12/04/2012 6:18PM

Gulfstream Park will assist Calder horsemen with stall rent payments

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Gulfstream Park officials said Tuesday the track will pay stall rent for horses stabled at Calder Race Course who ship over and participate at its meet during the month of December. The 2012-13 Gulfstream meet opened last Saturday and continues through April 5.

Details of the plan were still vague Tuesday afternoon, but Tim Ritvo, the president of Gulfstream, said the intention of the plan is to help horsemen stabled at Calder year-round who did not learn until October – after stall applications had already closed at both Gulfstream and Tampa Bay Downs – that they would be assessed rent of $10 per stall, per day for horses who stable on the grounds during the offseason. The 2012 Calder meet ended on Nov. 30 and its 2013 session is not scheduled to begin until April 9.

It was unclear how much Gulfstream was planning to pay horsemen for each individual starter.

“There are no strings attached,” Ritvo said. “We simply want to help the horsemen and work with them through a very difficult time. We understand how much they contribute to our program and also how much some of them are struggling through Calder’s unprecedented decision.”

Ritvo said the current plan is for the month of December only.

“We will continue working with the horsemen on solutions for the future,” he said.

On Friday, following an emergency meeting, a number of Calder horsemen decided to either withhold entries for Wednesday’s program at Gulfstream Park or withdraw entries already made for that card. As a result, Gulfstream drew only eight-race programs for this Wednesday and Thursday. The situation eased up a bit by Sunday when entries were taken for Friday’s card, with racing secretary Dan Bork able to fill nine races, with nearly a third of the almost 100 horses listed on the program coming from Calder.

Typically about 40 percent of the entries during the course of the Gulfstream Park meeting come from horses who reside year-round at Calder, according to track officials.

“Like the horsemen, we wish we knew about Calder’s decision to charge rent before we allocated our stalls at Gulfstream and Palm Meadows,” Ritvo said. “If we knew of Calder’s intentions before our stalls were allocated, we would have assigned our stalls differently and even constructed new barns to help avert this situation.”

Phil Combest, president of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, expressed the gratitude of the Calder horsemen for Gulfstream Park’s support.

“The FHBPA and all south Florida horsemen are extremely grateful to Gulfsteam Park and Tim Ritvo for stepping up and providing this monetary assistance,” said Combest. “This onerous and completely unprecedented stall fee was dropped on the horsemen at the last minute by Calder management. Many Calder horsemen were on the brink of going out of business because they simply cannot afford the fee. At the minimum, this move provides some breathing room.”

Bob Adams More than 1 year ago
In the next few weeks the big Northern stables will have horses coming back from layoffs to gear up for the Gulfstream meet, end of story. Just the never ending ploy by Churchill to try and screw up other operators meets. Outside of the Derby which everyone dreams of winning Churchill is nothing more than a Fair meet. When survival and money are the bottom line, governments and track operators like to get to the feed tub first and forget everyone else. Again another example of a hurting industry shooting it's self in the foot.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I am not a member of, nor a spokesman for Florida Horsemans' Association but if you want more info on this topic they are holding a meeting immediately after the last race on Thursday at the Ten Palms. You can get more at fhbpa.com
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
That meeting on 20 December is for members of fhbpa...
mikey More than 1 year ago
Workers comp can be paid by a surcharge of 50 $$ or maybe even less on the stud fee.And a surcharge on the sale of foal's A small charge of 50 or 100 $$$ will not stop owner's from breeding os buying at the sale's.I think these guy's will spend 1.000 100.00 for a horse instead of a 1.000.000.00.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
translation to follow
Dennis Whalen More than 1 year ago
Tim Ritvo get some kind of workers comp in order ! Pay per stall, if other places can do this Florida also can. But you and the rest of the good old boys just don't give a damn
mikey More than 1 year ago
Until the day racing has a man at the top all the snakes that own track's will try to kill off the other's.
Bob Lunny More than 1 year ago
Scrooge is alive and well at Calder. I guess Churchill wants all the money.
Dennis Whalen More than 1 year ago
The Calder horsemen are Mostly CUBAN'S they live in the area and at the track in the empty feed rooms that they make home. Do you really think they would move anywhere ? They have a Casino and purses are low and they can care less. This locals are loved by Churchill Downs. Workers comp pay per stall works comp included, this is the way go
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Thank you Dennis the Racist.
russell More than 1 year ago
I kinda agree Chad. The takeout at Hialeah was absurd before they closed. But, But, when i was there in 1995 the track and grounds were in better condition than Gulfstream. No way Gulfstream or any Magna track should have a monopoly. That is the point here.
Jeffrey Cobb More than 1 year ago
I must disagree Russell. There is nothing wrong with the way the grounds at GP are maintained. Methinks you have a chip on your shoulder with regards to the current management at GP Audentes Fortuna Juvat
russell More than 1 year ago
this was before the Gulfstream renovation. I haven't been to the"new" building.
russell More than 1 year ago
Calder has to fight for its survival. They saw Gulfstream destroy Hialeah and Im sure they don't want to be next.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Brunetti destroyed Hialeah and needed no help from anyone.
Jeffrey Cobb More than 1 year ago
The fact is Calder has very little interest in the horse racing business other than running just enough thorobred racing to maintain their casino license. I have met several horsemen at Calder over the course of the most recent season. Without exception they have nothing good to say about the way Calder is running their racing operation. There is a push among casino owners like the one at Mardi Gras, formerly the Hollywood Dog Track, and probably CD too to get out of the racing business altogether. I say good riddance to bad rubbish Audentes Fortuna Juvat
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
It is sad that these tracks "fuss and feud"..every year its something else. If we didn't know better we'd think these guys were in Washington.