California’s three major horse racing organizations have endorsed The Shops at Santa Anita, the outdoor, upscale shopping and dining center proposed by Caruso Affiliated at the Arcadia, Calif., track. The Shops at Santa Anita, currently before the city's planners, is being proposed in partnership with the owners of track and would be constructed on the parking lot south of the grandstand.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California, California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, and the California Thoroughbred Trainers say they are supporting The Shops at Santa Anita because they believe it will help ensure the long-term viability of Santa Anita Park and the sport of horse racing in California. Each organization has submitted letters on the project's behalf.
“In our view, this plan is precisely the type of project that can bring new energy to Santa Anita Park, and that can improve its long-term viability as one of California’s – if not the nation’s – premier racetracks,” wrote TOC President Drew Couto. “This is critical both to the industry and, we understand, to the City of Arcadia, which has always been very supportive of our industry.”
“We believe that this project, to be built adjacent to Santa Anita Park, would greatly enhance the race track as well as provide further economic benefit to the industry. We commend both you and the ownership of Santa Anita Park for undertaking such an important development, which would help ensure the long-term viability of live racing at the historic venue,” wrote CTBA Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Burge, whose organization has represented California breeders and Thoroughbred farms for more than 60 years.
“Ensuring the long-term viability of Santa Anita Park is critical, and we believe your project will do that,” wrote CTT Executive Director Ed Halpern, whose organization represents hundreds of Thoroughbred trainers throughout the state. “The project, in our view, will architecturally complement the racetrack and has taken into account to the greatest extent possible the operational needs of the horsemen.”
California Horse Racing Board Chairman Richard Shapiro also joined the organizations in supporting the project, saying that he looks forward to its “swift approval and development.”
“I believe strongly that (its) development would be a great benefit to the long-term viability of Santa Anita Park and to California’s horse racing industry. I appreciate the steps you have taken to address all parties’ concerns including the design of the project, which will be a complement to the beauty and tradition of Santa Anita Park,” wrote Shapiro.