Citing New Competition, Loss of Simulcast Revenue, Calder Cutting Purses 12%
Calder Casino & Race Course has announced a 12% aggregate reduction in overnight purses beginning Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. Minimum overnight purse levels will be at $10,500. Stakes purses will reduce slightly during the Tropical meet without elimination of stakes races or changes to grades. The revised total Tropical Stakes program of restricted and non-restricted stakes is valued at $2.5 million.
This necessary purse cut is a result of overlapping race days in south Florida in conjunction with the State of Florida’s abrupt change in historic interpretation of statutes pertaining to the hosting of in-state simulcasting signals. Since full card simulcasting began in Florida, purses generated by in-state wagering on Thoroughbred racing were required to be paid to horsemen competing at the racetrack currently running live. Historic qualification for a live race meet only allowed simulcasting during a live meet which consisted of three live race days a week.
“Purse dollars reflected in this cut have not evaporated,” said Vice President and General Manager of Racing John Marshall. “The State’s delay in addressing the issue enables purse dollars earned today to shift to other racetracks in the state, to be withheld from horsemen who are actually running live races, and to be paid in a future race meet.”
This policy permits purse dollars to be accumulated through the summer and fall by Tampa Bay Downs and be paid to horsemen later in the year when Tampa conducts its live race meet. The change in interpretation also recognizes Gulfstream’s two-day-a-week race schedule as a qualifying live race meet, which also diverts purse dollars from Calder.
“Neither Calder nor Gulfstream’s racing product can sustain existing purse levels while overlapping without purse reduction or independent subsidy,” added Marshall.
Live racing at Calder continues Fridays through Sundays with a 12:50 p.m. post time that changes to 12:30 p.m. beginning Sunday, September 1, and remains available at pari-mutuel locations nationwide.