Calder Race Course Unable to Simulcast Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks Race Cards Due to Ongoing Horsemen's Dispute

The Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (“KYHBPA”) is preventing Calder Race Course from offering wagering on the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby and its sister race, the Kentucky Oaks, at Churchill Downs this Saturday, May 3.

The Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (“FHBPA) had previously denied Calder permission to distribute its simulcast signal to inter-state (ISW) and advanced-deposit wagering (“ADW”) sites when the track opened its meet on April 21.

Horsemen’s groups in Ohio, Delaware, Maryland and Kentucky subsequently blocked their state’s racing signals from coming into Calder and its in-state network for simulcasting. The action of the Kentucky horsemen includes blocking Calder from accepting wagers on this weekend’s Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race cards, which occur on Friday May 2, and Saturday May 3. All other races from Churchill Downs will be unavailable at Calder as well.

“It’s very disappointing that fans in the South Florida marketplace are being denied the opportunity to wager on the Kentucky Derby, the country’s most important horse race,” said Churchill Downs President Steve Sexton. “We have an impressive race day and wish the horsemen would allow Calder’s patrons to enjoy it.”

Because of the FHBPA’s refusal to approve the distribution of Calder races to out-of-state wagering outlets, including ADW sites, the racetrack was forced to cut purses by 30 percent, effective with the April 27 race card.

“We have attempted to discuss a purse contract with the Florida horsemen, but they refuse to do so without a slots agreement, on which we have diligently tried to reach resolution over the last several months. This demand is especially frustrating since 2008 purses will not be affected by the slots agreement,” said Sexton “At a time when our sport’s visibility is at its highest, the horsemen have chosen to alienate new fans and abandon existing fans.”

Calder Race Course, located on South Florida’s Miami-Dade / Broward county line, offers Thoroughbred horse racing during two consecutive meets and year-round simulcasting. The track is home of the Summit of Speed, Juvenile Showcase, Festival of the Sun, Florida Million and Grand Slam series of events. A wholly owned property of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), Calder also operates the Tropical Meet. In 2008, the Calder Meet runs from April 21 through Oct. 19 and the Tropical Meet runs from Oct. 20 through Jan. 2, 2009. Information about Calder Race Course can be found on the Internet at

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