The Texas Racing Commission has approved a request from Retama Park to conduct 32 days of live Thoroughbred racing Sept. 7-Nov. 17 this year.
During previous years, the track in Selma, near San Antonio, started Thoroughbred racing in early August--when temperatures often soared into the high 90s--and the meet ended in October, just as temperatures began to fall.
“We will not have to face the oppressive heat of August, and as we get into October, cooler temperatures will arrive, and that will make it pleasant for our fans and horses,” Retama general manager Bob Pollock said.
Also, officials expect average daily purses at Retama will total about $100,000 this year, compared with $80,000 last year.
“That should help attract better horses and result in an improved racing product for our fans,” said Bryan Brown, Retama chief executive officer.
Retama originally planned to not offer Thoroughbred racing this year and instead begin its season in January 2008, but Sam Houston Race Park, which holds the winter dates, opposed the plan.