08/13/2002 11:00PM

Texas dates approved for 2003


GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and Retama Park near San Antonio will both race Thoroughbreds on Breeders' Cup Day for the first time next year after the tracks agreed to a two-date overlap in October 2003 during a Texas Racing Commission meeting Wednesday.

Sam Houston was granted 87 days of Thoroughbred racing from Jan. 1 to March 29, and from Oct. 24 to Dec. 27. Retama will open its 51-day Thoroughbred meet on Aug. 1 and run through Oct. 25.

The meets will overlap on Oct. 24 and Oct. 25, which is the 2003 date for the Breeders' Cup.

Lone Star Park near Dallas will run its Thoroughbred meet for 70 days next year from April 3 to July 13.

In other allottments, Retama will run a 24-day Quarter Horse meet next year from May 2 to June 22, while the Sam Houston season for Quarter Horses will be held 44 days from June 26 to Sept. 7. Lone Star will run Quarter Horses for 33 days from Oct. 3 to Nov. 29.

Manor Downs near Austin sent in a last-minute amendment to its original dates request, and was granted a 14-day Quarter Horse meet from March 1 to April 13, and an eight-day Thoroughbred meet from April 19 to May 11.

o The commission decided not to act on the Class 3 parimutuel license application for the El Primero Fair Association, a small track in Laredo proposed by Keith, Marilyn, and Cash Asmussen. The application will now go before the state office of administrative hearings.