The lucrative four-race Calder Starter Series, which offers a combined $200,000 in purse money along with a $5,000 bonus to the trainer of the points-leader at the completion of the series, attracted a diverse group of 74 nominees when nominations closed last week.
“The Starter Series has generated a great deal of interest from our horsemen and we’re thrilled with the positive response we have received,” Racing Secretary Mike Anifantis said. “We expect large and competitive fields for each of the four races.”
The four-race series is restricted to 4-year-olds and up that have started for $20,000 or less in 2011 or 2012 and will be run at progressively longer distances while alternating between the main track and the turf course.
Bisnath Parboo, the top trainer at the 2010-2011 Tropical Meet, leads the way with seven horses nominated to the Starter Series, six of which run in the silks of the 2011 Calder Meet leading owner Sherry Parbhoo. Two-time leading owner Frank C. Calabrese, winner of the 2011 and the 2010-11 Tropical titles, has five horses nominated to the Starter Series, three for trainer Kirk Ziadie and two for Nick Canani.
Other trainers of note that have horses nominated to the Calder Starter Series include the northern-based outfits of Vickie Foley, Jamie Ness, Jason Servis, and Peter Walder, along with longtime Calder stalwarts Dave Fawkes, Bill Kaplan, and Stanley Gold.
A $5,000 bonus will be awarded to the trainer of the horse that accumulates the most points throughout the series, with points allocated to the first six finishers in each race.
The Calder Starter Series Schedule:
April 14 - Seven Furlongs (Dirt)
April 28 - One Mile (Turf)
May 12 - One Mile and Seventy Yards (Dirt)
May 26 - One and One-Sixteenth Miles (Turf)