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California Horse Racing Board confirms 2014-15 racing dates
POMONA, Calif. - The Southern California Thoroughbred calendar without Betfair Hollywood Park was clarified on Thursday when the California Horse Racing Board confirmed racing dates for the next two years. The board also announced that beginning in February offtrack stabling will be divided among Barretts Racing and Sales, San Luis Rey Downs and Los Alamitos.
The board granted five weeks of Thoroughbred racing in 2014 and 2015 to Los Alamitos Race Course, located in Cypress, Calif., about 30 miles south of Santa Anita. In 2014, Los Alamitos will run a two-week meeting from July 3-13 and a three-week meeting Dec. 4-21, dates previously run at Hollywood Park. In addition, the track will offer stabling to as many as 700 Thoroughbreds on a year-round basis.
Consultant Brad McKinzie said Los Alamitos intends to expand its dirt track from its current five-eighth-mile circumference to a mile this fall, and will run some stakes previously held at Hollywood Park beginning next year. The track will run Thoroughbred racing during the day and continue to offer its mixed meeting of Quarter Horses and lower-level Thoroughbreds at night during those weeks.
“The Orange County market is a market that screams potential,” McKinzie told the board. “We do not intend to be a placeholder on the Thoroughbred calendar. We plan to offer top-class Thoroughbred racing.”
Santa Anita and Del Mar will also have dates previously assigned to Hollywood Park. Santa Anita will run Dec. 26, 2013 through June 29, 2014, extending its winter-spring meeting for an additional two months, and from Sept. 25 to Nov. 2. Del Mar will run its traditional dates from July 16 through Sept. 3, and host a fall meeting from Nov. 5-30. Barretts will run at the Los Angeles County Fair from Sept. 5-21.
Similar racing dates were finalized for 2015, with possible changes to the autumn months if Del Mar succeeds in attracting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time.
Hollywood Park will conduct its final race meeting from Nov. 6 through Dec. 22 later this year and will close as a training facility on Jan. 31, 2014. The track received approval of its fall meeting from the racing board on Thursday.
There are approximately 1,200 horses based at Hollywood Park. Aside from the 700 at Los Alamitos, as many as 500 horses will be based at Barretts and as many as 495 can be accommodated at San Luis Rey Downs in northern San Diego County, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.
Barretts officials said they will offer stabling at least through July 1, 2014, possibly longer.
Racing board chairman David Israel and vice-chairman Charles Winner had held discussions with officials from racetrack and horsemen’s groups to finalize plans for offtrack stabling. At Thursday’s meeting, officials with the California Thoroughbred Trainers expressed concern about how stalls would be allocated in the event one venue has more requests for stabling than can be accommodated. The issue is expected to be discussed in coming weeks.
Another concern is financing for offtrack stabling. Joe Morris, president of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, said the circuit’s stabling and vanning fund has a current deficit of $1.3 million, which will grow by an additional $1 million in the next year. A portion of takeout from offtrack wagering at satellites is dedicated to stabling and vanning, but the revenue is declining as more people bet through online and telephone accounts.
* The racing board granted approval for the Breeders’ Cup and Sana Anita to run the $150,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup for purebred Arabians on Nov. 1 as part of the first day of the Breeders’ Cup program at Santa Anita.
The race is being funded by the Emirates Equestrian Federation, and is part of a worldwide series of major stakes for Arabians. Earlier this year, similar races were run at Pimlico on the Preakness program and at Churchill Downs on the Stephen Foster Handicap program.
The approval to run the Arabian race was made pending the signing of legislation by California Gov. Jerry Brown allowing a non-Thoroughbred race to be run at a Thoroughbred meeting.
* The board postponed a decision on racing dates for the Northern California fair circuit, pending discussions between the county fairs about the allocation of dates in July and August. The board did approve a race meeting at Golden Gate Fields from Dec. 26, 2013 through June 29, 2014.
I'd like to see a Del Mar meet from October 1 through December 25.
Ed burgart announced in twitter today that he will be calling all the t-bred & a horses races... He is gonna have. Busy 3 week period but if u love your job the way he does , it won't feel like work at all.. I'm really pulling for Los al to succeed..7 congrats to Ed on the we'll deserved exposure he should get from this.. Guy is a class act all the way thru.
Who is going to call the Los Al races? Very sad to see HP closing. IMO its the best track in So Cal. Yes the neighborhood is not that great, but once inside HP its fantastic.
Only change I would consider is ending the SA meet in early May instead of late June. Give the circuit a few weeks off, plus it gets pretty hot in Arcadia in June. But I'm guessing Cypress has similar weather too?
Top class T-Bred racing @ Los Alamitos ?? I don't think so. Los Al's problem is it's size.,5/8 mile. Expanding the track to one mile won't solve the problem. Small tracks have TIGHT TURNS. Very bad for a animal the size of a T-Bred. Bad on the legs at those speeds. That's why you don't see top class animals running on smaller tracks. Los Al used to have a fair meet in the autumn,but never attracted top notch quality.Why would an owner risk a large investment on a dangerous track with tight turns? Racing will be better,but NOT top notch.
And this is a BIG mistake: With the declining horse population the closing of Hollywood Park should have meant one thing, and one thing ONLY: The consolidation of Northern and Southern California into a single circuit excluding the summer months, where Del Mar's aggressiveness in getting horses to ship for their meet is the only reason there could still be racing on both cicuits (Del Mar and the Northern California Fairs). As I would do it: Santa Anita (main meet): December 26-Kentucky Derby Day (the meet would end on that Saturday, which in 2014 is May 3). Golden Gate: (spring meet) Kentucky Oaks Day (May 2 in 2014)-early July (somewhere in the vicinity of July 4). The Northern California Fairs would run as they do now, though some fairs would likely see their dates adjusted to reflect Golden Gate running a little later into the summer and NOT running in late August-early September. Del Mar: The Del Mar season would begin where it is now and would conclude three days later than at present (Saturday after Labor Day, in 2014 September 6). The closing Saturday program would be 12 races with first post at 1:00 PM local time. Fairplex Park: Meet would begin as it does now and would have a two-day overlap with the end of the Del Mar season (in 2014, Friday, Sept. 5), with the meet as it is now. Santa Anita (Autumn meet): Meet in 2014 would start where it has been in recent years in late September (Friday, Sept. 26 for '14) and would run through Breeders' Cup Saturday, which would be November 1 in 2014 and closing day. Golden Gate: (Autumn meet): This meet in 2014 would start on Breeders' Cup Friday (October 31) and conclude Saturday, December 20. Del Mar (Thanksgiving Meet): This would be just a four-day meet on Thanksgiving weekend that would run all of Hollywood Park's Autumn Turf Festival Stakes, including the Matriarch, Hollywood Derby, Citation and Generous. The only overlaps of No. Cal and So. Cal outside of summer would be the Friday and Saturday of Derby and Breeders' Cup weeks (in both cases, closing week at Santa Anita and opening week at Golden Gate) and Thanksgiving weekend when Del Mar would reopen for a special Thanksgiving meet. Golden Gate would take over the bulk of Hollywood Park's current stakes, including the Hollywood Gold Cup, Shoemaker Mile, Charles Whittingham, Hollywood Futurity, etc. (with the Gold Rush, spring version of the California Cup on the Saturday between the Derby and Preakness). That to me is what is needed for California Racing.
Another key that may have come (or will come out) will be detailing the class and conditions for " lower-level Thoroughbreds at night during those weeks" at Los Al. This could be a win/win for some trainers if they write up through $6,250, for example, and distances beyond 4.5 F, as you'd have a natural spot for the second string, or horses not quite able to make it on the big circuit or find a race every book. Trainer with horses mostly in those levels (sub 8K) would nautrally stable there and ship over for anything above that.
Looks like good changes but the best change would be to find a better group of people to run the CHRB. Are they going to require Los Al and Pamona to install synthetic racing surfaces? Maybe those tracks will still be consider bottom level and/or fair circuit tracks. The CHRB has cost the race tracks millions by forcing synthetic tracks to be installed, only Santa Anita could not fix flooding issues with theirs so they got to go back to dirt. Bay Meadows closed versus spending $35 million to change the surface. Why not shorten the racing dates now that they have the perfect opportunity?
Sorry to see this great historic track close. I went with my father as a young man, and made sure my kids experienced Hollywood park as well. Gonna miss my home track, but will always have great memories of all the great racing over the years. My wife and I attended the first Breeders Cup there in 1984, one month after we were married. Such a shame to lose this facility. I love Santa Anita and Del Mar, but Hollywood was my home track and holds a special place in my heart. Good luck to Los Alamitos. I hope they make it work there. I will be visiting when the thoroughbreds get there.
Great news for Los Alamitos ! Its got room to expand, plus its simple getting in and out, plus its right next to the 605 and 405 freeways. People who havent visited Los Al are going to enjoy this little jewel ! When they ran the fair meets back in the 80's here, it was some of the best racing , it was fun and well attended, and they make a mean meal in the Vessels Club, dont miss out ! BUT, remember, DONT SPEED along Katella, the police sit out with radar all day and night, slow down and save your money for that next trifecta !