LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 21 -- Churchill Downs is buying Calder Race Course, a Thoroughbred track adjacent to Pro Player Stadium in Miami. Churchill Downs officials say today they will continue to operate Calder as part of their expanding horse race circuit.
The purchase price is $86 million in cash. Calder in recent years has conducted live racing from late spring through December. Churchill Downs runs a spring race meet, including the Kentucky Derby, and a mid-fall meet. Said Churchill Downs president and CEO Thomas Meeker: 'Completion of this transaction will represent another significant advance within our goal of developing a comprehensive simulcasting wagering network.' The purchase was only the latest in a flurry of transactions involving racetracks. Less than one week ago, Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., was purchased by a consortium including gaming intestest and Keeneland, the Lexington, Ky.-based racing and sales operation. Late last year, Canadian industrialist and racing magnate Frank Stronach bought Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. And last year, Churchill Downs bought Ellis Park in western Kentucky.