08/26/2013 12:10PM

Calder to cut overnight purses by 12 percent


Calder Race Course in Miami will cut overnight purses by 12 percent beginning Aug. 30 because of a drop in business due to head-to-head competition with nearby Gulfstream Park and a loss of revenue from simulcast fees, the track announced Sunday.

The cut is the first concrete fallout from the competition with Gulfstream and a change in legal status for several Florida tracks. The cuts to overnight purses will drive down the minimum purse in an overnight race to $10,500, the track said. No stakes will be cut from the schedule, though some purses in stakes races may be reduced “slightly,” according to the track.

Earlier this year, Calder’s parent company, Churchill Downs Inc., said simulcasting revenue at Calder was down $5.1 million through the first six months of 2012. The decline is mainly due to the ability of Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs to sell simulcast signals throughout the state for the first time after the tracks received host-track status from state regulators by running isolated cards in the summer.

In the past, Calder received fees by exclusively selling simulcast signals to other tracks and parimutuel facilities in Florida throughout most of the year.

Calder and Gulfstream have both been running on Saturdays and Sundays since the beginning of July. This is the first time that Gulfstream has run during the summer.