07/18/2013 4:02PM

Santa Anita fall meet gets conditional approval by CHRB


DEL MAR, Calif. – Santa Anita received conditional approval from the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to conduct an autumn meeting later this year that will include two days of Breeders’ Cup races, dependent on the racetrack finalizing negotiations on issues pertaining to backstretch stabling and waste water disposal, marketing, and television distribution.

The racing board granted Santa Anita 24 days of racing from Sept. 27 through Nov. 3. The Breeders’ Cup will be held Nov. 1-2.

Much of the discussion surrounding the fall meeting focused on concerns by the California Thoroughbred Trainers association regarding stabling allotment for the autumn meeting. The CTT requested that stabling be allotted at Santa Anita for the autumn meeting as well as the 2014 winter-spring meeting that begins Dec. 26, with a maximum of 32 stalls allowed per trainer. Currently, some leading trainers have in excess of 32 stalls at Santa Anita.

Santa Anita officials countered that stall space for the autumn and early 2014 meetings should be allotted separately. The issue is a concern to the CTT because stabling at Hollywood Park will cease to exist in December when the track is permanently closed for development and stabling space at Santa Anita is at a premium.

Santa Anita officials told the racing board that discussions continue with state water board officials regarding waste water storage, and that an investment of $16 million to $30 million may be needed to ensure compliance.

In addition, racing board officials asked Santa Anita for an expansive description of marketing plans for the autumn meeting, which will come under the direction of outgoing Breeders’ Cup chairman Tom Ludt for the first time. Ludt joined Santa Anita’s management team earlier this year.

Racing board chairman David Israel told Santa Anita officials that he expects an agreement to be reached between HRTV and TVG for a continued broad distribution of Santa Anita’s television signal as a requirement for a license for the autumn meeting.

Thursday’s meeting also included a lengthy discussion about offtrack stabling plans for 2014 following the closure of Hollywood Park. The issue remains unresolved, with a meeting scheduled for Monday to continue the discussion.