The Marshall Plan-To Kill south Florida Horseracing. Its so Steve Sexton! Here is Jim Freer’s article from the The Bloodhorse Magazine. More to come!!!!!
Calder Imposes Restrictions on Gulf Shippers
By Jim Freer
Updated: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 4:01 PM
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:40 PM
At a meeting with horsemen Feb. 22, officials of Calder Casino & Race Course said that 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.
In an announcement it issued at the meeting, Calder said the restriction would not apply to graded stakes at Gulfstream.
Calder’s statement added: “Stalls previously occupied by any such horses will be reallocated.”
According to several horsemen who attended the meeting at Calder, the track’s vice president for racing, John Marshall, said Calder has not determined if the ban on returns will include races at tracks other than Gulfstream.
Numerous Calder-based trainers are sending horses to race at Tampa Bay Downs.
Calder’s announcement was met with surprise and irate reaction by the approximately 60 owners and trainers at the meeting, according to Sam Gordon, president of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and a Calder-based trainer who asked to not be identified.
Both said they feel that Calder is using its plan on shippers in its dispute with Gulfstream over 2011 racing dates.
Marshall was not immediately available for comment on the horsemen’s reaction.
Calder’s announcement did not include criteria that it might use for determining if it would give prior approval to returns of some horses that race in non-stakes races at Gulfstream.
Officials of Gulfstream were not immediately available for comment.
Calder, in Miami Gardens, is eight miles west of Gulfstream.
For more than two decades, Calder has been the only Thoroughbred track to have live racing in southeast Florida in December.
But in a preliminary filing with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Gulfstream said it plans to run four days a week in December 2011, starting Dec. 2, and extend its season until April 8, 2012.
In its preliminary filing with the Florida DPMW, Calder said it plans to run three days a week in December 2011. Its filing shows it running at least three days a week in all months except January and February during the 12 months beginning July 1, 2011.
The two tracks have until Feb. 28 to submit final dates, with automatic Florida DPMW approval, for the 12 months beginning July 1, 2011.
For several weeks, trainers and owners have been hoping the two tracks would reach an agreement and not race head-to-head in December.
Calder and the Florida HBPA do not have contracts for purses and simulcasts for the Calder meet that will begin April 25, 2011.
“If they have this ban on shippers, we do not intend to have contract talks with Calder,” Gordon said.
In that event, Calder could set a structure for race purses. But Gordon noted that the Florida HBPA and horsemen’s groups in other states could prevent Calder from sending and receiving some simulcast signals.
Calder is owned by Churchill Downs Inc.
Gordon and the Calder-based trainer said if the tracks were to race head-to-head in December, they expected Calder to not let shippers back from Gulfstream.
Both said they did not expect that ban during the 2011 Gulfstream meet that runs through April 24.
Calder-based horses always account for a major share of the entries at Gulfstream meets.
One indication was Gulfstream’s nine-race card on Feb. 27. Of the 110 entries, including Also Eligibles, 43 had recent published workouts at Calder.
“Calder is dictating terms, and using us in its battle with Gulfstream,” said the trainer, whose stable includes several stakes-caliber horses. He did not want his name used because of the possibility of losing stalls.