|Texas Racing Commission Horse Race Date
Calendar Committee Meeting: Work Continues on Plan for Race Dates, Stakeholders
Voice Frustration About Condition of Industry
Texas - August 17, 2010) - On Friday, August 13, the Texas Racing
Commission hosted a Horse Race Date Calendar Committee meeting at Sam
Houston Race Park in Houston. Representatives from the horsemen, breed
registries, Texas horse tracks, staff from the Texas Racing Commission
and various members of the public attended the meeting led by Commissioners
Ronald Ederer (committee chair) and Kent Carter, D.V.M. The meeting followed
a similar one held at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie on July 16.
Reiterating statements made at the Lone Star meeting, track officials
noted that they could not continue to run the same schedule as in the
past in the face of the double-digit decline in handle over the last two
years. Track officials described a plan that includes: a single 60-day
Thoroughbred meet at Lone Star Park during the summer; a fall Quarter
Horse and Minor breed meet at Lone Star Park; a mixed meet, predominantly
consisting of Quarter Horses, at Sam Houston Race Park; and a 24-day mixed
meet in the fall at Retama Park.
The horsemen and members of the public generally acknowledged that the
industry faces a significant problem, however there was no clear agreement
on the plan presented by the tracks. Moreover, stakeholders from all sides
voiced frustration over certain issues. For example, some owners and breeders
of small operations feel that their interests are not well represented.
Committee chair Ederer said, "Among people in the industry, the
level of concern is high, the frustration understandable. The race date
calendar request process is critical. This meeting, like the one at Lone
Star Park, provided a vital opportunity for all sides to communicate in
an open forum.”
Ederer added, “The Commission is sensitive to the concerns of
all the industry’s stakeholders. The choices moving forward will
be difficult ones. We will be in a better position to make informed decisions
concerning the dates that the tracks request as a result of the frank
discussions at these meetings."
The Commission’s Horse Race Date Calendar Committee will host
one additional meeting in Austin on September 1, 2010. Comments at that
meeting will be limited to items on the agenda, which will be available
The Commission will entertain racetrack date calendar requests at its
September 14, 2010, meeting. For more information regarding race date
allocation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org,
or contact Bill Childs at (512) 833-6699.