12/08/2011 2:45PM

Hialeah opens Quarter Horse meet


Historic Hialeah Park will open its doors Saturday for its third season of Quarter Horse racing. The 42 day 2011-2012 meet will run through Feb. 19.

Racing will be conducted Fridays through Sundays, with the lone exceptions being racing on Monday, Dec. 26. instead of Christmas Day.

Hialeah will offer a full simulcast schedule from Gulfstream, which runs Wednesdays through Sundays.

Hialeah Park, which held its first Thoroughbred meet in 1925, had its license revoked in 2004 but reopened for Quarter Horse racing for the first time on Nov. 28, 2009. The track received a slots license last December and broke ground in September on a new slots building that is expected to be finished in the fall of 2012. Hialeah is embroiled in litigation with Calder Race Course and Flagler Dog Track, which are claiming legislation to allow the track to offer slot machines is unconstitutional. In early October, the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee affirmed a lower court decision that the law was constitutional.

The 2011-12 stakes schedule will include four $100,000 races topped by the Hialeah Derby on Dec. 31 and the South Florida Quarter Horse Derby on closing day.