08/05/2002 11:00PM

Sam Houston amends dates request

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Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, which last month had requested drastic changes to its racing calendar for 2003, has amended its original request, reverting to a schedule similar to the one it has kept the past several years.

In its new request, Sam Houston asked for 84 dates of Thoroughbred racing in 2003, from Jan. 2 to March 30, and from Oct. 24 to Dec. 31.

Originally, the track had asked to drop its January to March dates and begin its season in August in a move that would have avoided an overlap with slots-rich Delta Downs, which is located two hours east of Sam Houston in Vinton, La.

Sam Houston has also amended its Quarter Horse dates request, asking for a 44-day season next year that would start June 6 and run through Aug. 24.

The new Sam Houston calendar overlaps with Retama Park. The Texas Racing Commission is expected to grant dates for 2003 during its upcoming meeting Aug. 14.