TOC Urges 'Careful Look' at Fairplex Dates Plan

by Jack Shinar

With the California Horse Racing Board scheduled to rule June 6 on whether to allow the Los Angeles County Fair to move its 17-day race meet to Santa Anita Park this September, another powerful industry group has signaled its opposition, at least for now.

The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors, in a vote taken June 3, urged the CHRB to delay the fair's of venue request in favor of more discussion, which would postpone any change for at least this year. Fairplex Park wants to move its meet to Santa Anita, which is owned by Magna Entertainment.

"Given the lateness of the day, the need for more information, the potential negative impacts on other tracks, the legal impediments posed, and the break from a long tradition of racing at Fairplex, (these) all justify a very close and careful look," TOC president John Van de Kamp told The Los Angeles Times.

The TOC has now joined Hollywood Park, Del Mar, and the Oak Tree Racing Association, which all have expressed their opposition to the five-year lease plan, which was announced May 23. Fairplex Park in Pomona has been home to Los Angeles County Fair race meet for 63 seasons. This year's dates are Sept. 13-29.