01/08/2011 2:02PM

Track applies for year-round dates


MIAMI – Calder Race Course has responded to Gulfstream Park’s decision last week to apply to the Florida Division of Business and Professional Regulation for racing dates in December 2011 by announcing its intention to race year-round beginning in April and continuing through 2012. The December dates traditionally have belonged to Calder.

According to Michelle Blanco, director of advertising and public relations at Calder, the track has filed an application with the Florida Division of Business and Professional Regulation to race from July  1, 2011 until June 30, 2012. Calder, which is owned by Churchill Downs Inc., filed last year to run from April 25 through June 30, 2011, and still plans to run those dates. The fiscal calendar in Florida runs from July 1 through June 30 each season.

The 2011-12 application calls for racing on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only with the exception of the following Mondays: July 4, Sept. 5, and May 28, 2012. From April 25 through June 30, 2011, the regular four-day-per-week schedule of Thursdays through Sundays will apply. Calder and Gulfstream have until Feb. 28 to amend their original dates applications.

Calder officials declined to comment further on the new dates request.

Tim Ritvo, vice president of racing at Gulfstream, responded to Calder’s application by saying “we’re not infringing on Calder’s dates by running in December but simply realigning our racing schedule for next year in a move that we believe is in the best interests of the racing industry in south Florida.”

Mike Rogers, vice president of racing and gaming for MI Developments, said Saturday he had contacted Bill Carstanjen, chief operating officer at Churchill Downs Inc., and that the two agreed to meet and discuss the dates issue sometime within the next two weeks.