CHRB Sets Meeting to Decide Fairplex Dates Issue

by Jack Shinar

A decision on the Los Angeles County Fair's plan to move its September race meet from Fairplex Park to Santa Anita Park is expected when the California Horse Racing Board meets June 26 at 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles Crowne Plaza Hotel.

At its regular monthly meeting June 6 at Bay Meadows, the CHRB listened to nearly three hours of debate but was unable to decide the issue. The board split on a 3-3 vote (with one abstention) on a motion that would have denied the fair's request.

The fair and the Magna Entertainment-owned Los Angeles Turf Club have a five-year agreement to move the fair's annual 17-day meet from the Pomona fairgrounds track. Terms of the agreement have not been made public. This year's dates are Sept. 13-29.

The plan has drawn criticism from the Oak Tree Racing Association, which manages a race meet at Santa Anita that directly follows the fair dates; rival tracks Del Mar and Hollywood Park; and the California Thoroughbred Trainers. The Thoroughbred Owners of California has urged the board to delay any consideration on a change of venue until further study of the impact of the move can be completed.