Fairplex Park Dates to be Run at Santa Anita

Fairplex Park and the Los Angeles Turf Club have reached an agreement to move the county fair's annual 17-day end-of- summer meeting to Santa Anita Park beginning this September and have requested a change of venue from the California Horse Racing Board to be heard at its June 6 meeting.

CHRB spokesman Mike Marten said the request came from Robert Henwood, president and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Fair Assoc., and the LATC. A change of venue needs approval before the CHRB could issue a license to operate the meet, which runs September 13 to 29. The June 6 CHRB meeting is at Bay Meadows.

Henwood was reportedly out of the country May 23 and unavailable for comment on terms of the agreement. Fair communications director Wendy Talarico refused to comment on any plans the county fair may be considering for its racing and training facility, where 400 to 500 horses are boarded year-round. Jack Liebau, Magna Entertainment Corporation's director of California racing, representing the LATC, did not return a phone call.

In the past, fair officials have denied that there are plans to seek an alternate use for its racetrack and grandstand, which includes a major simulcasting center.

Santa Anita, located in Arcadia, is about 25 miles northwest of Fairplex, which is in Pomona.

Fairplex officials have been exploring the possibility of running their meet at another track in a landlord-tenant arrangement since late last year. They also held discussions with Hollywood Park.

If approved, the move would end a tradition of more than 60 years of racing at the Pomona site. It would also give Santa Anita a three-week lead-in to the regular fall meeting operated there by the Oak Tree Racing Assoc., which begins Oct. 2.