Live racing returns to Calder Casino and Race Course on Monday, April 9, and the season will get off to a rousing start as an action-packed month of April will mark the return of two centerpiece events for 3-year-olds, the Calder Derby and Calder Oaks, along with the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap and the introduction of the lucrative four-race Calder Starter Series.
“We look forward to the continuation of high-quality South Florida racing and an opportunity to draw a new focus to the Calder product,” Vice President and General Manager of Racing John Marshall said. “A strong April is going to build momentum, and that momentum is going to carry through the summer and into the fall. Players will know throughout the year that they can always find top-flight wagering options at Calder.”
Familiar names and faces will populate the Calder jockey colony in 2012, headed by two-time defending champion Luis Saez. A winner of 142 races at each of the last two Calder meets, Saez also finished atop the 2011 Tropical standings with 66 wins. Other regular occupants of the Calder top-10 scheduled to return include last year’s runner-up and 2010-11 Tropical champion Jose Alvarez, 2011 Tropical runner-up Daniel Centeno, and 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winning rider Juan Leyva.
New to the Calder jockey’s room in 2012 is Chris Landeros, an accomplished winner of over 850 races with two riding titles at Lone Star Park. The 23-year-old San Mateo, California, native moved his tack to South Florida from Texas in March.
Last year’s leading Calder and Tropical trainer Antonio Sano is expected to make his presence felt both at the entry box and in the winner’s circle as he returns for the 2012 season with a full barn of 40 horses. Perennial training-title contenders Steve Dwoskin, Bill White, and Kirk Ziadie are all expected to chase Sano for the top spot.
Important facts about the upcoming 2012 season:
- Live racing schedule: Thursday through Sunday each week with special Monday programs on April 9, May 28, and Sept. 3; Wednesdays will be added starting Sept. 12.
- First-race post time for the Calder Meet is 12:55pm; Tropical Meet (which begins Sept. 1) is 12:30pm
- Major stakes events: Summit Preview (June 9), Summit of Speed (July 7), Juvenile Showcase (Aug. 25), Festival Preview (Sept. 15), Festival of the Sun (Oct. 13), Florida Million (Nov. 10), plus five Graded stakes during the prestigious Tropical Meet.
- Return of the 50¢ Pick 5 with industry-low 12% takeout rate
- Florida’s Biggest Kentucky Derby Party on May 5
- Free general admission and parking; valet parking available
- Simulcast wagering available every day on major North American Thoroughbred tracks and a variety of South American programs offered by the Latin American Racing Channel (LARC)
Where to find Calder…
Calder Casino and Race Course is located at 21001 NW 27th Avenue (University Drive) in Miami Gardens, Fla., just north of Sun Life Stadium, current home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and University of Miami Hurricanes football. Phone numbers are (305) 625-1311 and (954) 523-4324. The official Calder web site is www.calderracecourse.com.
Calder’s races are broadcast on its own closed-circuit simulcast channel, the cable network HRTV, and online at www.twinspires.com/tv. Wagering on Calder is available at pari-mutuel facilities throughout the state of Florida and the United States, as well as online at www.twinspires.com. Telephone wagering and mobile phone applications are also available for Twin Spires account holders.
While the Calder web site offers all the racing information horse racing fans and handicappers need, Calder’s social media sites on Facebook and Twitter offer the forum for interactive experiences. The sites can be found at www.facebook.com/CalderCasinoandRaceCourse and http://twitter.com/CalderRacing.