12/12/2008 12:00AM

Calder cuts three $100K stakes


Calder Race Course has canceled the three remaining stakes on its 2008-09 schedule, citing the continuing overpayment of purses during the current Tropical at Calder meet.

The three stakes - the $100,000 Stage Door Betty and $100,000 Frances Genter on Dec. 27 and the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby on New Year's Day - were all Grade 3 events.

"Unfortunately, we have to take this action to lessen the overpaying of purses and to help balance the purse account," explained Kevin Flanery, senior vice president of Churchill Downs Inc., Calder's owner, in announcing the cancellation Friday.

The stakes cuts were the latest in a series of purse reductions and stakes eliminations at Calder this year. Various factors have contributed to the reductions, including a poor economy and the unavailability of wagering on Calder's races through account-wagering sites.

Earlier stakes cancellations during the Tropical meet included the $100,000 Cherokee Frolic and Kris S. on Dec. 6 and the $100,000 Pete Axthelm and Chaposa Spring Handicap on Dec. 27.

In addition, the purses of the Grade 2 La Prevoyante and Grade 2 W L McKnight handicaps, which were to be run Saturday, were reduced from $200,000 to $150,000 apiece.