06/05/2013 1:09PM

Off-track stabling in Southern California still up in air


The issue of off-track stabling in Southern California for 2014 remained unresolved on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after the California Horse Racing Board urged horsemen’s organizations to find a solution to a problem caused by the closure of Betfair Hollywood Park in December.

Jim Cassidy, the president of the California Thoroughbred Trainers, expressed frustration on Wednesday that a resolution has not been reached with the Thoroughbred Owners of California. The two groups have held one meeting and exchanged proposals in recent weeks.

“I wanted to have this buttoned up by today, but it’s not going to happen,” Cassidy said on Wednesday.

There are more than 1,200 horses based at Hollywood Park, and stables will have to be found for them. Santa Anita’s barn area holds between 1,800 and 1,900 horses.

After Hollywood Park closes, the CTT wants horses to be based at Fairplex Park, which is 20 miles from Santa Anita. The TOC has countered with a proposal for stables to be based at the San Luis Rey Downs training center in northern San Diego County and Los Alamitos in Orange County. Los Alamitos is 35 miles from Santa Anita, while San Luis Rey Downs is about 100 miles away.

TOC officials have stressed that their proposal is more affordable at a time when revenue for off-track stabling is diminishing. A portion of handle from off-track betting from racetrack and satellites is dedicated to off-track stabling. Handle from account wagering sources does not contribute to off-track stabling.