Texas Racing Commission Approves Racing Schedule For 2002

During a rather lengthy meeting on Thursday, August 9, the Texas Racing Commission (TRC) approved the 2002 racing schedule for the state's five horse racetracks. The TRC also gave its consent to transfer a Class 2 racing license from Lubbock to Amarillo.

The Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg was granted and eight-day mixed breed meet. Gillespie will run on four weekends in 2002: July 6-7, July 20-21, August 10-11, and August 24-25.

Lone Star Park will conduct a 70-day Thoroughbred meet (four days less than this year) and a 33-day Quarter Horse meet. The Thoroughbred meet will run from April 4 to July 14, racing four days a week in April before reverting to its normal five-day-a week schedule beginning in May. The Quarter Horse meet will be conducted from October 4 to November 30, racing four days per week.

Manor Downs will conduct an 18-day Quarter Horse meet from February 16 through April 14, along with a 10-day Thoroughbred meet from May 11 through June 9, with Saturday and Sunday racing only. Construction on Manor's expansion to a 7 1/2-furlong oval has been competed and all mandated improvements have passed the TRC's inspection.

Retama Park will conduct a 31-day straight Quarter Horse meet and a 51-day Thoroughbred meet. The Quarter Horse meet will run from April 19 through June 23, and the Thoroughbred meet will take place from August 2 through October 26.

Sam Houston Race Park will conduct 84 days of Thoroughbred racing and 44 days of Quarter Horse racing in 2002. The winter-spring Thoroughbred meet will be from January 2 through March 30. A fall-winter meet will be conducted from November 1 to December 28. Quarter Horses will compete at the Houston track from June 28 through September 8.

Texas also moved closer to opening another Class II racetrack yesterday when the TRC approved the transfer of ownership for a racetrack license from Lone Star Park to a group headed by Amarillo businessman Drew Alexander. Lone Star's license was for a track in Lubbock. However, Alexander's plans, which were also approved by the Commission, are to build Saddle Brook Park, a racetrack and entertainment center, west of Amarillo. It is anticipated that Alexander will be at the next Commission meeting to have construction plans approved and have race dates granted for the fall of 2002.

The next meeting of the Texas Racing Commission was set for October 8, 2001.

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