California Horse Racing Partnerships are Optimistic
2014 will bring many changes to California horse racing across the state. The inevitable closing of Hollywood Park is finally here, with the final racing date on December 22, 2013. This will end 75 years of history at the historic track, but also begin a new era of racing in California. Though Hollywood Park holds many memories and countless winning days for Blinkers On Racing Stable and other thoroughbred syndicates, we find ourselves optimistic for what California racing has to come. More racing at Santa Anita and Del Mar is inevitable, and who can complain about that? Sure there are logistic issues to be addressed, but overall this change should increase the quality of racing throughout California.
The plan going forward for racing in Southern California is as follows. Santa Anita will kick off the year with their Winter Meet starting on December 26th as always, but instead of ending at the end of April and moving to Hollywood Park until Del Mar in July, the Santa Anita meet will extend all the way through July 6th. This means a very long meet at one track where the meet was already traditionally long, but who can complain when you are running at the great race place every day? After Santa Anita, Del Mar will begin on July 16th and finish on September 3rd. Fairplex will then resume their annual meet in the month of the September from the 4th to the 23rd. Santa Anita will then pick back up where they always do at the end of September from the 25th to November 2nd. The biggest change will be seen in the month of November when Del Mar will have an unprecedented Fall/Winter meet from the November 5th through December 7th. There will most likely be a week or two without racing in December before the Santa Anita Winter meet picks back up again on the 26th of December.
Along with these new race dates, more changes and potential additions are coming to California racing that horse racing partnerships and the thoroughbred racing community are very excited about. Because Santa Anita is going to have such a long meet that runs into the Summer months where traditionally it gets very hot, there are rumors that they may implement twilight racing on Friday. The rumor is that the city has approved night racing, now Santa Anita has to decide if they want to put up the money for the lights. Thoroughbred syndicates like the idea of twilight racing because it gives owners a chance to get out to the track after work, and for the horses it would be significantly cooler outside. The one road block aside from the cost of the lights would be that trainers are not too fond of having late night racing because training begins so early in the morning. Furthermore, horses don’t typically run at night under the lights so this would present a new environment that is uncomfortable and new for the horses. Hopefully, we can find a compromise for part of the Santa Anita meet that would be a win win for everyone involved. Furthermore, the stabling issue is still at large in Southern California when Hollywood Park is gone at the end of the year. San Luis Rey Downs is currently undergoing a renovation that would hopefully make it a viable option for trainers and up to about 500 horses. That still leaves about 500 horses who would need to either fall into Los Alamitos or Fairplex. The CHRB is still working with California trainers and the race track to find a permanent solution going forward.
In addition, Santa Anita is set to host an unprecedented third Breeders’ Cup in a row in 2014. Most racing enthusiasts involved agree that running the Breeders’ Cup in California is the best scenario for racing because most other tracks across the country inevitably have very inclement weather in the month of November. With that said, there have been rumblings around racing that the Breeders’ Cup may even be looking to California as a permanent home going forward. Horse racing partnerships in California are especially excited that the rumors extend to potentially holding the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in 2015. Apparently this Fall Del Mar is set to extend their turf course so that it will hold 12 starters instead of the current 10, which is a necessity if they ever want to host the Breeders’ Cup. Who knows they may even look to put dirt back at Del Mar, because most East coast trainers and owners feel that it would keep racing on a more level playing field if the Breeders’ Cup were to be held at Del Mar.
With all these potential changes and additions to California racing, including the makeover currently being done at San Luis Rey Downs, horse racing partnerships in California should be excited for what is to come. Hopefully all these plans and rumors come together to help create more quality racing across the state of California. At Blinkers On Racing Stable we are excited and optimistic for the coming changes that will inevitably sustain a higher quality of racing in the state of California.
Blinkers On Racing Stable, a leader in thoroughbred horse racing partnerships, brings together the finest in thoroughbred horse racing expertise with the best in business know-how, and above all, a team of people you can trust, to manage your investment. We are committed to helping you experience the joys of thoroughbred horse ownership. For more information on thoroughbred partnerships visit our website or request an information package about our partnership. Keep up with horse racing in California by reading our Blog, finding us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, checking us out on LinkedIn, or visiting our YouTube Channel!