08/02/2006 11:00PM

Lone Star asks to open earlier


Lone Star Park has asked to open its Thoroughbred meet one week earlier next year, on April 5, in a request submitted to the Texas Racing Commission. The state's tracks turned in dates proposals for 2007 on Tuesday. The earliest the commission will grant dates is during a meeting in September.

Lone Star has asked to race the same amount of days as this year, 66, in a meet that would run through July 21. For its 2006 meet, the track ran April 13 through July 23. During the meet, Lone Star raced five days a week through May, then shifted to four days a week. For next year, the track has proposed racing four days a week for the entire meet, with the exception of holidays.

The track's proposed earlier opening overlaps with the requested closing dates of Sam Houston Race Park's meet for Thoroughbreds. Sam Houston has asked for a 46-date spring meet from Jan. 5 through April 7. Unless the overlap is agreed to in writing by the tracks, the commission cannot by law grant shared dates for the same breed at Class 1 tracks. Sam Houston has also asked for a 23-date winter Thoroughbred meet, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30.

Retama Park has asked for 42 days of Thoroughbred racing from Aug. 10 through Nov. 10.