MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2010) – Trainer Kathleen O’Connell goes into the final two days of Calder’s Tropical Meet with 16 wins and a narrow lead of one over closest rival Steve Dwoskin second with 15 and Bill White and Marty Wolfson tied for third only two back with 14 tallies apiece.
O’Connell has ranked in the top 10 on the trainers’ leader board as often as not for Calder and Tropical meets for more than a decade, but never has won a championship here. O’Connell holds a strong hand for the last two programs with runners entered in four races Friday and three on Saturday’s closing day card.
Jockey Eibar Coa shifted his tack to South Florida from New York earlier than usual for the fall/winter season, arriving in time for the beginning of the Tropical Meet in late October, and leads veteran rival Manoel Cruz by four at 60-56 with 22 races to be run.
Coa won three straight Tropical Meet titles from 1996-98 and Cruz has won the crown the last two years and three times overall. Apprentice Luis Saez remains a clear third with 50 victories. Luis Arango is a distant fourth with 24 wins and Eduardo Nunez fifth at 21.
The leading owner, trainer and jockey will be honored in winner’s circle presentations following the ninth, tenth and 11th races on Saturday, Jan. 2.
Simulcasting & Poker Continue at Calder after Live Meet; Slots Facility to Open Late January
The final live racing day of the 2009 Tropical Meet at Calder is Saturday, Jan. 2, but simulcasting and live poker action at Studz Poker Club both continue every day and night all year long. The full line-up of simulcast tracks includes Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Tampa Bay Downs, Oaklawn Park and more.
Studz Poker Club, conveniently located on the first floor of the grandstand, is open from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. and 24 hours on weekends. Studz features a variety of promotions in January, including the horseracing-themed “Racing for Quads” promo.
Meanwhile, anticipation for the brand new Calder Casino, featuring over 1,200 slot machines and three new restaurants, continues to build as the facility aims for a late January opening.
Groundbreaking on the 104,000-square foot slots casino took place on June 3, 2009. Once completed, approximately 250-300 additional team members will provide service to Calder guests and the new facility. Improvements to the quality of Calder’s racing program will be encouraged by purse supplements derived from the added gaming sources.
Guests will be able to make wagers on live and simulcast racing in the slots facility, too, and a number of television monitors are dedicated to the wide-range of racetracks offered. A schedule of exciting casino promotions is being developed for slots enthusiasts, and gamers are encouraged to join Calder’s player-reward program, the Twin Spires Club.
The Twin Spires Club rewards players with “points, prizes and privileges” at Calder for whatever they play: slots, horses or poker. For those who wish to sign up for the Twin Spires Slots Rewards card ahead of time, Calder’s web site has an online registration page at http://www.calderracecourse.com/loyalty. New members will automatically receive casino mailings and offers, including an invitation to the Grand Opening in January. As an added bonus, new members receive a free 2009 Kentucky Derby Glass and $10 in free Twin Spires slots play.