MIAMI GARDENS, Fla., Feb. 28, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Calder Casino & Race Course ("Calder") today amended its race dates request for the 2011-2012 racing season as part of its final dates submission to the Florida Department of Pari-Mutuel Wagering. Calder's amended request calls for live racing from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 2, 2011, and from April 9, 2012, through June 30, 2012. Calder plans to conduct a total of 150 live racing programs during the calendar year of 2011.
"We are planning a racing schedule for the upcoming season that will position Calder to continue leading South Florida and the nation in the training and development of juvenile racehorses as they begin their careers while providing year-round stabling and training facilities for horsemen and horsewomen who call Florida home," said Calder's Vice President and General Manager John Marshall. "Calder and its parent company, Churchill Downs Incorporated ("CDI"), are deeply committed to Thoroughbred racing in South Florida and to the local horsemen who stable with us year round and form the backbone of the entire region's racing product. We are also deeply committed to the fans and customers of Thoroughbred racing both in Florida and around the country. In late 2011 and into 2012, we are trying something different. Calder will end live racing on Dec. 2, 2011, and resume live racing on April 9, 2012. We think this schedule gives the local South Florida horsemen the best opportunity to generate a competitive product while maximizing regional racing opportunities.
"Many have asked us about our views regarding both Calder and Gulfstream Park running year-round schedules," Marshall continued. "We are of the opinion that such an outcome would mean the end of the South Florida racing circuit and deny local horsemen the chance to make a living as they currently do. Tracks running head to head would lead to a compromised racing product that would be of little interest to horseplayers across the country. While South Florida racing may one day face this outcome, Calder and CDI would view that approach as a tragedy for the tens of thousands of families that depend on Florida's horse racing industry to make a living.