Updated on 10/16/2013 9:50AM

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.”

Hal Lenox More than 1 year ago
Its not just Stronach. Florida Racing Commission is supposed to regulate and set guidelines, dates , and generally control the industry ,is and has been AT FAULT FOR YEARS.
Marilyn C. Wells More than 1 year ago
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
These guys are as bad as CONGRESS -- play nice children !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horsemen have also taken note of GP activities. Watch the growing list of trainers that have applied for stalls at FG OP good money and easier company. But the best reason is the tracks themselves.they are great to train on unlike GP and the other fl training tracks which tend to be very hard on the horses
JoeyB More than 1 year ago
Anyone who thinks Calder will shut down is in dreamland. The casino is raking in tons of money so they need racing to keep their casino open.
Walter More than 1 year ago
CDI is just getting a taste of its own medicine. In Kentucky, they are trying to put Turfway out of business, they took their fall meet from them. In Chicago, they are trying to put Hawthorne out of business, they froze out the Illinois Derby from the points system. Years ago, GP & Crc combined to put Hialeah out of business. Turnabout is fair play
Abc More than 1 year ago
Walter, the horsemen in KY asked CDI to take those dates in September because Turfway couldn't support them. CDI isn't trying to put Turfway out of business, the state of KY is (won't approve slots while all surrounding states save Tennessee have). Second, how is CDI trying to put Hawthorne out of business? By not including the Illinois Derby as a Derby prep "points" race? Ooohh. I don't know the details about Hialeah, but most people would suggest that Florida racing officials should have been dealing with three racetracks located within 20 miles of each other. They are the reason for the current mess in the state (well, them and Stronach's greed).
nick More than 1 year ago
Dear abc, Maybe you should.look closer onto Illinois racing before you comment. Yes, it is readily apparent that CDI would LOVE to put Hawthorne out of business. The business with the Illinois Derby is just one aspect of it. There is a lot more.
Charles Sakach More than 1 year ago
I have to admit that I wondered why these tracks were both running at same time. It seems to me that Gulfstream should have been dark (like it would have been in past years) during this part of the calendar. Moreover, what I truly find sad is the demise of thoroughbred racing at Hialeah. All I can think of is that this was contributed to by both Gulfstream and Calder. The sadness comes from all of the history associated with Hialeah from some of the greatest thoroughbreds that ever existed. (I recall a time when the Flamingo Stakes was on par with the Florida Derby.) Never having the opportunity to actually visit any of the Florida tracks, I have been told by several "old timers" that Hialeah was one of the most prettiest tracks in North America. I would like to see the Florida Racing Commission find a way to arrange dates so that all of the Florida tracks can run without conflict. (Tampa can run concurrent with Gulfstream as it does now.) What is obvious to me is that the Florida Racing Commission may be in Stronach's pocket. (That old geezer needs to lighten up.)
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I had the pleasure of seeing live racing at all three venues. Raced at Calder and Gulfstream. Hialeah was in fact a beautiful track with wonderful history. One time when there a long time ago, met a guy who wanted to talk about it, and the great times he had there after the war. At one time considered the greatest track on earth. But eventually as time marched on it was in a rather bad area. The flamingo flock lives there year round, and every day they had the flight of the flamingos and played music to it. Kind of funny as someone had to chase them into the air, but a nice tradition, as they circled the infield for a while then came back down to the inner lakes.
Jay Stone More than 1 year ago
Things must be pretty bad when DRF starts posting derogatory religious rantings from idiots. Freedom of speech is great but when someone starts using religions as part of the problem that takes the first ammendment too far.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
I agree... Who IS that Nazi doosh wannabe?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will not Play any races from GP Stronach group has pushed its weight around way to much for me. They can put there racino where the sun don't shine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the long run greed will kill this game. Stronach is in it for himself he is not good for racing.