FEBRUARY 18, 2000

SAN MATEO, CA – The California Horse Racing Board approved Friday the racing calendar for the year 2001, which runs from December 26, 2000, to December 17, 2001, providing an eight-day break before Christmas.

The schedule for the thoroughbred circuit in Southern California begins with the traditional day-after-Christmas opening of the winter meet at Santa Anita Park for 83 racing days through April 16, then moves to Hollywood Park for a 66-day meet from April 20 through July 16, followed by a 43-day meet at Del Mar from July 18 through September 5. The Los Angeles County Fair meet at Fairplex Park runs for 18 days from September 6 through September 23.

The Southern California thoroughbred circuit continues with the 32-day Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita from September 26 through November 5, concluding with a 31-day fall meet at Hollywood Park from November 7 through December 17.

The Northern California thoroughbred circuit also begins December 26, 2000, with a continuation for 17 days of the Golden Gate meet through January 15, followed by a 49-day meet at Bay Meadows from January 18 through March 25, then goes back to Golden Gate for 61 days from March 28 through June 17. After the fair session, racing resumes August 31 for 57 days at Bay Meadows through November 12, then concludes at Golden Gate with a 26-day meet from November 14 through December 17.

The northern fair circuit begins with a 10-day meet at Stockton from June 13 through June 24, followed by meets at Pleasanton (11 days, June 27 through July 8), Vallejo (12 days, July 11-23), Santa Rosa (12 days, July 25 through August 6), San Mateo (12 days, August 8-20), Ferndale (10 days, August 9-19), Sacramento (12 days, August 22 through September 3), and finally Fresno (11 days, October 3-14).

Quarter-horse racing will be conducted at Los Alamitos for 143 nights from April 13 through December 16. Harness racing will begin at Los Alamitos with a 72-night meet that runs from December 22, 2000, through April 1, 2001. Harness racing will move to Cal Expo in Sacramento for a 68-night meet from April 5 through July 29, then returns to Cal Expo for a 40-night meet from October 11 through December 16.

Representatives of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the California Thoroughbred Trainers argued for more dark days between meets, especially between the Hollywood Park and Del Mar meets. They urged the Board to delay approval of the calendar until late summer.

CHRB Chairman George Nicholaw said the Board would consider any proposals to amend the calendar that might be in the best interests of racing.

In other business, the Board approved license applications for the Pacific Racing Association to conduct a race meet at Golden Gate Fields from March 29, 2000, through June 18, 2000; for the Churchill Downs California Company to conduct a race meet at Hollywood Park from April 28, 2000, through July 24, 2000; and for Capitol Racing LLC to conduct a race meet at Cal Expo from April 7, 2000, through July 29, 2000.

The Board approved a request from the Los Angeles Turf Club to provide the Santa Anita Park signal to You Inc. under condition that You Bet will not accept wagers from California residents. The CHRB staff will monitor You Bet for compliance.

CHRB Executive Director Roy Wood said the process for reporting the use of equine nasal strips on the official daily program has been worked out between the various racing associations and the CHRB staff, meaning use of the strips can commence March 1 as previously approved.

The Board approved a three-year extension of the agreement between the TOC and the Jockeys’ Guild to provide health and welfare benefits to California jockeys and their dependents.

Although former State Senator Kenneth Maddy could not attend, the Board honored him with a resolution, which cited his 28 years of service to the State of California and noted that his support of the horse racing industry in California leaves a "lasting legacy." There was a standing ovation for Senator Maddy.

Vice-Chairman Robert Tourtelot, noting that the second term of Chairman Nicholaw has expired, so this was his last Board meeting as a commissioner, took the opportunity to state, "Not only has George been a good friend, but his leadership and integrity and experience have benefited the public and the California horse-racing industry tremendously. We owe him a great debt of gratitude."

Following a standing ovation on his behalf, Nicholaw responded, "It has been a privilege for me to sit on this Board. I really care about this industry. Betty and I have made a lot of good friends over the last eight years. I thank you all."

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