09/21/2005 11:00PM

CHRB switches dates in northern California


The California Horse Racing Board approved on Thursday a racing calendar for 2006 that reversed the racing dates of Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields from proposals introduced earlier this year.

Officials with the two tracks reached a plan for racing dates earlier this week after several weeks of discussions. Both tracks will run 21 weeks.

Bay Meadows will run three meetings: from Dec. 26, 2005, to Feb. 5, 2006, May 10 through June 18, and Oct. 18 through Dec. 18. Golden Gate Fields will run two meetings: from Feb. 8 to May 7, and Aug. 24 through Oct. 15.

Proposals issued during the summer had Golden Gate Fields running three meetings and Bay Meadows with two.

Ron Charles, who heads Magna Entertainment Corp.'s California tracks - Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita - said the new schedule "is more equitable." Jack Liebau, the president of Bay Meadows, said the altered schedule gives Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park similar dates, a plus since both tracks run on Friday evenings. Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita do not run on Friday evenings.

The northern California county fair circuit will begin at Stockton, which will race from June 14 to 25, and continue with meetings at Pleasanton from June 28 to July 19, Vallejo from July 12 to 24, Santa Rosa from July 26 to Aug. 9, San Mateo from Aug. 9 to 23, Ferndale from Aug. 10 to 20 and Fresno Oct. 4 to 15.

There are no Thoroughbred dates for Cal-Expo in Sacramento in 2006. Cal-Expo ran a harness meeting in 2005.

For the Southern California Thoroughbred circuit, the 2006 calendar begins with the Santa Anita winter meeting, which runs from Dec. 26, 2005, through April 23. Hollywood Park will run its spring-summer meeting from April 26 to July 16, followed by Del Mar from July 19 to Sept. 6, Fairplex Park from Sept. 8 to 25, Oak Tree at Santa Anita from Sept. 27 to Oct. 29, and Hollywood Park's fall meeting from Nov. 1 to Dec. 18.