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Attendance Down at Calder Meet

7 January 2004

MIAMI, Florida – (Press Release) -- Calder Race Course concluded its 32nd Tropical meet on Friday, Jan. 2. Each year, while offering 53 days of quality Thoroughbred horse racing, Calder's Tropical meet signals the beginning of the winter racing season in south Florida.

Average daily on-track attendance for the 2003/04 Tropical at Calder meet was 4,816, representing a 5.4-percent decrease from the previous year's average of 5,090. Average attendance on "dark" days -- when the track offered full card simulcasting -- was 936, down 6.4 percent from last year's average of 1,000.

Total wagering, including all sources and all days, was $307,981,037, compared to $315,661,359 in 2002/03. The 2003/04 total included one additional day of simulcast-only wagering. Average daily on-track and total combined mutuel handle on Calder racing were both up -- 2.1 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively -- from the 2002/03 Tropical season. (Please refer to comparative data below.)

"Though we were down slightly in on-track attendance, the fact that our on-track wagering and total combined handle on our live races were both up is encouraging," said Calder President Ken Dunn. "Our two Grand Slam events once again proved to be successful, with Grand Slam II registering the second highest combined mutuel handle of all time for the Tropical meet and Grand Slam I coming in third on that list."

The all time Tropical record for combined mutuel handle on a single day, $9,461,604, was set on Grand Slam II day in 2001.

An impressive stakes schedule worth $2,800,000 featured longstanding turf fixtures such as the Grade II W.L. McKnight and La Prevoyante Handicaps, as well as five other Graded stakes. The meet also marked the return of three highly successful racing promotions, Grand Slams I and II and the second annual "Florida Million." The New Year was rung in with renewals of the Grade III Tropical Park Derby and the Tropical Park Oaks on Jan. 1.

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