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  Get Your Summer Racing Here!     

Ladies DayOn May 6, 1971 a new era begin in Miami, summer racing. The vehicle for this happening was Calder Race Course, a twenty million dollar facility that spanned 220 acres. It featured a state of the art eight story glass enclosed grandstand that held both the grandstand and clubhouse. The clubhouse included the turf club restaurant. The facility had seating for 6,000, parking for 10,000 cars and could stable 1,200 horses. The track was one mile, with a seven furlong turf course. The track surface started out with something called Saf-T-Turf a variation of the unpopular Tartan Track used at Tropical Park. Saf-T-Track didn't last the first meet, after many complaints from horseman the surface was covered with grey dirt.

Turf ParadiseBut Can You Drive It ?

Over the years the Calder grandstand sprouted wings and the seating capacity was increased to around 15,000, the stable area was expanded to house 1,850 horses.    

Calder Race Course not quite on the level of Hialeah in it's day or of Gulfstream today. It's purse value of 29 has significantly improved with the addition video gaming. Calder started and remains the only track in Southern Florida running a summer schedule. Calder is now part of the Churchill Downs family and has a decent stakes program capped of by the Festival of the Sun a $2.0 million day of racing.

Calder replaced Tropical Park on the Miami schedule and before the track was completed the Calder meet was held at Tropical Park. In return there is a Tropical at Calder meet run each year. Last but not least you knew you could head for the cashiers window when retired track announcer Phil Salzman would spout his signature line "and they're not gonna get em today!".

In 2011 there are again dark clouds on the racing horizon as Gulfstream Park is attempting to gain more racing dates. This will be the first year that Calder will give up racing in December. For the next few years Calder and Gulfstream Park would run head to head.

In 2014 the owners of Gulfstream Park and Churchill Downs, the owner of Calder struck a deal. Gulfstream would lease the racing assets, but Churchill would retain ownership of the casino. That year the track name was changed to Gulfstream Park West and a short fall meet was run. Now that Gulfstream was running year round, the short break would give them time for maintenance. Churchill Downs wasted little time cutting their losses, they leveled the barn area and then the grandstand. In 2015 because of the construction the Gulfstream Park meet was run with no spectators. Currently betting machines and some amenities are provided, so the track is still technically open for business.

Gulfstream Parks lease runs out in 2020, who knows what will happen, but Calder Race Course has joined the racetracks in the hear after, sadly Phil Salzman went with too, to call the races there.