Florida Eyes Modified Schedule

Florida racing schedule might have modifications.

Press Release

Hialeah Park's 2014-15 meet might not open until mid-December.

Hialeah Park near Miami, Florida, has submitted a date change for the 2014-15 racing season very near the deadline for date changes with Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This was done without consulting the Florida Quarter Horse Racing Association, and FQHRA has contacted DBPR to protest the issue and investigate adjusting the dates back to where they have been for five years.

The Hialeah meet has traditionally started the last of November or the first part of December. One year when the meet was only eight weeks, it started on the weekend of December 15.

According to conversations between FQHRA and racing secretary Matt Crawford, a schedule adjusted for the new dates would have trials for three of the major stakes races to be held the last weekend of December. That weekend begins December 26. The finals will be held two weeks later in mid-January. Therefore, the previous futurities that were run in December will become derbies (for foals of 2012) and the derby normally raced in December will become a maturity (for foals of 2011) to be run in mid-January 2015.

The Hialeah Futurity would become the $200,000-added/ $500,000-est. Hialeah Derby (for foals of 2012) and would be held in mid-January 2015.

The Hialeah Derby would become the $100,000-added/ $250,000-est. Hialeah Maturity (limited to foals of 2011) and would be held in mid-January 2015.

The $50,000-added FQHRA Stallion Stakes Futurity, previously run in December each year, would become the FQHRA Stallion Stakes Derby  and will be run in January 2015. This race is for foals of 2012 by stallions that sold in the 2011 FQHRA Stallion Service auction.

The $100,000-added/$200,000-est. South Florida Derby (for foals of 2012) would be run on the first weekend of March instead of the second or third weekend of February.

The $30,000-added/$50,000-est. Sunshine State Derby for accredited Florida-breds will be run the first weekend of March instead of the second or third weekend of February.

Purse money would still average $140,000 per day for 10 weeks and four days per week of racing. Accredited Florida-bred award money will remain the same and pay an extra 20 percent for the Florida-bred connections.

Florida law does not allow for any new Thoroughbred racing permits within 100 air miles of any other active Thoroughbred racing permit. Gulfstream and Calder are running head to head year-round  and they are both within a few miles of Hialeah.

"FQHRA understands how this date change may have impacted your racing schedule and the national racing schedule as it runs into the Remington Park meet and leaves a gap between Lone Star, Fair Meadows, Prairie Meadows and other tracks who have horses that come to Hialeah after those meets," FQHRA said in a statement. "The racing secretary Matt Crawford mentioned allowing yearlings of 2014 and 2015 2-year-olds to come to Hialeah so they can be ready for Remington Park, etc. FQHRA will continue to work to provide more and better racing opportunities for you in Florida.  Our goal is to have at least six months of quality Quarter Horse racing for you in the very near future. Thanks for your continued loyalty. The more we all support and participate in American Quarter Horse racing across the country, the more quality racing we will all have. Success breeds success and we can all rise to another level if that is where we aim."

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, watch the AQHA Racing Newscast and visit www.aqharacing.com.