01/18/2002 1:00AM

Hialeah files for 2003 dates


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Hialeah Park has filed for racing dates with the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for the 2003 season even though it chose not run a meet in 2002 after the deregulation of racing dates in the state. Hialeah applied to run from Feb. 1 through May 15.

"I have always maintained the theory that the winter racing season in south Florida should run for seven months, from Oct. 15 through May 15, and that those dates should be split evenly between Gulfstream Park and Hialeah," John J Brunetti Sr., chairman of Hialeah, said on Friday. "Which is why we applied for the last three and a half months of that period for next season."

Brunetti is hoping for some type of racing bill to be passed during the current legislative session that would rescind deregulation and give him a chance to reopen Hialeah next year without head-to-head competition from either Calder Race Course or Gulfstream Park. As a result of deregulation, either Gulfstream or Calder will run on all but one of Hialeah's traditional racing dates in 2002. Gulfstream applied to race from Jan. 3 through April 25 in 2003, similiar to its schedule this year.