08/26/2005 12:00AM

Hurricane shuts Calder


Calder Race Course was forced to cancel live racing on Friday because of the effects of Hurricane Katrina, which had pounded the south Florida area the previous evening. The track did conduct simulcast wagering as scheduled on Friday. Live racing was expected to resume Saturday.

Friday's cancellation was the second resulting from a hurricane this meet. The July 10 Summit of Speed card was postponed one day because of Hurricane Dennis.

"We sustained a lot of damage to the grounds, although no horses or people were injured during the storm," Calder's president, Ken Dunn, said Friday. "There was a lot of debris, trees, and fences blown down, some barn roofs peeled back, and just too much cleaning up to do to operate our live program today. In addition, we lost our power at 5:43 p.m. on Thursday and did not have it restored until 9:25 this morning.

"It's too early to put an actual dollar value on the damage," said Dunn, "but from the looks of things this is the worst damage we've sustained here dating back to Hurricane Andrew. And from an overall mess and cleanup effort, this storm was even worse than Andrew, since this storm blew right over top of us while Andrew hit further south."

Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in August 1992.

Friday's 10-race card will be run in its entirety on Monday. In addition, the $100,000 Aspidistra Stakes on the turf was postponed from Saturday's card and will now be run as part of a 14-race program on Labor Day.

Gulfstream Park was also in the direct path of Hurricane Katrina but suffered minimal damage, according to the track's president, Scott Savin.

"We incurred no damage to the barn area or racetrack," said Savin. "We did have some roof trusses on the new building torn apart, which will probably set construction back about five to seven days."