06/08/2010 12:00AM

Retama proposes shortened meeting


Retama Park near San Antonio has proposed reducing its upcoming Thoroughbred meet from 30 nights of racing to 16 in a plan that has been presented to horsemen's representatives in Texas, said Bryan Brown, the track's chief executive officer. Any change made to the dates would have to be approved by the Texas Racing Commission. Brown said that under the proposal, Retama would open a week later than scheduled, on Sept. 3, and run through Oct. 23. The original closing date was Nov. 6. Retama would race two nights a week under the proposal, on Fridays and Saturdays.

"This allows us to maintain our purse levels at previous meet levels," Brown said of the track's $80,000-a-day purse structure. "And Friday and Saturday are our best days we have from a live standpoint and outbound [handle] standpoint."

Brown said spreading the 16 days over eight weeks would give horsemen opportunities to run their horses several times during the season. He said Retama might also offer a few more races per program than the eight it had during the latter part of its meet in 2009.

A decision on whether Retama's premier stakes, the $100,000 El Joven and $100,000 La Senorita, remain on the calendar this year has yet to be made. If the one-mile turf races for 2-year-olds do stay, they would likely be run in October, said Brown.