02/21/2003 1:00AM

Extra day for Oak Tree gets nod


ARCADIA, Calif. - The California Horse Racing Board on Friday endorsed a plan to allow the Oak Tree Racing Association to add a day of racing to its fall meeting at Santa Anita on Sunday, Sept. 28, to conduct four prep races for the Breeders' Cup.

The board could not formally approve the request, because it requires legislative approval to allow for an expansion of the state's racing calendar. According to Sherwood Chillingworth, an Oak Tree executive, the necessary legislation was introduced earlier this week in Sacramento, but has yet to reach the committee level.

Chillingworth told the board he does not foresee any opposition.

The additional day will create an overlap between the first day of the Oak Tree meeting and the final day of the Los Angeles County Fair meeting at Fairplex Park in Pomona.

The board did not conduct a vote on a proposal to restore funding for year-round training at Fairplex Park. Roger Licht, the board's chairman, said the parties involved were likely to reach an agreement in coming weeks.

Fairplex Park was closed for several months last year because of a lack of funding.