Lone Star Park officials have sealed the deal to host the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
The track was unanimously awarded the event by the Breeders' Cup Board of Directors in July of 2002, and has been working since last fall to ready the plant near Grand Prairie, Texas, for the large number of people and horses expected to attend.
All terms have been worked out, and Wednesday Lone Star Park and Breeders' Cup officials had an official contract signing ceremony.
Construction began on Lone Star Park in 1995 and it opened in 1997. Magna Entertainment Company closed on its purchase of the facility in October 2002.
The 21st running of the Breeders' Cup, consisting of eight races with purses and awards totaling $13 million, will be run next year on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004, and will be televised live by NBC Sports. It will be the first time the event has been held in Texas or in the Southwest. The 2003 Breeders' Cup will be Oct. 25 at Santa Anita Park.
"We are delighted to make it official that the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are coming to Grand Prairie, Texas, and Lone Star Park next year," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., Breeders' Cup president and NTRA vice chairman. "The Dallas-Fort Worth area is one the nation's great sports markets and Lone Star Park has done an excellent job of establishing first class racing there. We look forward to working with the Lone Star/Magna team."
"The signing of this agreement represents a true team effort with virtually thousands of Texans involved, including the Governor," said Corey Johnsen, President of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and MEC Group Vice President. "There is tremendous enthusiasm in the Lone Star state surrounding this championship event, and we're very excited to showcase horseracing in Texas to a worldwide audience."