Oak Tree Changes Post Time for Final Thursday

Hollywood Park will switch Oct. 28 program from evening to afternoon.

After experimenting with night racing on Thursdays during the Oak Tree Racing Association meet, Hollywood Park announced Oct. 23 that it will return to the afternoon for its final Thursday card of the meet.

In a statement, the track said it was acting on the suggestion of the Thoroughbred Owners of California in deciding to switch the Oct. 28 program from a 7:05 p.m. first post to 1 p.m.

Post time for Friday, Oct. 29, will remain 7:05 p.m. That program kicks off the closing weekend of the Oak Tree meet and will be followed by a Jace Everett concert after the races.

“We believe there is a need for tracks to continue to experiment with night racing in that racing may not be able to continue to put on its show when most people work,’’ said Jack Liebau, Hollywood Park president. “While attendance on Thursday nights has been higher than Thursday afternoons, it was not as high as we hoped it would be.

“We believe that with adequate time for promotion, which was not available for this Oak Tree meet, night racing will prove to be successful.’’

Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree’s executive vice-president, said he was receptive to the switch.

“We experimented with Thursday night racing to encourage attendance by a new, younger fan base,’’ said Chillingworth. “It takes time to make the public aware of a change such as this and, unfortunately, the weather has not cooperated.’’

When Hollywood Park begins its 31-day Autumn meet on Thursday, Nov. 4, post time will also be 7:05 p.m. There will be day racing Friday, Nov. 5 in conjunction with the first of two Breeders’ Cup programs from Churchill Downs.

Hollywood Park’s opening night features a post-race concert by the popular reggae band Steel Pulse.