By Jim Freer
Calder, site of the Gulfstream Park West meet, and Tampa Bay Downs were dark for racing this Thanksgiving Thursday.
Both tracks will be back with racing on Friday and Saturday.
For Tampa Bay, it will be the continuation of the first week of its 2020-2021 meet.
At Calder, in Miami Gardens, Fla., Saturday will be the final day of the GP West meet. The highlight will be mandatory payouts (including all incoming carryovers) on the Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5 and the Super Hi-5 in the tenth and final race.
Barring unexpected developments, Saturday also will be the final day of thoroughbred racing at Calder which opened in 1971.
Calder and its parent company, Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), are planning to not renew a lease under which Gulfstream Park has held October-November race meets at Calder for the past seven years.
Calder last year opened a jai-alai fronton. It is using jai-alai, rather than the leased racing dates to Gulfstream, to comply with a Florida law that requires a Florida pari-mutuel to have 40 race cards or 40 jai-alai programs a year to keep a casino license.
Tampa Bay Downs
Tampa Bay opened its 2020-2021 meet on Wednesday.
It will have nine races on Friday with first post of 12:47 p.m.
It will have ten races on Saturday with first post of 12:22 p.m.
The Oldsmar, Fla., track will be dark from Sunday through Tuesday, and will resume racing on Wednesday Dec. 2.
Tampa Bay Downs is open to spectators, who are required to wear masks at all times on the property.
The track also has social distancing and sanitation requiriements, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GP West (Calder)
GP West will have ten races on Friday, with first post of 12:35 p.m.
The first race has a carryover of $3,150 on the Super Hi-5.
The Rainbow 6 has a carryover of $309,456. The 20 cents per combination-only bet will be on races five through ten.
The carryover has grown because GP West has gone sixteen straight racing days without the jackpot/carryover takedown requirement of just one ticket with the winners of all six races.
The jackpot consists of 80 percent of the day’s new Rainbow 6 bet (20 percent takeout) plus the entire carryover.
Meet sponsor Gulfstream Park is guaranteeing that Friday’s jackpot pool will be at least $450,000 if there is just one ticket with all six winners.
On most days that have multiple winning tickets, GP West takes out 20 percent of the bet, and then divides 56 percent among winning tickets and adds 24 percent to the carryover.
The Saturday Card at GP West/Calder will have ten races with first post at 12:35 p.m.
On Saturday, GP West will pay out 80 percent of
the day’s Rainbow 6 bet and the full carryover–regardless of the number of tickets with all six winners.|
If the Rainbow 6 has multiple winning tickets on Friday, the carryover for Saturday could be in the $400,000 range.
Based on the popularity of Gulfstream meets’ mandatory payouts and excitement about Calder’s final day, the Saturday Rainbow 6 pool could be as big as $5 million.
And, as Gulfstream says in its promos–It all must go.
Saturday’s tenth race is a $16,000 maiden claimer at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf for 3-YOs and up.
There are sixteen entrants, including six Also Eligibles.
Where to Watch
Calder is closed to spectators. Gulfstream has a tent area, just north of its grandstand, that has simulcast wagering on GP West/Calder and other thoroughbred tracks.
Tampa Bay Downs, Hialeah Park and Pompano Park are among Florida pari-mutuels that have simulcast wagering on GP West and other tracks.
Almost all of the Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) services show GP West races live and take bets on them.
All GP West races are shown live on the Gulfstream Park Web site.
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., will open its 2020-2021 championship meet on Wednesday, Dec. 2. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gulfstream will not be open to spectators at least during the early part of its four-month meet.