Updated on 10/16/2013 8:50AM

Gulfstream Park withholds signals from Calder


MIAMI – Gulfstream Park has begun withholding its simulcast signal and those of any other tracks distributed by the Monarch Content Management Co., including Santa Anita, from neighboring Calder Racecourse. Gulfstream Park and Calder are located approximately eight miles apart and have been racing in conflict with one another since July 1.

Monarch Content Management is owned by the Stronach Group and distributes simulcast signals for Gulfstream Park, all California tracks, Laurel, Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, and Tampa Bay Downs. According to company officials, those signals combine for nearly $3 billion in handle annually.

Among the signals withheld from Calder on Saturday during its Festival of the Sun program were those from Gulfstream, Santa Anita, Laurel Park, Golden Gate, and Portland Meadows.    

According to Chief Operating Officer Tim Ritvo, Gulfstream management has filed two complaints with the state of Florida against Calder. The first for illegally distributing the Gulfstream signals to other area parimutuel facilities without permission from the host track and the second for failure to pay approximately $5 million in past-due simulcast monies owed to Gulfstream Park.

John Marshall, vice president and general manager of racing for Calder, did admit his track inadvertently and improperly sent the Gulfstream signal to nearby Mardi Gras Casino last Saturday and said that error has been corrected.

“We informed Gulfstream of the error once discovering what had happened,” Marshall said.  “But there is a contract between the Stronach Group and Churchill Downs that is very specific to give a 10-day notice of any disputes on the signals and they [Stronach Group] decided to cut off the content without giving any notice, which is just more example of Gulfstream’s behavior in thinking that they’re not accountable to follow the rules, whether contractual or statutorial.”