03/23/2005 1:00AM

California panel pushes Cal Expo harness meet


SAN MATEO, Calif. - The California Horse Racing Board's Race Dates Committee voted Wednesday at Bay Meadows to recommend to the full board that Cal Expo in Sacramento conduct year-round harness racing beginning with its 2005-2006 meeting.

Cal Expo traditionally conducted a mixed meeting during the State Fair in late summer and had requested a switch to Standardbreds for this year. Capitol Racing, which currently operates the harness meeting at Cal Expo, had wanted to run a harness meet at Fairplex Park in Pomona next year, but the committee's recommendation means that is unlikely to happen.

The racing board's Medication Committee also met Wednesday, and it voted to recommend to the full board the exclusive use of the Maddy Laboratory at the University of California at Davis for the state's drug testing. Currently, the state uses the Truesdale and Maddy laboratories.

The full board was to meet Thursday at Bay Meadows.