01/14/2004 1:00AM

Retama Park track report


Training races at Retama for both Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses will begin on Feb. 6, according to Retama Park general manager Bob Pollock. Retama, which began operating as a training center in October, will remain open for training until live racing resumes in July.

About 600 horses are on the grounds, and officials said that number could soon grow to as many as 900. Retama attracts a large number of young horses, and many use the training races to prep for debuts at Lone Star Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Remington Park, and Manor Downs.

The training center is also a popular base for horses prepping for the Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training sale in March at Lone Star.

Most training races will be held at noon on Fridays, but some will be held at night to give horses experience racing under the lights.

* Pollock worked with Dick Becker, the longtime general manager of Ak-Sar-Ben who was buried in Omaha, Neb., on Monday. He died Jan. 7 at the age of 82.

Becker was named general manager of the now-shuttered Ak-Sar-Ben in 1972, and worked there until retiring in 1986. Becker was also vice president of Thoroughbred Racing Associations from 1981-1985.