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FHBPA/CALDER April 19, 2013 Notes

Present:  John Marshall, Mike Anifantis, Kent Stirling, Phil Combest, Barry Rose, Gene Stevens, Larry Bates, Kathy Davey, Tom Cannell, Bill White.
Handle for the week was generally up slightly, year over year.  Calder management believes we are off to a good start, especially considering the rainy weather and the fact that we have been running fewer races compared to the same time last year.  The national handle trends are generally up, and since the market is strong, it bodes well for us if weather cooperates and we are able to run larger fields an more turf races.
Racing Issues
Eligibility rules will be revised.  Currently, a horse that is a winner and has started for less than $5,000 must finish 4th or better for $5,000 or more to re-establish eligibility. The rule will be changed to reduce the purse amount to $4,000.  Watch for the announcement which will also be included in Condition Book 3.
The Turf Course has been readied for the new season by eliminating weeds and damaging grasses (Kikuyu Grass and Goose Grass) and filling in the entire course with 419 Bermuda Grass.
Currently, there are approximately 1350 stalls occupied, with about 100 expected from Tampa Bay Downs and 200 from the OBS April Sale.
Ponies  – There are currently 16 – 20 lead ponies living and paying rent at Iadiserrnia’s Training Center behind the Calder training track.  There is still no electricity or awnings at their barn.  This is unacceptable, especially considering spring and summer temperatures and humidity.  Calder management will provide awnings and work to address these issues.  A question was raised whether other Churchill Downs Inc. tracks provide a pony barn.
There are no plans to change the Claiming Rule.
Upkeep, Repairs, Maintenance, Safety, etc.
Ambulance -Following up on ambulance issues raised last week, after a meeting with the parties involved, it was decided that in the future, when injuries occur, the on-track EMT’s will call AMR (the ambulance service) for acute injuries, and fire rescue for injuries deemed critical.
Regarding the area at the rail of the training track by the kitchen, trash removal and general clean-up are much improved.  An 8 larger dumpster and a special dumpster for recycling cardboard will be installed soon.
Concerns remain about several of the escalators which are old and break down frequently.  Calder contracts with a consulting service which acts as a go-between with the repair company.  Management is working through them to speed up repairs.  The question was raised whether there is a plan to modernize in these areas so critical to customer satisfaction.  A proposal will be put forward for these capital improvements, especially for the escalators that are used the most.