Calder Race Course

Calder Race Course is a 220-acre thoroughbred racing facility in Miami, Florida that has two tracks - a dirt and a turf track.

Calder has two racing meets or seasons each year - the Summer Meet, usually held from April to October - and the Fall / Winter Meet, usually from October to January.

Calder is one of the more important racing venues in the Sunshine State and as such, regularly hosts major horse racing events. These include the Summit of Speed, Festival of the Sun, The Florida Million and the Grand Slam.

Calder Race Course Track Facts

 

Main Track Data

  • One mile oval with 1/8 chute for 7 furlong and 1¼ miles races
  • Soil: Sandy clay cushion with clay base
  • Base: 9" compacted marl base on top of 8" lime rock sand
  • Distance from the start of a 6 furlong race to the first turn: 1,436 feet
  • Distance from final turn to finish line: 990 feet
  • Width of stretch: 80 feet
  • Width of backstretch: 75 feet

Turf Course Data

  • Distance: 7/8 mile oval, with one chute of a 1/4 mile (diagonal straightaway), which allows for races of two turns to be up to 1 1/8 miles. 1½ miles races begin on the backstretch, pass the stands and go around the track again for a total of three turns.
  • Distance from 1 mile start to first turn: 662 feet
  • Distance from 1½ mile start to first turn (7/16 pole): 1,322 feet
  • Distance from final turn to finish line: 986 feet
  • Width of course: 67 feet

Important Records

Calder / Tropical Track Records

DIST HORSE AGE WGT DATE REC
2 Furlongs Lifeisawhirl 4 122 Jul 15, 2000 :20 4/5
  Puma 4 122 Jul 14, 2001 :20 4/5
  Baby Shark 4 122 Jul 13, 2002 :20 4/5
4 Furlongs (880 yards) Diamond Studs 6 123 Jul 14, 2001 :46 1/5
4 1/2 Furlongs Gold Phantom 2 118 Sep 16, 2001 :51 4/5
5 Furlongs Honest 3 117 Jul. 1, 1996 :57 3/5
  Groomstick Stock's 6 115 Jul 13, 2002 :57 3/5
  Flying Birdie 4 122 Sep 9, 2002 :57 3/5
5 1/2 Furlongs Bernard's Candy 3 118 Aug 9, 2002 1:04 1/5
6 Furlongs Forty One Carats 4 116 Oct 7, 2000 1:08 4/5
6 1/2 Furlongs Tour Of The Cat 4 119 Aug 17, 2002 1:15 4/5
7 Furlongs Constant Escort 4 114 Sep 28, 1996 1:21 4/5
1 Mile High Ideal 3 118 Sep 15, 2001 1:36 1/5
1 Mile 70 Yards Medieval Mac 3 113 Jul 10, 1993 1:41 3/5
  Halo's Image 4 115 Oct 31, 1995 1:41 3/5
1 1/16 Miles Castlebrook 4 118 Sep 15, 2001 1:42 2/5
1/8 Miles Jumping Hill 6 117 Dec 30, 1978 1:50
1 3/16 Miles Arctic Honeymoon 4 114 Jan 3, 1987 1:59 3/5
1 1/4 Miles Wicapi 4 114 Jun 24, 1996 2:05
1 1/2 Miles Lead'm Home 3 111 Dec 31, 1977 2:32 3/5
1 5/8 Miles Timberlea Tune 5 111 Oct 16, 1971 2:50 1/5
1 3/4 Miles Detective II 7 113 Oct 23, 1971 3:03 1/5
2 Miles Detective II 7 130 Nov 11, 1971 3:30 1/5

Turf Course

DIST HORSE AGE WGT DATE REC
5 Furlongs Heckofaralph 5 118 Aug 1, 1998 :54 4/5*
7 Furlongs Carterista 4 119 Jun 19, 1993 1:22 1/5
7 1/2 Furlongs Court Lark 6 115 Jul 16, 1994 1:26 2/5**
1 Mile Mr. Explosive 4 115 Oct 17, 1992 1:33 3/5
  Robyns Tune 3 114 Jun 15, 1998 1:33 3/5
  Copy Editor 6 116 Aug 2, 1998 1:33 3/5
  Dillonmyboy 3 119 Oct 30, 2000 1:33 3/5
  Mr. Livingston 4 115 Sep 3, 2001 1:33 3/5
1 1/16 Miles Spendable 5 117 Jul 30, 1999 1:39 1/5
1 1/8 Miles The Vid 5 120 Nov 25, 1995 1:44 4/5
1 3/8 Miles King's Design 3 114 Jul 23, 1999 2:13
1 1/2 Miles Flag Down 5 116 Dec 16, 1995 2:24
2 Miles Skate On Thin Ice 6 117 Jan 2, 1996 3:21 4/5

Milestones

  • In the mid-1960s, real estate businessman Stephen A. Calder and architect Stefan Zachar shared the vision of holding summertime horse racing in Florida.
  • In 1966, the two gentlemen applied for race dates with the Florida horse racing authority. They leased Tropical Park to run the races on until they could build their own track. They enlisted the help of William L. McKnight of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) for the project.
  • In 1970, Calder obtained a racing permit and held his first summer thoroughbred racing meet at Tropical Park.
  • On May 6, 1971, the all new Calder Race Course opened and featured a track designed by 3M.
  • On January 15, 1972, Tropical Park held its last race day.
  • From 1980 to 1984, Calder Race Course invested $10.5 million in improvements.
  • In 1988, Bertram Firestone purchased Calder Race Course.
  • In 1992, the Festival of the Sun, one of Calder's marquee events, was introduced.
  • In 1996, Calder was able to offer full card simulcasting on a limited schedule.
  • In 1999, Churchill Downs Inc. purchased Calder Race Course. The acquisition was valued at approximately $86 million.
  • In 2000, the inaugural "Summit of Speed" was held. It featured $1 million in sprint races. The "Summit of Speed" is Calder's second marquee event.
  • From 2001 to the present, records in both handle and attendance sky-rocketed as Calder-hosted events met with unprecedented popularity.

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