04/05/2007 11:00PM

Retama seeks fall meet after winter request denied


Retama Park near San Antonio plans to seek a 32-date fall Thoroughbred meet for 2007 from the Texas Racing Commission after the board last month denied its request to race Thoroughbreds from January to March in 2008. The fall request is expected to be heard at the commission's next meeting, May 14.

Retama will apply for a meet that runs from Sept. 7 through Nov. 17, said Bryan Brown, chief executive officer of the track. He said Retama would ask to race three days a week, Thursday through Saturday. Purses will average more than $100,000 a day, said Brown.

Last year, Retama asked for a fall meet for 2007, but later amended the request and made an arrangement with Sam Houston Race Park to transfer 12 dates to that track, as well as $500,000 in purse money. Brown said Friday that Retama had obtained approval from Sam Houston to transfer the dates and purse funds back to Retama.

Retama officials had sought the 2008 winter meet in order to give the track more time to build purses and race during a time of year that officials felt best suited San Antonio. The request was opposed at the commission meeting by Sam Houston, which traditionally races Thoroughbreds during that period. Retama opens for a Quarter Horse meet on May 4.