All one has to do is look at the Calder Logo and see that horse racing is just second thought to John Marshall and CDI. Instead of concern for ALL the horsemen in south Florida, Calder management again has taken the low road and is holding the horsemen hostage to their mad idea of
starting Feb. 26 their track will not allow horses that ship from Calder to race at Gulfstream Park to re-enter Calder without the prior written approval from Calder’s racing secretary. I guess none of us are really surprised at this insane move. Maybe Steve Sex ton is still giving them advice? We were a millisecond away from destroying racing in South Florida under his command, and now we have his reincarnation in the form of John Marshall.
May I make a suggestion? Any horse racing in America should boycott ALL CDI racetracks.
Calder Gives Horsemen Ultimatum
by Ray Paulick
The war over racing dates in South Florida escalated on Tuesday morning when John Marshall, vice president of racing and general manager of Calder Casino & Racetrack, told trainers stabled at the Churchill Downs Inc.-owned facility that, effective Saturday, any horses shipping to race at Gulfstream Park will not be admitted back into the Calder stable area.
The only exceptions to the ultimatum, according to Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, will be horses contesting American Graded Stakes. Stirling said Marshall told the approximately 60-80 horsemen at the meeting that no decision had yet been made about whether horses can ship from Calder to race at Tampa Bay Downs and then return to the Miami track.
“They have no use for horsemen whatsoever,” Stirling said of Marshall and CDI’s management. “We are a necessary evil, and nothing else.”
According to Stirling and several others who attended the meeting and called the Paulick Report, Marshall outlined Calder’s plans for future racing dates, saying the track will open April 25 and race four days per week through June 30, then race three days per week from July 1 through April 12, 2012. Gulfstream Park has stated its intention to open in December 2011, a month earlier than normal, meaning Gulfstream and Calder would race head to head for at least four months.
‘The HBPA wanted this to be worked out, but our horsemen are really up in arms,” said Stirling. “There are a number of things we can do, too. It’s amazing. Marshall ran this proposal by me 10 days ago, and I said, ‘Look, John, this business is in trouble. We’ve got the gun aimed at our foot right now, and you just raised it to your head. Nobody likes Churchill Downs, and this only makes it worse.’ I told him this sounds more like a Bill Carstanjian move (CDI’s chief operating officer), and he said it was.”
One Calder-based trainer who attended the meeting said he and his fellow horsemen are outraged over the new policy. “They’ve got us held as prisoners at Calder,” he said.
The move is similar to one made by previous Calder management in 1989 when Calder and Hialeah Park went head to head with their racing dates. Calder horsemen were told then any horses shipping to race at Hialeah would not be welcomed back, and it proved a crippling blow to Hialeah Park.
Efforts to reach Calder’s John Marshall were not successful at this time.