Hollywood Park

Hollywood Park

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Oak Tree, Hollywood Park Agree to 2011 Meet

Hollywood Park and the Oak Tree Racing Association have agreed to a second fall meet.

A day after Hollywood Park and the Oak Tree Racing Association announced an agreement for the 2010 fall meet, the two organizations said Sept. 3 that they plan to also conduct the 2011 Oak Tree stand at the Inglewood, Calif. track.

“We’re very glad to have this done," said Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau. “Hollywood Park looks forward to a long and successful relationship with the Oak Tree Racing Association."

While the California Horse Racing Board has allocated racing dates for the 2010 Oak Tree meet, dates have yet to be awarded for the 2011 season and the those dates are at the discretion of the CHRB. Both the 2010 and 2011 Oak Tree race meets have not secured the necessary licenses from the CHRB.

Unless a special session is called, the board's next meeting to consider the 2010 Oak Tree license application is Sept. 23 at Fairplex Park in Pomona, Calif. The first CHRB committee meeting on the racing dates calendar for 2011 is scheduled a day earlier.

The inaugural Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meet is scheduled to begin Sept. 30 and continue through Oct. 31.

Horsmen's concerns about the condition of the main track at Santa Anita Park caused the move of the Oak Tree Racing Association from the location it has occupied since 1969. Oak Tree was formed as a charitable not-for-profit, non-dividend paying group of California owners and breeders.

Sherwood Chillingworth, executive vice president of Oak Tree, said he appreciated the cooperation and spirit with which Hollywood Park has offered to host the association’s meet.

“We understand that the California Horse Racing Board has to approve our dates and licenses, but we are hopeful that the board will respond positively to our request," Chillingworth said.

Oak Tree has been in negotiations for a long-term lease agreement with Del Mar this week but there were significant hurdles to overcome. Horsemen, in particular, questioned the move because of the long distance and cost involved in conducting a second meet at Del Mar just three weeks after the close of the summer stand.