08/28/2008 11:00PM

Calder dates cut approved

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Calder Race Course has received permission from the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering to eliminate 11 days of racing through mid-November.

Calder will conduct a four-day-per-week live schedule, mostly Thursdays through Sundays, through the week of Nov. 9. Among the dates eliminated is Monday, Oct. 20, which will push the opening of the 2008-09 Tropical at Calder session back until Oct. 23.

"Our hope is that with one less live racing day each week, Calder will be able to offer fuller fields and attract players back to our product there," said Kevin Flanery, senior vice president of Churchill Downs Inc., which owns the track.

Calder has experienced sharp declines in business this season, in part because of a disagreement on purses between Churchill Downs Inc. and horsemen that resulted in Calder being unable to send its simulcast signal out of state for the early part of the meet. Also, horsemen have not given Calder permission to send its signal to account-wagering sites because they are dissatisfied with the revenue split.

Along with Oct. 20, other days removed from the schedule are Sept. 4, 8, 15, 22, and 29; Oct. 6, 16, and 27; and Nov. 3 and 17. They are all Mondays or Thursdays.

Calder will maintain its live Monday programs on Labor Day (Sept. 1), Columbus Day (Oct. 13) and both Monday, Nov. 10 and Veterans Day, Nov. 11.