09/28/2006 11:00PM

Retama scratches fall meet

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In a change to the traditional south Texas racing calendar, Retama Park near San Antonio will not conduct its annual fall Thoroughbred meet in 2007 in order to build purses for a desired January-to-March meet in 2008. The 2007 dates for Texas tracks were awarded on Wednesday.

Retama had previously asked for 42 days of Thoroughbred racing in 2007, but last week amended that request to 12, to be run at Sam Houston Race Park in an agreement reached with the Houston track. The Texas Racing Commission approved the 12 dates, which will move the start of next year's Sam Houston meet up to Oct. 26.

Retama's desired dates for 2008 would overlap with the traditional winter-spring meet at Sam Houston. An agreement is not yet in place between the tracks on such a schedule, but 2008 dates cannot be awarded until 2007.

"We want that time period because of the availability of horses, and it also is a good time, we feel, for sending our signal out around the country," said Bryan Brown, chief executive officer of Retama.

With no Retama meet in 2007, there will be no Thoroughbred racing at Texas's major tracks in August, September, and most of October 2007.

The Texas racing year will open with 46 days of racing at Sam Houston, from Jan. 5 to April 7. Racing will shift to Lone Star for 67 days from April 12 to July 29 and then return to Sam Houston for 35 days, from Oct. 26 to Dec. 30. Retama will conduct a 21-date meet for Quarter Horses in 2007.In a change to the traditional south Texas racing calendar, Retama Park near San Antonio will not conduct its annual fall Thoroughbred meet in 2007 in order to build purses for a desired January-to-March meet in 2008. The 2007 dates for Texas tracks were awarded on Wednesday.

Retama had previously asked for 42 days of Thoroughbred racing in 2007, but last week amended that request to 12, to be run at Sam Houston Race Park in an agreement reached with the Houston track. The Texas Racing Commission approved the 12 dates, which will move the start of next year's Sam Houston meet up to Oct. 26.

Retama's desired dates for 2008 would overlap with the traditional winter-spring meet at Sam Houston. An agreement is not yet in place between the tracks on such a schedule, but 2008 dates cannot be awarded until 2007.

"We want that time period because of the availability of horses, and it also is a good time, we feel, for sending our signal out around the country," said Bryan Brown, chief executive officer of Retama.

With no Retama meet in 2007, there will be no Thoroughbred racing at Texas's major tracks in August, September, and most of October 2007.

The Texas racing year will open with 46 days of racing at Sam Houston, from Jan. 5 to April 7. Racing will shift to Lone Star for 67 days from April 12 to July 29 and then return to Sam Houston for 35 days, from Oct. 26 to Dec. 30. Retama will conduct a 21-date meet for Quarter Horses in 2007.