01/24/2006 12:00AM

Calder simulcasting halted

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Calder Race Course has been forced to suspend simulcast operations beginning Wednesday and until further notice while the state of Florida appeals a lower court ruling that declared the law preventing the state's two Thoroughbred tracks from conducting year round simulcasting to be unconstitutional.

Calder and Gulfstream Park reached an agreement on Dec. 9 to exchange signals of their live races and simulcast races from other tracks on a year-round basis. The two tracks pursued the agreement after Florida's First District Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that a state law prohibiting the exchange of signals between the two tracks was unconstitutional.

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, the agency regulating parimutuel racing in the state, subsequently appealed the district court ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. That court ruled that simulcasting at Calder must end until the case is adjudicated.

Calder has been simulcasting races from Gulfstream Park since the meet opened on Jan. 4.

Calder's president, Ken Dunn, said the business regulation agency has the power to allow Calder to resume simulcasting until the Supreme Court hears the case, which he says could take anywhere from six months to a year.