The Friday Show Presented By Editorial, A Climax Stallion: A Return To Hialeah Glory?

by | 03.09.2018 | 9:16am
Hialeah Park currently has a Quarter Horse permit but could a deal be struck for Thoroughbred racing to return?

The word this week out of Florida shouldn't be all that surprising considering the bizarre nature of the state's racing regulations and loopholes. Churchill Downs Inc., has obtained a jai alai permit for Calder Racecourse, the racetrack currently being leased to the Stronach Group as Gulfstream Park West.

Why would the owner and operator of the Kentucky Derby want to put on the sport of jai alai?

In this edition of The Friday Show, Scott Jagow and Ray Paulick discuss the issue and how it could lead to an opportunity for grand old Hialeah Park.

Watch this week's Friday Show below and share your thoughts.

  • David Worley

    I really like the idea Scott and Ray proposed related to a Stronach-leased meet at Hialeah. I hope your opining via the Friday Show gets some attention.

  • David Burris

    Nothing wrong with professional Jai Alai. Exciting sport to bet on. Same for Quarter Horse racing. But, if you run it as a sham then in hurts the legitimate efforts.

  • Michael Castellano

    I’d love to vacation in Florida and go to a racing meet at old Hialeah, arguably once the nicest track in the country.

    • Moe Goldblatt

      I would like to vacation in San Bernardino and go to the cock fights.

    • Moe Goldblatt

      I would like to vacation in San Bernardino and go to the cock fights.

  • David

    Promised myself never to bet on anything where the players can simply turn their heads, see the odds and are in any way adept at hand signals. Florida really is the land of fantasy. Agreed, the racing portion of Calder – aka Gulfstream West – will soon be history. Resurrecting Hialeah would seem logical in order to run boutique meets to fill out a less-than-365 day season (July and August in south FL has all the charm of Turfway in January and February in KY). But as you guys suggest, this is FL so wouldn’t bet on it either (can’t believe you left out barrow racing in exchange for a slot license).

  • Brian Taylor

    This ‘sham racing’ in Florida reminds me of the old Groucho Marx joke from the movie Horsefeathers.”Have we got a college here?””Yes.””Have we got a football stadium here?””Yes.””Well we can’t afford both.Tomorrow we start tearing down the college.”The racing industry bought a bill of goods a decade or so ago.They thought casinos were going to save the industry.And so they made a deal with the devil.They thought they were being invited to a feast on which they could gorge themselves.It turned out to be the Donner Party,and THEY were on the menu.Now even Churchill Downs becomes one of our murderers.In a few years Aqueduct will probably be nothing more than a Resorts Casino and, oh…didn’t there used to be a racetrack here?

    • David Worley

      I agree. In a technical business sense, the racing industry chose to accept a subsidy that enabled it to not make hard changes.

      The good news is as the subsidies die, changes will have to be made.

  • Name

    Hialeah would be the “best of all” Breeders’ Cup venue.

    • Michael Castellano


  • Miss the Magic

    Casinos are a cancer that eventually kills the host. Last year leaving the Preakness I saw happy people that had a great time. I have never seen a happy person leaving a casino. The one thing I don’t understand about horse racing is WHY don’t they treat horse players the same as casinos treat their player. I can go and pay $65 and play in a poker tournament for 3 to 4 hours, have drinks and food brought to me……… then I go downstairs bet $200 on a race I stand in line to make the bet then I stand in line to get a $3 soft drink and a $4 hot dog I would need to find a place to eat it, at the poker room they bring me a little table by my nice comfy chair. This is at every track. why isn’t the horse player treated as good as the poker player?????????

    • Ruby Rosa

      You have a very valid point However cost to keep racing compared to poker is what is driving this So wish Hialeah would host TB’s but his kids are not for racing only$$$$

  • CEOmike

    I swear it seems most of the people in horse racing administration are there because they have been hit in the head by a horse too many times.

    If you went into a Vegas casino hall how many kids and families would you see?

    So having casinos at the track is like saying you are child molesters, no parent in his right mind is going to take their kids through all the gambling crap to get to a now half deserted grandstand.

    No families, means what you eventually get are – NO-ONE. What is happening now is all those boomers who had money to play slots etc are dying and now we are left with middle aged divorcees looking for action. Gulfstream plays into that very well.

    What is the difference between European racing and Australian racing which are healthy and US racing which is not – casinos.

  • David Worley

    After thinking about this a bit, here’s a suggestion. Allow CDI to keep their slots permit but require the purse contributions to go to racing at Hialeah. Perhaps diminish the payment slightly (as a carrot for CDI to comply) but make the payment go to funding renovations and operations for a Stronach led lease of Hialeah. It’s a win for horsepeople; a win for fans; a win for Stronach and the turf course at Gulfstream, and a partial win for CDI if they can lessen their cash outlay.

    Thoughts? Too rational for Florida politics?

  • theosmachine

    Bring back Hialeah to horse racing glory again.
    It is a shame what has happen to Calder and this should be a cautionary tale for the sport of kings. Eventually greed will always win out but hey at least the stockholders will benefit. Sad!

  • Bob C

    Everybody within the Thoroughbred industry should boycott the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks days. Hit CDI where it’s hurts—on the their two most profitable days. And while we’re at it let the general public know shabbily horse people are being treated by an organization that claims to care about horse racing. Snakes in the grass—that’s what CDI is.

  • Monrovia Damon

    Hot damn this track is gorgeous. I’d love to see this idea grow some legs

  • Barrmorr

    As I am not a fan of Gulfstream Park I would love to see racing return to Hialeah. The only drawback to the idea is the Stronach Group would likely be involved. As far as Churchill Downs and their ridiculous idea of Jai Alai so they can keep their casino this is another example why no race track should have a casino on the grounds. Whenever this is the situation horse racing fans are treated like second class citizens or worse. Churchill Downs owned Hollywood Park which is now being turned into a football stadium. With the exception of 2 days a year it has become clear that Churchill Downs cares less and less about horse racing. Matt Wynn must be turning over in his grave.

  • Elle D

    How we had hoped for Hialeah’s return. Not of any consequence now since I’m in Kentucky, but I’d make my way there if it ever hosted BC. Although, unlikely to happen.

  • mike

    love to see the thoroughbreds back to Hialeah. It could be a win -win for everyone , one of the best turf courses in the country.

  • Chrissy Gentry

    It is a fact in life that things change as society changes. I understand the need to want to hold onto the past, but sometimes it is best to let the past go and move on with the future. Thorougbred racing has had it’s problems and the welfare of animals are a growing concern in society. It’s quality that matters, not quantity. When you concentrate on the numbers, quality goes downhill.

    Thoroughbred racing needs to invest more money into their horses, and it needs to be reported. So much money being made by the industry with so many reports about breakdowns and unnecessary medications. The industry sounds like a bunch of greedy people looking to risk the welfare of horses for thrills and money.

    Some want jai lai, let them have it. Stop fighting it. Hopefully the last ones standing in racing will be those that genuinely care about the animals first, then the sport.

    The sport needs to be pruned back, from the breeding shed to the racetrack. Quality, not quantity.

    It is a shame that what was meant to support horse racing (casinos) now wants to get rid of racing, but if we stop looking at how unfair that sounds, maybewe will see that people are speaking and there are those in the industry that are listening. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in a casino and the discussion turned on racing where I’ve heard others say I used play the ponies or doggies, but then I’ve learned of what happens to the animals and I quit it.

    I miss my 20-40.00 days at the track. Those were fun days, until things started not to look right and I learned, from various sources, how grievous some things were. Now, I go to the casino and have had to up my limit to 80.00, but I am selective and play the cheap machines so I usually do ok. I can break even or win or I lose my 80.00, but I sleep better at night.

    I still like to keep track of the horses at times, but I don’t invest my money because I question too much about the welfare of the horses. This is a good thing.

    I give tons of credit to the editorials that do report the good, the bad, and the ugly, at all cost. Paulick report is top notch in the industry there. This tells me that they care about what is happening to the animals and want to pave an avenue for change, even if that means losing some popularity in their editorials and fans of horse racing. It is the right thing to do and it is places like this that give us hope for the future.

    That’s my overall opinion on the topic of growing the industry, and there were some valuable points in the video on reviving Hialeah. I just think every attempt will eventually fall apart if the root of the problem is not addressed, which there has been strides there, there just needs to be more.

    • Chrissy Gentry

      We should see beautiful stalls for horses and more grazing in the grass. At the finish line the horses should be treated as heroes and capture the moment on camera. Often I see a tired looking horse get nothing but a rare, occasional pat on the neck while the connections celebrate looking as if they barely acknowledge the horse involved.

      I remember being at a track one day where a famous, great mare just finish winning an esteemed stakes race. The connections were celebrating in the winners area when the trainer then looks at the mare with disdain and said, “Get her out of here,” as if she was ruining their party. It grossed me out.

      Whatever his intention, it looked really bad and that moment left a huge impression on me.

      There needs to be more security so meds aren’t abused, amongst other things.

  • bonniemcdo

    Saratoga is my favorite meet. Everyone gets to see the horses in the paddock. They walk across the street to the track. Between the main track and the Oklahoma track it is all horses all the time. Belmont has a great paddock but the place is huge and empty. Like some old air plane hanger. And Aqueduct is like having races at a subway stop. The horses are in a pit that is the paddock. But….Aqueduct is where many late blooming two year olds, especially ny breds, get to start their careers. And I love the Wood Memorial and other stakes races at the Big A. Racing needs better press, better stories and to try and bring in younger fans.

  • Kai

    Would absolutely love to see thoroughbred racing back at Hialeah Park. That track holds some of my best memories.

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