06/27/2007 12:00AM

Decision on Bay Meadows


The California Horse Racing Board will hold a special meeting Tuesday to decide whether to grant Bay Meadows a one-year exemption from installing a synthetic racing surface, the board's chairman, Richard Shapiro, said Wednesday. It is expected that the board will grant the exemption at the meeting, which will be held by conference call.

The board has mandated that all California Thoroughbred tracks that race for at least four weeks straight must install a synthetic surface by the end of the year. The board rejected Bay Meadows's request for a two-year exemption at its March meeting, prompting the track to declare it would not ask for racing dates in 2008. But in May, F. Jack Liebau, the president of the track's owner, Bay Meadows Operating Co., told the board Bay Meadows would race in 2008 if it was granted a one-year exemption on installing the synthetic surface. Bay Meadows Operating Co. has said it intends to develop the track property, perhaps as soon as 2009.