The California Horse Racing Board unanimously agreed Thursday to schedule a rare single-issue board meeting to further discuss the proposed move of the 17-day Los Angeles County Fair meet.
The special meeting was required after the seven board members failed to reach a majority decision about whether the fair meet should end its 63-year run at Fairplex Park in Pomona and move to Santa Anita in Arcadia.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday June 08, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 7 inches; 262 words Type of Material: Correction
Horse racing--The votes of California Horse Racing Board members Roger Licht and William Bianco were listed incorrectly in a Sports story Friday. Licht voted to reject the move of the Los Angeles County Fair meet to Santa Anita Park. Bianco voted for further discussion.
Chairman Alan Landsburg and members Sheryl Granzella and Roger Licht voted for more discussion, but William Bianco, John Harris and John Sperry voted to reject the move. Marie Moretti abstained.
CHRB spokesman Mike Marten said the meeting will be conducted later this month near Fairplex. The date will be determined Monday.
"I felt this was a good ruling for us in that the board is showing continued interest in this subject and they want a full day to make this decision after a thorough discussion," said James Henwood, president/chief executive of the Los Angeles County Fair Assn.
Board members noted they anticipated more input from owners and trainers with horses stabled at Fairplex. Elio Amato, president of the Fairplex Owners and Trainers Assn., said he would urge the board to keep racing at Fairplex and approve funding for year-round training at the facility.
In the meeting that lasted nearly three hours, Henwood said he has been pressured by the Southern California horse racing industry since 1996 to upgrade the fair meet--Fairplex Park is equipped with a tight-turned, 5/8-mile dirt track and it lacks a turf course.
Because of the uncertain financial impact, the agreement to add races at Santa Anita has been opposed by the Oak Tree Racing Assn., Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Hollywood Park along with the Thoroughbred Owners of California and California Thoroughbred Trainers.
Said Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree executive vice president: "I was very surprised by the vote given that every entity objected to it."