Santa Anita came away the big winner Thursday when the California Horse Racing Board tentatively approved racing dates for 2014 and 2015 in response to the pending closure of Betfair Hollywood Park on Dec. 22.
Santa Anita will expand its usual fall meeting by more than two months, starting Dec. 26 and lasting through July 6, 2014. The Arcadia track will be in session for all three of the lucrative Triple Crown races. Santa Anita also gets the days for a possible 2014 Breeders' Cup during an autumn meeting that will run from Sept. 25 to Nov. 2.
Santa Anita is seeking to host the Breeders' Cup in 2014 for the third consecutive year.
Meanwhile, Del Mar will expand its racing calendar in 2014, holding meets from July 16 through Sept. 3 and Nov. 5 through Dec. 7. Fairplex will have its meeting Sept. 4-23.
In 2015, Del Mar will get the possible Breeders' Cup dates and hold a meeting Oct. 28 through Dec. 6 in addition to its annual summer meeting — but only if Santa Anita is not awarded the Breeders' Cup in 2015. Santa Anita would run Dec. 26 through July 5 and Sept. 26 through Oct. 25 in 2015. Fairplex would run Sept. 10-25.
The sometimes contentious meeting Thursday revealed a bitter divide over stabling issues. The Thoroughbred Owners of California want to implement a two-year plan relying on stabling at Santa Anita, Del Mar, Los Alamitos and 495 spots at a renovated San Luis Rey Downs in north San Diego County. The California Thoroughbred Trainers want to use stabling at Fairplex, but the owners' group said it was too expensive to use Fairplex.
The CHRB exhorted all the stakeholders to return to negotiations over how to replace the soon-to-be demolished Hollywood Park stabling area. A proposal to create an industry fund to pay for acquiring a training facility is under consideration.