Calder Casino & Race Course will host the 22nd annual Festival of the Sun on Saturday, October 12, an afternoon dedicated to thoroughbred racing that will feature four stakes worth an estimated $740,000 in purse money, highlighted by the finals of the prestigious Florida Stallion Stakes, along with ceremonies to honor retired thoroughbred race horses now serving the community in their second careers.
Since its inception in 1992, the Festival of the Sun has been the signature event on the Calder racing calendar, routinely serving as a showcase for top locally-based horses along with some of the most promising young horses in North America as they prepare for the year-end Breeders’ Cup. In recent years, Stallion Stakes winners Awesome Feather and Big Drama used their Festival of the Sun triumphs as the foundation for future success in the Breeders’ Cup, while others such as Awesome Belle, Fort Loudon, Mad Flatter, and Mambo Meister also made Breeders’ Cup appearances following a Festival of the Sun victory.
While the racing portion of the Festival of the Sun program will feature an afternoon of top thoroughbreds still practicing their trade on the track, Calder will also use the day to honor several retired racehorses as individual ceremonies will be held in conjunction with Florida TRAC (Thoroughbred Retirement and Adoptive Care) and Equine Assisted Therapies.
In addition to top-flight racing and quality fare, guests in attendance at the Festival of the Sun will have the opportunity to win a share of $1,000 as part of a Pick-7 Handicapping Challenge. Guests can enter at the TSC Elite Players Club on the second floor of the grandstand between 10am and 12:30pm.
General parking and admission to Calder Casino & Race Course is free. Reservations for the Turf Club on Festival of the Sun are highly encouraged. Reserved box seating packages are also available. For more information, or to make reservations, call (305) 625-7227.