02/28/2011 3:06PM

As deadline nears, Gulfstream amends dates request


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -  Gulfstream Park on Monday applied with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for an 87-day meet that would begin on Dec. 3 and run through April 8, 2012. It was not known late afternoon on Monday whether Calder Race Course had also revised its dates request in order to avoid racing head to head with Gulfstream during that period.

Midnight Monday is the deadline for the tracks to file applications with the department to amend their racing dates for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, and perhaps avoid a dates conflict between the two neighboring tracks. Although the official deadline to amend applications is midnight tonight, all applications must be received by the department by the close of its business day at 5 p.m. The applications cover the fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2011 and continues through June 30, 2012.

As Monday afternoon, Gulfstream had applied for the 87-day meet, according to Sandi Copes, the press secretary for the department. Earlier, the two tracks both had applied to race year round beginning on July 1.

The 2011 Gulfstream meet is scheduled to end on April 24. The 2011 Calder session will start on April 25, and barring a further amendment later today would continue at least through June 30, 2012.

The dates war between the two tracks escalated last week when Calder briefly restricted horses stabled on its grounds - other than those shipping to participate in graded stakes - from returning if they raced at Gulfstream Park. The restriction was rescinded late Saturday morning. Gulfstream officials quickly fired back, amending their original dates application from reopening in early December to running a year-round schedule, in direct conflict with Calder, which had applied for a year-round schedule of its own earlier this winter.