Sam Houston Race Park will host 27 days of Thoroughbred racing starting in January and 30 days of Quarter Horse Racing beginning in March. Sam Houston Race Park will not run its Thoroughbred dates in November and December of 2010. Lone Star Park will host 52 days of Thoroughbred racing starting in mid-April and 26 days of Quarter Horse racing starting in September 2011.
Retama Park will host 10 Quarter Horse days starting in July, a 14-day mixed meet beginning at the end of July, and 21 Thoroughbred days beginning in September 2011. Gillespie County Fair and Festivals will host its traditional eight-day mixed meet in July and August. [TRC Press Release]
So, taking out your handy-dandy calculators, you'll see that it comes to 100 days of Thoroughbred racing and a handful of gemistewurst because nobody really knows what the heck they mean by "mixed meet".
The good news is that there will be racing at all three Class 1 racetracks in Texas. The original consolidation plan that took a machete to 48% of the race dates was scuttled as it hurt too many horsemen whose livelihood depend on the Texas racing circuit.
The bad news is that there will be racing at all three Class 1 racetracks in Texas.
“We have to supply racing dates and support the horsemen even if we lose money.” [Bryan Brown, CEO of Retama Park]
Not a very good business model.
With less racing days, the racetracks can increase their daily purses. Lone Star Park, going from 60 days to a 52-day meet, can increase purses to $180,000 per day. Frankly, to some owners and trainers, that doesn't look any more appealing than $150,000 per day. And will this improve the quality of racing product? Or is it just providing life support for Texas racing?