02/28/2014 5:39PM

Gulfstream Park amends date request for 2014-2015


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Gulfstream Park will race a minimum of three days a week during the 2014-15 fiscal  year, according to the track’s final dates amendment filed with the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering on Friday.  Gulfstream, Calder Race Course, and all other parimutuel facilities in the state had until 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday to amend their original dates applications for the period beginning July 1.     

According to president and general manager Tim Ritvo, Gulfstream has filed to race three days a week from July 1 through Nov. 30, four days from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, five days from Jan. 1 through the end of its championship meeting in early April, and back to three days a week from that point until June 30. 

Ritvo also said Gulfstream has filed a second amendment asking the state to grant the track permission to race three days per week from April 19 through June 30 of this year.  Gulfstream original applied for only a two- day race week during that period when filing its 2013-14 application last February.

“We’ll need permission from the eight parimutuel facilities in the area to amend those dates this year,” said Ritvo. “We normally get two no’s on any such applications we make with the state. Anytime we make a dates amendment, everyone approves it except Mardi Gras and Calder.”

Mardi Gras Casino and greyhound track, like Gulfstream, is located in Hallandale Beach.

“The state, in the past, has based its decision on whether this would provide additional revenues and tax dollars for them,” Ritvo added. “And we can prove, in every case we’ve picked up dates, that the state makes more money.”

Ritvo said continued efforts to reach a dates agreement with Calder have proven fruitless. The two tracks have been running in direct competition, on a weekly basis, since last July.

“It’s frustrating because both sides have tried really hard to reach an agreement that would be beneficial to the two tracks,” said Ritvo. “But at the end of the day, we just couldn’t see eye to eye on what each company is looking for.”

Calder made no changes on Friday to its initial dates filing which calls for a three-day a week live racing schedule, Friday through Sunday, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

“We’re interested in a resolution to this situation in the best interests of south Florida racing,” said Calder’s vice president and general manager John Marshall. “Our door continues to remain open in an effort to alleviate the conflict between the two tracks.”