TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) — In a deal tying two major South Florida horse tracks, the company that runs Gulfstream Park will start operating racing at Calder Race Course, according to an announcement Wednesday.
The deal is between The Stronach Group, which operates Gulfstream in Hallandale Beach, and Churchill Downs, Inc., which operates Calder in Miami Gardens.
Churchill Downs said in a news release that the agreement will include leasing Calder’s racetrack to The Stronach Group, which will operate racing under Calder’s permits. The Stronach Group will run the minimum number of race days at Calder as required by law and will run races at other times of the year at Gulfstream, according to the news release.
Churchill Downs will continue to own and operate Calder Casino.
The news release said the agreement, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will be in effect through 2020 and also involves issues such as contracts for simulcast wagering and Churchill Downs’ interest in HRTV, a horse-racing television channel.
In a statement posted on the Churchill Downs website, company President and Chief Operating Officer William Carstanjen said the deal makes sense for all of the parties in the thoroughbred racing industry in South Florida.
“Without this arrangement, there is no other apparent, viable long- term solution to preserving racing in South Florida on a year-round basis,” he said. “In addition, CDI (Churchill Downs) and TSG (The Stronach Group) addressed the future of their HRTV partnership and other outstanding topics of discussion between the companies, all of which sets the stage for a mutually productive working relationship going forward.”
“The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.”