Florida Horsemens' Refusal to Send Calder Signal Out of State Forces 30-Percent PurseCut at Track Effective April 21
Calder Race Course today announced that due to the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s refusal to approve the distribution of Calder races to out-of-state wagering outlets, including advance-deposit wagering (“ADW”) companies, the racetrack has been forced to cut purses by 30 percent, effective Sunday, April 27. The purse reductions will affect a variety of race conditions, including stakes races.
“The Florida horsemen’s refusal to allow out-of-state wagering on Calder’s races has left us with no option but to cut purses now in order to offset the amount of handle both Florida horsemen and Calder will lose every day that Florida horsemen refuse to send Calder’s signal out of state,” said Steve Sexton, executive vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated, Calder’s parent company. “Florida horsemen have chosen to single out and penalize Calder, as well as customers around the country who enjoy wagering on Calder’s races. We find that hard to understand when TrackNet Media Group, which negotiates simulcast sales for both Churchill Downs- and Magna-owned racetracks, has nearly doubled the ADW host fee rate paid to horsemen in Florida compared to last year.”
Currently, the only wagering outlets permitted to accept wagers on Calder races are simulcast outlets within the state of Florida and New York Off-Track Betting (“NYOTB”) facilities. On April 21, Florida horsemen gave their consent to allow NYOTB to accept wagers on Calder races. The Isle Casino & Racing at Pompano Park, a casino and harness racetrack in Pompano Beach, Fla., is not receiving Calder’s signal because no cross-simulcasting agreement exists between Calder and that facility.
Sexton said the purse cut would not affect the first-ever Calder Turf Million, scheduled for Saturday, April 26. “Several stables have already shipped in horses to compete in Saturday’s Turf Million, and we don’t want to inconvenience those horsemen by reducing purses for Saturday’s card so close to the event,” Sexton noted. “We hope for the sake of our customers that Florida horsemen will revisit their position on this matter.”
Calder Race Course, located on South Florida’s Miami-Dade / Broward county line, offers Thoroughbred horse racing during two consecutive meets and year-round simulcasting. The track is home of the Summit of Speed, Juvenile Showcase, Festival of the Sun, Florida Million and Grand Slam series of events. A wholly owned property of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), Calder also operates the Tropical Meet. In 2008, the Calder Meet runs from April 21 through Oct. 19 and the Tropical Meet runs from Oct. 20 through Jan. 2, 2009. Information about Calder Race Course can be found on the Internet at www.calderracecourse.com.