Casino & Race Course concluded its 92-day Calder Meet on Friday, Sept. 30,
and will start its 45-day Tropical Meet on Saturday, Oct. 1. Calder
conducts live Thoroughbred horse racing during the two consecutive meets,
offers year-round simulcasting, slots action in the Calder Casino, and poker
games and tournaments in its Studz Poker Club.
2011 Calder Meet was highlighted by a number of memorable stakes events,
including the Summit of Speed on (July 9). Jerry Romans
4-year-old filly Sassy Image won the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) on
Summit of Speed day in dramatic fashion. Under Hall of Fame jockey Mike
Smith, Sassy Image came from far off the pace in the six-furlong event to win
by a neck over Musical Romance for trainer Dale Romans.
the same afternoon, Shivananda Parboo’s 5-year-old horse Giant Ryan edged past
the pace-setting Irrefutable in the final strides to win the $350,000 Smile
Sprint Handicap (G2) with jockey Cornelio Velasquez in the irons. He is
trained at Calder by Bisnath Parboo. Also on Summit of Speed day,
Devilish Lady won the $150,000 Azalea Stakes (G3) and Indiano took the $200,000
Carry Back Stakes (G2).
annual tribute to 2-year-old racehorses, the Juvenile Showcase, was held
on Aug. 27 and again displayed racing’s up-and-coming stars, including Jacks or
Better Farm’s homebred 2-year-old colt Fort Loudon, who is one step closer to a
sweep of the 2011 Florida Stallion Stakes after winning the $125,000 Affirmed
Division and the $75,000 Dr. Fager Division. He is trained by Stanley
Gold. The $300,000-est. In Reality Division will be held on Festival
of the Sun day, Oct. 15 at Calder.
during the 2011 Calder Meet, on Sept. 4, Harold Queen’s 2010 Eclipse champion
sprinter Big Drama returned from a layoff of more than 6 ½ months with a very
impressive 2 ¼ lengths victory in the $75,000 Whippleton overnight stakes at
Calder, a race that should put him on track to defend his title in the $1.5
million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Sat., Nov. 5.
the 2011 Calder Meet jockey standings was the defending champion, Luis Saez
with 142 wins. It was a landslide victory as second-place finisher Jose
Alvarez rode 77 winners at the meet. Finishing third in the standings
with 73 wins was Juan Leyva.
a runaway winner in the standings was trainer Antonio Sano, earning his first
leading trainer’s title in North America. The native of Venezuela won 46
races at the meet, while Bisnath Parboo had 26 winners. Not far behind
was Bill White with 24 victories.
race for leading owner honors went down to the last race on Friday’s card, with
Sherry Parbhoo accepting the trophy after winning 19 races. Frank
Calabrese was second with 18 winners, and Jacks or Better Farm came in third
with 15 trips to the winner’s circle during the season.
45-day Tropical Meet begins on October 1 and concludes on December 2,
2011. The Tropical Meet features several important Graded stakes
races. Noteworthy dates include: the Festival of the Sun (Oct.
15); simulcast of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 4 and 5; The
Florida Million (Nov. 12); major stakes races on Oct. 1, Nov. 24 & 26,
and Dec. 2.
presents the 20th renewal of the Festival of the Sun in
2011. One of Calder’s signature events, the Festival of the Sun
presents five stakes races worth a total $850,000, including the rich finals of
the Florida Stallion Stakes: the $300,000-est. In Reality Division and the
$300,000-est. My Dear Girl Division. The Florida Stallion Stakes program,
now in its 30th year, was created to promote Florida-bred
Thoroughbreds and the $5 billion industry that supports them. The day
also features the $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap (G3), $75,000 Tropical Park
Derby, and $75,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes.
The Florida Million, now in
its tenth year, features eight stakes races for registered Florida-breds worth
first race post time for the Tropical Meet is 12:30 p.m. Exceptions are on
Breeders’ Cup Saturday (post time 12 p.m.) and Thanksgiving Day (post time 11
a.m.). Admission to both the grandstand and clubhouse is free; parking is
also free, with valet service also available.