering.
Gretna Racing in Gretna, Fla., has resumed its controversial pari-mutuel barrel racing under a Quarter Horse license, and it is preparing to start its first simulcast signals.
Florida's administrative court set a timetable of late November 2012 for a ruling that could determine whether Gretna Racing LLC in Florida can continue to use a Quarter Horse racing permit for pari-mutuel barrel racing.
The Florida Division of Administrative Hearings ended a four-day hearing June 29 without issuing a ruling on whether Gretna Racing LLC can continue to use a Quarter Horse racing license to hold pari-mutuel barrel racing.
Calder Casino & Race Course announced that beginning June 14 it will charge rent to grooms and hotwalkers who live in dorm rooms on its backside.
Calder Casino & Race Course will begin its 2012 season April 9, and one of its first tasks will be making fans around the country aware that it is opening two weeks earlier than in previous years.
Gulfstream Park has scheduled a Quarter Horse race for April 8, and is doing that in what the track's president and general manager Timothy Ritvo said is an effort to make sure that it can retain its permit for such racing.
Voters in Gadsden County, Fla., Jan. 31 approved a ballot issue that authorizes a casino with slot machines at Gretna Racing, the Gretna facility that completed the first pari-mutuel barrel racing meet in Florida.
Gulfstream Park on the night of Dec. 30 canceled a Quarter Horse race that it had scheduled for Dec. 31.
Going against a request from Thoroughbred horsemen, Gulfstream Park has scheduled a Quarter Horse event to open its Dec. 31 program, the first such race in the history of the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.
Gretna Racing on Dec. 1 began its pari-mutuel barrel racing meet at its facility in Gretna, Fla. amid ongoing challenges to the legality of its racing license.
Gretna Racing is preparing to open Florida's first pari-mutuel barrel racing meet on Dec. 1 with 11 races in a head-to-head bracket format.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering dismissed a request for an administrative hearing on questions of the legality of Gretna Racing LLC's Quarter Horse license, which it plans to use for pari-mutuel barrel racing.
Gulfstream Park has backed off plans to try to start a phase-out of race-day medications with the 2011-2012 race meet that runs Dec. 3 through April 8 at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.
As it prepares to open its race meet April 25, Calder Casino & Race Course as of April 22 did not have a contract for Advance Deposit Wagering with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Calder Casino & Race Course will begin its 40th anniversary season April 25, with changes that include adding a Pick 5 on its last five races.
A bill that would have authorized up to five Las Vegas-style casino hotels in Florida has been withdrawn from consideration in the Florida Senate.
Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino announced Feb. 16 they have signed a contract with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association that will run from March 1 through December 2012.
Gulfstream Park is considering a 3 p.m. first post time for the last six Fridays of its 2011 racing season, according to the track's president and general manager.
Gulfstream Park could have some important political support in its goal to change a state law that prohibits Thoroughbred racing after 7 p.m. if there are benefits for other pari-mutuel sports.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering has approved Hialeah Park's request to hold its 2010-2011 Quarter Horse meet from Dec. 3, 2010 through Jan. 23, 2011.
Gulfstream Park will have more money coming from slot machines and poker for purses, more betting stations, and a larger betting menu for the 2011 meet that will also feature the installation of lights.
- By Jim Freer
MI Developments on May 27 told employees of Gulfstream Park that effective May 28 Ken Dunn will no longer be president and general manager of the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track.
Calder Casino & Race Course is preparing to open its eight-month racing season on April 25 with its purse contract and all other racing contracts and calendars in place.
The new Calder Casino at Calder Casino & Race Course will open its doors for guests for the first time Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. as a result of passing its review by the State of Florida Jan. 21.
Hialeah Park opened its Quarter Horse meet on Nov. 28 before an overflow crowd that track officials estimated at 26,874, based on turnstile counts at one of the entrances and the number of cars in parking lots.
- By Jim Freer
Hialeah Park opened its Quarter Horse meet Nov. 28 before a crowd that track owner and president John J. Brunetti estimated at between 15,000-20,000.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Oct. 27 approved Hialeah Park's application to hold a 40-day Quarter Horse meet beginning Nov. 28.
Unlike a year ago at this time, you can stand at the rail at Hialeah Park and see the lake in the infield and the familiar flamingos. You also are next to the dirt track that Hialeah Park president and owner John J. Brunetti says could be ready for Quarter Horses before mid-October.
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida are nearing their Aug. 31 deadline to approve a Gaming Compact, which would trigger a new law that would provide economic benefits for the state's Thoroughbred industry and for that tribe's casinos.
Calder Race Course has barred trainer Kirk Ziadie from training and all other activity at its property. Ziadie said Calder officials handed him an indefinite expulsion late in the afternoon Aug. 20 "and told me I have 72 hours to leave the grounds."
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering expects that a state court in Tallahassee could wait until next April before it issues a ruling on trainer Kirk Ziadie's appeal of a 60-day suspension for a medication violation.
The Florida Legislature May 1 extended its annual regular session for seven days, with pending bills on Thoroughbred and other pari-mutuel issues and on Indian gaming among unfinished business.
Calder Race Course will open its eight-month season April 24, with track officials and South Florida horsemen hoping for a big rebound from a problem-filled 2008.
Calder Race Course is preparing to open its 2009 season on April 24, but as of April 7 the track's parent Churchill Downs Inc. had not signed a purse contract with the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.
Gulfstream Park said its average daily all-sources handle rose 3.6% and that its average daily on-track handle was up 7.2% during this year's first two months.
The Florida Legislature will begin its annual two-month session on March 3, with the state's Thoroughbred tracks and other pari-mutuels seeking changes in a gaming compact that Gov. Charlie Crist and the Seminole Tribe of Florida signed in 2007.
Gulfstream Park on Dec. 18 asked the Supreme Court of Florida to issue an order that would give law enforcement officials authority to shut down blackjack and baccarat tables at the Seminole Tribe of Florida's casinos in the state.
Harold L. Queen's homebred colt Big Drama will seek a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes' open division Oct. 18 when he faces 11 other juveniles in the $400,000 In Reality at Calder Race Course.
John Brunetti has rejected technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor's first official offer to buy Hialeah Park.
Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor has sent Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti a plan on the potential cost of rebuilding and operating the race track.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering is preparing new rules on anabolic steroids and plans to issue them before the end of this year.
Pascacio "Paco" Lopez, this year's leading jockey at Calder Race Course, has appealed a 30-day suspension for careless riding.
- By Jim Freer
Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti is looking forward to meeting with prospective buyer Halsey Minor about what he calls multiple "hurdles" to returning racing to the historic track that last held a meet in 2001.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association's general counsel said June 10 his organization could sign agreements "in the very near future" on 2008 purses and future slot-machine revenue at Calder Race Course.
Following a June 9 meeting, officials of the Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and Churchill Downs Inc. plan to meet again June 10 in an effort to resolve a costly contracts dispute at CDI-owned Calder Race Course.
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