Saturday, July 20, 2013

Stallion Stakes Series Begins at Calder - maybe for the last time

by Jim Freer

Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course will both have stakes races today as they begin their third weekend of head-to-head racing.Calder will have the bigger story as it holds the first two races in the annual Florida Stallion Stakes series for 2-year-olds.

But it could be the start of a last hurrah for Calder which has been the home of the Stallion Stakes series since its inception in 1982.

The series, with divisions for males and for fillies, will continue on Aug. 24 and end on Oct. 10. Until this year, Calder has been the only Florida track running during the summer and fall.

This month Gulfstream and Calder both applied with the sponsoring Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and owners Association (Florida TBOA) to hold the series in 2014.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Calder vs. Gulfstream

by Jim Freer

When the name at the top of a TV monitor or a computer screen is Gulfstream, many fans around the country will bet on a race even if it doesn’t have horses like Orb or jockeys like John Velazquez.

That’s the biggest lesson of the second weekend of head-to-head racing between Gulfstream Park and Calder Casino & Race Course.

Gulfstream walloped Calder 4-1 in the battle for bettors, with a combined $5.5 million to $1.4 million in all-sources handle on Saturday July 13 and Sunday July 14.

The Gulfstream numbers met the expectations of the track’s president Tim Ritvo. For months he has been saying that the Gulfstream brand would be a national attraction during the track’s first summer meet—although certainly not as luring and star-studded as its traditional winter meet.