06/29/2013 3:03PM

Gulfstream Park summer meet dramatically alters Florida circuit

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – The landscape of the south Florida racing circuit will change dramatically beginning Monday, when Gulfstream Park ushers in a new era and opens its 2013 summer meeting amid the turmoil of a dates conflict with neighboring Calder Race Course.

Gulfstream Park will open a 47-day summer-fall session with special programs Monday and Thursday, July 4. The meet will continue on Saturdays and Sundays, in direct conflict with Calder, until Nov. 30, after which the traditional 2013-14 “championship meet” will begin at Gulfstream on Dec. 1. There also will be two Monday holiday cards Sept. 2 and Nov. 11.

The upcoming session will mark the first time in Gulfstream’s 74-year history that it has raced during the summer months. Even when racing dates were regulated in the state and Hialeah ran during the peak winter period, the Gulfstream meeting never extended beyond Kentucky Derby Day, according to track officials.

The summer session will be highlighted by a series of $100,000 overnight races beginning with the Armed Forces Stakes on Thursday.

With Calder scheduled to run Fridays through Sundays during the summer and fall, horseflesh will be at a premium at both tracks. On Friday, Calder officials instituted a restricted access policy, effective Monday, which forbids horses stabled in its barn area to re-enter the grounds if they leave to compete in a race at Gulfstream. The initial response to the new policy from a majority of the Calder horsemen was to immediately attempt to secure stall space with Gulfstream. On Saturday morning, Gulfstream announced it would re-open its Palm Meadows training facility to help accommodate any Calder horsemen who might be displaced as a result of the restricted access policy. There will be no charge for stall rentals during the summer meet.

Gulfstream also has raised purses $4,000 per race over those listed in the original condition book that runs through the end of July and will pay an additional $1,000 bonus to every starter on each of its four cards during opening week.

Tim Ritvo, the president of Gulfstream Park, said negotiations have been ongoing between the two tracks to work out an amenable solution to the potentially disastrous dates conflict. However, Ritvo said the two sides were closer to an agreement two weeks ago than at the present time.

“We’ve been holding off moving horsemen in, but we should start to see a large influx of horses coming in from Calder within the next 48 hours,” Ritvo said Saturday. “We will also continue to allow our horses open access, to race at Calder and return, because we think no horseman can survive on just a three-day week or a two-day week. But to have five racing programs to choose from, if allowed to ship and race at both places, makes all the sense in the world.”

Monday’s card will consist of eight races, three carded for the turf, which drew 69 horses, the majority of which are stabled at Calder. How many of those horses will be scratched as a result of Calder’s restricted access policy, which was not announced until entries had been open at Gulfstream for almost three hours, remains to be seen.

Opening day also will feature appearances by four of the leading riders from the 2012-13 winter meet: Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Joel Rosario, and Edgar Prado, all of whom will accept mounts on the card and spend time greeting and signing autographs for fans during the day.

Gulfstream also will hold a 100-yard pari-mutuel Thoroughbred race to be run at 10 a.m. It will be presented under the auspices of its nonprofit Thoroughbred Aftercare Program license.

Floyd Richardson More than 1 year ago
It'll be a shame CRC will lose in the end and it's a shame to think MONEY will be the cause. Life is hard enough for people to survive but to purposely do this and have no regard for your fellow man or woman is an absolute screw job. Well the Government has been doing it to us for way to many years and they are just getting worst. So will GP as it hammers a nail in the coffin of CRC alittle at a time. NY has there fair share and so does California so whats with this SH-- in Florida. Share and share alike.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
Ugly example of everybody in it for themselves. That has not helped the sport and it will not help the sport. Shortsighted greed.
lm0109 More than 1 year ago
First of all I can see CRC's point to not allow the horses stabled there to run at GP because with the larger purses and owner bonuses, of course everyone would rather run at GP and get the extra money. Then what horses would enter at CRC!!!! An owner who ran two horses on last Tuesday at GP picked up a check of nearly $3000 for a 4th place and a 6th place, unheard of at any other track. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see where the money is but lets talk about the Calder horsemen that have been here for 10, 15 year or more. The trainers are going to lose so much business, many owners will demand to run at GP to put more $ in their pockets and the trainers will either have to move their entire stable to GP or Palm Meadows or lose the business and remain at Calder to die a slow death. CRC has always been the only track offering racing during the summer months and into the fall. GP has stepped in like Big Brother. Yes GP is like a country club compared to CRC and so is Palm Meadows, but what I want to see is how GP is going to treat the CRC owners and trainers that came to them for shelter in the summer, when all the big trainers return back down in the winter and need stalls. CRC has stated that to gain stalls after fleeing to GP will be quite difficult. It is a shame it has come to this and there is no right or wrong track, they both are to blame. CRC is not perfect but we all know it is about the $, with GP and even TBD with their two days of racing for the summer has classified both tracks as year round. The simulcast signal was always just CRC in the summer and the earnings from that helped to keep the purses at an acceptable level, (not great but acceptable) with the sharing of the signal the simulcast $ will now be divided up among the three tracks so again the CRC horsemen are in a losing battle. I am an owner and my husband is a trainer at CRC for the last six years, our family is local and we count on our income but at this point I think it is time for a new career!!!! Also serves to mention that CRC will not be closing on Nov 30th. They intend to continue to race head to head during the winter months on a three day week of racing. I don't see how everyone is going to be able to make it and this situation is going to cause havoc in many dedicated, honest and hard working horsemen in So FLA!!!! Maybe GP should just try to buy CRC and turn it into another training center like Palm Meadows or run on the opposite days so their only competition would be themselves!!!! Not sure if the state would allow it but the State is also to blame for all of this crap as well, they are the ones that issue the dates and give permission for the tracks to conduct racing!!!
ken n More than 1 year ago
Florida summer racing may come to an end.No one wins.
Donald More than 1 year ago
facilities,takeout,overlapping dates etc etc,never mind that ,tell me where the hell the horses are going to come from,unless I am mistaken Tampa ran a card on the weekend.i wish I had a buck for every 4 and 5 horse field at calder the last month,i do not bet the florida tracks anymore ,haven't regularly for years,play nyra,for the last 2 years and have done quite well,thank you very much,be careful what you wish for,you can always have 10 or 12 horse fields,and half the field shouldn't be in the gate ,never mind get past the vet.just don't see how all these tracks are viable,everybody wants full fields ,racing everyday,and casinos as well,the pie is only so big folks.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
Tampa Bay Downs ran on June 30th and July 1st because of a quirky Florida law regarding simulcasting - they are now dark till mid-December.
soroka More than 1 year ago
years, and more. Thank's for your support all these year's, get out. Welcome to America 2013. Say anything you want about the Stronach group. They are stand alone as the only entity to invest in the business of racing in recent history. Good or bad opinion of them they are tr.h ying. Calder has done nothing with goodwill over the year, it is time to move on.
soroka More than 1 year ago
Gotta love those CD corporat's. After getting slot's, not a penny goes into racing purse's or infrastructure. The facility has not had an upgrade........ever ? Longtime horse people that somehow survived there through the year's supporting the local product cannot ship over to GP for a race ? Some of these people have been there twenty or thirty
Jack Twee More than 1 year ago
"Gotta love those CD corporat's. After getting slot's, not a penny goes into racing purse's or infrastructure." Or the customers/horseplayers.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
well now that all the lesser prejudicial stuff is out of the way maybe they could get to the harder stuff like how to keep this sport minimally honest so people don't feel like they've just been mugged after placing a bet..now I know all the nay Sayers will come out and call me a sore looser I can deal with that knowing that as a pretty good handicapper I do okay.. But here's a simple question when was the last year you made a profit betting the horses?...if your honest with yourself the answer to that question will be the same that it is for 99% of horse bettors NEVER....as a former 1% I firmly believe that the dishonesty in racing is a big part of that. You can overcome the inerrant uncertainties of horseracing and the ridiculously high double taxation the high takeout rates but you cannot beat the cheats period....drf will sensor this as they do on all honesty related issues wich is sad because they as journalists should be the first to insist on clean racing and not be apologists for miracle trainers and bad apple jockeys.
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
of course you are right. i'm sure most of the naysayers are not even real fans or handicappers. i think they have other motives. I love the horse races but wonder lately if there are very many true races at all any more. how many races a day are there at any given track where none of the trainers have broken the rules getting their horse ready and all of the jockeys are actually trying to win the race? do you think there are many? any?
JoeyB More than 1 year ago
The fact is that there will not be enough horses to fill five race cards per week. Unless you like betting five and six horse fields the racing will be complete trash. Sure the horsemen love this because they are only concerned about themselves and not the betting public that keeps this game viable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ahh...corporate/big business greed is at it's peak. It's a clash of CDI vs. Stronach. I don't see how we can feel sorry for either party. Lets just speak up as horseplayers and play the tracks that offer the lowest takeouts.
Robert More than 1 year ago
agree 100%, there are 365 days in the year and they can't agree on how to divide them? GP should be smart and just be after 11/1 to 4/30.