06/30/2003 11:00PM

Lone Star requests Breeders' Cup meet


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - For the first time in its history, Lone Star Park plans to run a Thoroughbred meet in the fall next year. The proposed 19-day meet is designed to run around the Breeders' Cup, which will be held at Lone Star on Oct. 30, 2004.

The meet would run from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, pending approval of the Texas Racing Commission. In addition to the fall meet, Lone Star requested its traditional spring meet for Thoroughbreds, from April 15 to July 11.

The track also requested a 2004 Quarter Horse meet from July 28 to Sept. 15, but in an agreement reached this week, that meet would be moved to Sam Houston, provided the tracks get approval for the switch from the commission. In years past, the Quarter Horse meet has been run between October and December at Lone Star.

Tuesday night was the deadline for Texas tracks to submit 2004 date requests to the commission.

There are a number of reasons Lone Star asked for month's worth of racing surrounding the Breeders' Cup, said Jeff Greco, the track's general manager. The session will be called the Breeders' Cup meet.

"It's a combination of shippers being able to get settled, and people getting a chance to work over the track," said Greco. "Frankly, it's been in the plans a long time."

Greco said it is too early to comment on the purse structure for the fall meet, but he expects daily purses would be on the same level as the spring meet, which this year has averaged between $220,000 and $240,000.

Sam Houston also submitted dates Tuesday, asking for an extended meet for Quarter Horses, from April 23 to Nov. 6, which would include the transferred Lone Star dates. Typically, the Quarter Horse season runs from June to September.

"We would bring the Quarter Horse dates down here so that Lone Star can prepare for the Breeders' Cup," said Sam Houston president Bob Bork. "It's still subject to racing commission approval."

Sam Houston has also requested Thoroughbred dates for 2004. Bork has asked for a Jan. 2 to April 10 session, which would pick up when this year's meet ends in December. The track has also requested to race Thoroughbreds from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23.