The California Thoroughbred Breeders Association will have more power over how purse money is spent under a measure recently signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.
Funds previously earmarked exclusively for California-bred races or restricted stakes can now be used for races that feature California-breds but are not restricted to California-breds. Examples of such events are the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's Great State Challenge, which will be run for the first time this fall, and the Sunshine Millions, a series of races planned for California and Florida.
"We are very pleased that the governor signed this legislation," CTBA general manager Doug Burge said. "We are convinced that (the Sunshine Millions and the Great State Challenge) will enhance the overall Cal-bred program and increase the value of California-breds. This will encourage more owners to buy and race them."
The Sunshine Millions concept has been floated by Magna Entertainment, which owns Santa Anita Park in California and Gulfstream Park in Florida. The series, which would match California-breds and Florida-breds, has been on the drawing board for more than a year.
The current stallion and breeders' award programs will not be impacted by the new law. Those programs provide incentives to both breeders and stallion owners to breed better horses and attract and retain top stallions in California.