03/03/2004 1:00AM

Calder to open card room

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Calder Race Course will open the first poker room at a Thoroughbred parimutuel facility in south Florida when its 2004 season starts on April 26.

Calder's card room will be located on the second floor of the grandstand, holding 12 tables offering various games, including Texas hold 'em and seven-card stud. It will open at noon on live racing days, and the track plans to keep it open until midnight.

"The marketplace is becoming increasingly competitive," said Ken Dunn, president of Calder, "and Calder and the horse racing industry in Florida need to remain competitive as well."

Horsemen will receive 50 percent of the net revenue from the card room, after operating expenses, towards purses and breeders awards.