10/06/2011 5:13PM

CHRB sets 2012 dates for Southern California


The 2012 Southern California Thoroughbred racing calendar, which features the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita in November, was approved by the California Horse Racing Board at its monthly meeting on Thursday and is largely unchanged from recent years.

Santa Anita will have two meetings - Dec. 26 to April 22 and Sept. 28 to Nov. 4. Hollywood Park will have two meetings -April 26 to July 15 and Nov. 8 to Dec. 16. Del Mar and Fairplex Park will have their customary dates. Del Mar will race from July 18 to Sept. 5, while Fairplex Park will race from Sept. 7-23.

The Breeders' Cup will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 2-3.

The Oak Tree Racing Association did not apply for 2012 dates. Oak Tree operated an autumn meeting at Santa Anita from 1969 to 2009, and at Hollywood Park in 2010. Earlier this year, Oak Tree’s request to race at Hollywood Park was denied by the racing board in favor of Santa Anita conducting its current autumn meeting.

Oak Tree officials have indicated they will seek racing dates at Del Mar in 2013.

The Northern California Thoroughbred calendar is largely finalized, with financial aspects of two overlapped weeks in August between the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale and Golden Gate Fields still to be determined.

One change on the Northern California calendar from 2011 is the relocation of the San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton from a week in June to two weeks in September, the 19th through 30th. Golden Gate Fields will have the bulk of the dates, with meetings from Dec. 26 to June 17, Aug. 17 to Sept. 16, and Oct. 18 to Dec. 16.

Pleasanton will open the fair circuit dates from June 21 to July 8, followed by Cal-Expo in Sacramento from July 11-22, Santa Rosa from July 25 to Aug 12, Ferndale from Aug. 15-26, Stockton in September and Fresno from Oct. 3-14.

Petition being examined

At the start of the meeting, racing board counsel Robert Miller indicated a signature review is under way of a petition circulated by the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, a group of owners and trainers seeking to usurp the Thoroughbred Owners of California as the state's official representative of horsemen.

The signatures are being reviewed for authenticity. If a sufficient number are verified, the racing board will begin the process of conducting an election to determine which group will represent horsemen. The racing board's next meeting, at Hollywood Park on Nov. 17, is expected to include the subject of owners' representation.

The board approved the dates for Hollywood Park's fall meeting this year, from Nov. 10 through Dec. 18. The 26-day meeting has four-day weeks in the first four weeks, through Dec. 4, and two five-day racing weeks, from Dec. 7-11 and 14-18.

There were only four board members present on Thursday, the minimum needed for a meeting: chairman Keith Brackpool, vice-chairman David Israel, and commissioners Jesse Choper and Jerry Moss. Richard Rosenberg and Bo Derek were not in attendance.  John Harris is no longer on the racing board. His term ended earlier this year. Executive director Kirk Breed was absent, remaining in Sacramento because of illness.