Calder and Gulfstream: Burger King and McDonald’s?
Lonny Powell, president and CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, said that with just days to go before Gulfstream launches its summer meet in competition with Calder Race Course, he is still hopeful that the schedule can be done in a way that benefits racing in the state.
“We don’t want to see a bloodbath down there,” Powell told the Ocala Star Banner. “The best case we can hope for from the FTBOA’s perspective and the horsemen’s perspective, if they are both going to operate at the same time, is that they work a deal out with each other where they at least try to cooperate on a racing week where they are not running their dates on top of each other.”
Trainer David Fawkes believes that if both tracks ran in the same summer on different dates, it would give bettors more options in the sunshine state, and both could thrive.
“McDonald’s and Burger King have stayed across form each other for years and both done well,” Fawkes pointed out.
If a scheduling deal isn’t worked out however, competition could have brutal consequences. Powell believes Gulfstream will likely offer higher purses, drawing horsemen away from Calder. Given Calder’s policy not to allow horses to return from a trip between its backstretch and Gulfstream, competing dates could empty out the Calder race cards.
Read more at the Ocala Star Banner