Santa Anita Will Host 2003 Cup During Oak Tree Meet

The Oak Tree Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited have agreed to hold the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Santa Anita Park.

"We are delighted to reunite with the Oak Tree Racing Association in returning to Santa Anita for our 20th Breeders' Cup," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., Breeders' Cup president. "Santa Anita is an outstanding facility with a great tradition of showcasing top flight international racing for both its horsemen and its fans."

Hopefully, the third times a charm for the Southern California racing association that owns the fall dates at Santa Anita. Oak Tree lost a chance to host its third Breeders' Cup in 1999 because Magna Entertainment made plans to renovate the Santa Anita grandstand, remodel the clubhouse, and work on the turf and dirt courses. Oak Tree officials tried again and were slated to hold the 2002 championship, but ran into the same wall a year ago--construction plans at Santa Anita got in the way. The 2002 Breeders' Cup was moved to Arlington Park and will be run Oct. 26.

"In the past three years, we have had two false starts; therefore, it is with particular pleasure to learn that Oak Tree has been selected to host the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships," said Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree Racing Association executive vice president and director. "We will undertake every effort to make the event as interesting and enjoyable for the participants and fans as we possibly can."

Oak Tree has been the Breeders' Cup host previously in 1986 and 1993. If all goes smoothly, it will hold its third championship on Oct. 25, 2003. The racing association was formed in 1969 as a not-for-profit organization that donates all its net profits to charity, particularly equine-related ones. Since its inception, Oak Tree has donated more than $18 million.