11/19/2010 1:22PM

Calder cuts purses, eliminates a stakes


MIAMI -- Calder Race Course has announced both a purse reduction and a restructuring of the stakes schedule for the remainder of the Tropical at Calder meeting that includes the cancellation of a Grade 3 fixture on the local calendar. The 2010-11 Tropical meet runs through Jan. 4.

Lower-than-expected handle trends over the past four weeks have forced management to reverse the 10-percent purse increase that went into effect in June. That cut will begin with Monday's program, which was drawn on Friday. In addition, the Grade 3, $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap, which has been run here consecutively since 1975 and was scheduled to be decided for the 36th time on Dec. 4, has been canceled.

The $100,000 La Prevoyante and $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap, both Grade 3's, were moved until later in the meet. The La Prevoyante was switched from Dec. 11 until Jan. 2, with the Stage Door Betty moved from Dec. 18 until New Year's Day. The La Prevoyante is carded at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, while the Stage Door Betty is decided at 1 1/16 miles over the main track. Both races are written for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up, although the date change to after the New Year begins all but guarantees there will be no 3-year-olds in either field.

"By rescheduling the two stakes until Jan. 1 and Jan. 2, horsemen will have well positioned, graded black type opportunities for their fillies and mares," said Calder's racing secretary, Mike Anifantis. "We understand the importance of these races to owners and breeders, including their national appeal to our fans for this and future years."

Calder's vice president and general manager, John Marshall, said business trends made the adjustments necessary to achieve a responsible purse balance and assure "a vibrant beginning to the next Calder meet."

"We work diligently throughout the year to manage purses responsibly," said Marshall.
According to track officials, even after the adjustment, purses paid this year during the Calder and Tropical meets will be significantly higher than they were the previous two seasons.