Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti remains determined to bring Thoroughbreds back to his famous racetrack in Hialeah, Fla., and is hoping to stage a comeback with his one-time nemesis Gulfstream Park.
Hialeah Park has set its schedule for its next season, with a Quarter Horse-only meet of 40 days from Dec. 26, 2014 through March 2, 2015. It will conduct racing Fridays through Mondays throughout that period.
Hialeah Park's preliminary racing dates filing for the 12 months beginning in July calls for another three-month season of Quarter Horse racing, without a return of Thoroughbreds.
In a civil suit filed Nov. 26 in a state court in Miami, Hialeah Park is seeking to take control of administration of its purse account from the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association.
Hialeah Park has begun its fifth consecutive Quarter Horse racing season and is preparing for a year in which it might have its biggest chance yet to regain a Thoroughbred racing license.
Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course apparently have failed to strike a deal on racing dates, meaning they could race head-to-head on all Saturdays and Sundays during the year beginning July 1.
Hialeah Park will hold its next Quarter Horse meet beginning Dec. 13, 2013. But owner John Brunetti said Jan. 3 his track might amend its racing dates filing and hold some Thoroughbred races as well.
Gulfstream Park's preliminary filing for racing dates shows it plans to have racing every week, in some cases just on Saturdays and Sundays, with a total of 153 race days during the 12 months beginning July 1.
Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course have started the annual process of picking racing dates, with Gulfstream stirring up yet another dispute by saying it plans to expand its four-month schedule.
Hialeah Park is calling off its plan for a possible return of Thoroughbred racing in April and May of 2013 but still hopes to open a casino with slot machines next year.
The Florida Supreme Court April 27 upheld a decision by a lower state court that authorizes Hialeah Park to have a casino with Las Vegas-style slot machines.
The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority has accepted a hearing officer's recommendation that the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association retain control of Monmouth Park.
As Calder Casino & Race Course officials prepare for the racetrack's 2012 season, they hope its early schedule will attract local horsemen, as well as some from northern states.
Hialeah Park chairman and owner John Brunetti said March 1 it is "very possible" his track will hold Thoroughbred races in April and May of 2013.
Hialeah Park will open its third Quarter Horse racing meet Dec. 10, and unlike its first two seasons it will include Thoroughbred simulcasts.
A bill introduced Nov. 3 in the Florida legislature could allow Hialeah Park to again hold annual Thoroughbred meets, provided that it becomes a site for the Breeders' Cup.
Three southeast Florida pari-mutuels are asking the Supreme Court of Florida to consider a review of a lower court's decision that authorizes Hialeah Park to have a casino with Las Vegas-style slot machines.
Hialeah Park on Sept. 9 announced details for a $150 million casino that it intends to start building this month and open in November 2012.
Hialeah Park has hired Steve Calabro, a former Gulfstream Park president, for its new position of director of gaming, and believes the courts will uphold its plans to open a casino with slots and a poker room.
The Florida legislature will end its 2011 regular session May 6, and it appears language authorizing a special Breeders' Cup permit for Hialeah Park will have to wait a year.
Analysis: Gulfstream/Calder resolution opens door for more questions regarding the future of racing in South Florida.
Hialeah Park is moving ahead with plans to build a casino even though three other southeast Florida pari-mutuel outlets are continuing with a lawsuit that challenges its legal right to have slot machines.
Horsemen confront head-to-head racing in south Florida as Calder, Gulfstream seek competing dates.
The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Dec. 21 issued a license for slot machines to Hialeah Park. Gaming could be offered in November 2011, officials said.
The South Florida track's second Quarter Horse began Dec. 3 without much fanfare.
The South Florida track is also making plans for Thoroughbred races and a casino beginning with the 2011-12 season.
A state court in Tallahassee, Fla., Nov. 22 ruled in favor of Hialeah Park on one count of a lawsuit that challenges its legal right to build a casino with Las Vegas-style slot machines.
Minor lawsuit contends city of Hialeah, not Brunetti, owns Hialeah Park.
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.
Hialeah Park is seeking a later start for its 2010-2011 Quarter Horse meet, and says it has "reached a formal agreement" with the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association for six racing seasons through 2015-2016.
The Florida Legislature passed a bill with long-sought benefits for Thoroughbred racetracks, including tax breaks, more slot machines, and extended poker room hours. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.
Hialeah Park is entering the final two weeks of its first Quarter Horse meet with pari-mutuel handle owner John Brunetti calls "a disappointment," and with a need to catch up on its guarantee of $4 million in purses.
Florida's Thoroughbred industry will enter 2010 without the expanded racing, other gaming, and tax breaks it thought it had gained during this year's session of the state legislature.
Gulfstream Park and Hialeah Park are battling over the Thoroughbred racing permit the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering took away from Hialeah in 2003.
Brittlyn Stable's Star Guitar is seeking to become the third Thoroughbred in history to win three times on a Louisiana Champions Day program in New Orleans when he goes forward in the Louisiana Champions Day Classic.
Hialeah Park is seeking to run Thoroughbred races during its Quarter Horse meeting, according to a letter Hialeah owner John Brunetti sent to Gulfstream Park and Calder Race Course.
- 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.
Driving into the parking lot at Hialeah Park Nov. 23, one could see a large satellite dish that was not there several weeks ago and a Teleview Racing Patrol truck. There were also several dozen cars in the lot. Those were the first clear signs that racing will indeed resume Nov. 28 at the historic Hialeah, Fla., track.
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.
Hialeah Park has set Nov. 14 as the date for the start of arrival of Quarter Horses for a 40-day meet it plans to run beginning Nov. 28. But as of Oct. 22, the Hialeah, Fla., track was still waiting for the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to approve its application for racing dates.
Sam Abbey has been named racing secretary for the Quarter Horse meet that begins Nov. 28 at Hialeah Park.
Hialeah Park has filed applications for Quarter Horse racing dates, telling the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering it plans to run a 20-day meet late this year and another 20-day meet early in 2010.
Hialeah Park will be back in business "as soon as possible" with plans to eventually add Thoroughbred racing, officials of the Florida racetrack said June 8.
Hialeah Park probably will begin Quarter Horse racing in 2010 only if the Florida Legislature makes three major changes in state racing laws, the track's owner John Brunetti said April 15.
Technology entrepreneur Halsey Minor on Feb. 9 filed a civil suit that maintains John Brunetti, by not holding racing at Hialeah Park since 2001, is in default on agreements under which he purchased the historic race track.
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.
Prospective Hialeah Park buyer Halsey Minor has sent consultants and accountants to examine the closed racetrack, and Minor and Hialeah owner John Brunetti say they are planning more talks on a possible sale.
Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti and prospective buyer Halsey Minor held their first meeting Aug. 6, with Brunetti later saying "we will have another meeting to see if our common interests are strong enough to continue going forward."
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.
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