Lifting the quarantine allows 60 horses to resume normal training and racing activity at Calder. Horses from outside of Calder, such as those stabled at Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows training center, are open to participate at Calder without restriction as those facilities are again permitting travel to and from the track.
December is a high profile month at Calder’s Tropical Meet, featuring competition among an already talented local contingent with horses shipping south for the winter racing season. “Now that the quarantine is behind us, we are back to showcasing a level of competitive racing that racing fans expect of Calder this time of year,” Marshall said.
Two weeks of live racing remain on the 2009 Tropical Meet calendar, with the final day of the season on Jan. 2, 2010. Four Graded stakes races will be featured in this time: the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (G2), $100,000 Kenny Noe, Jr. Handicap (G3), and $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (G3) all on Saturday, Dec. 26; and the $100,000 Tropical Park Derby (G3) on New Year’s Day. The Tropical Park Derby is the first derby of the New Year in the country and is recognized as the first step on the national Triple Crown trail.
As the Tropical Meet reaches a crescendo at Calder, anticipation is also building for the opening of the track’s new slots facility – the Calder Casino – in late January 2010. The 104,000-square foot casino will feature over 1,200 slot machines and three new restaurants. Calder also offers year-round simulcasting and live poker action in Studz Poker Club.