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Heading West: Santa Anita Park To Host ’08 Breeders’ Cup

Santa Anita Park To Host Breeders’ Cup In ‘08
The Breeders’ Cup will return to Southern California in ’08, with Santa Anita Park “poised to become the first track to stage horse racing’s year-end championships on a synthetic surface,” according to Robyn Norwood of the L.A. TIMES. Santa Anita is scheduled to replace its main dirt track with a synthetic track this summer “under an edict to the state’s major tracks by the California Horse Racing Board.” Breeders’ Cup President & CEO Greg Avioli said that there were “‘absolutely no concerns’ about staging the event on a synthetic surface for the first time, and Breeders’ Cup officials hoped the surface would attract more European horses.” But Avioli “stopped short of saying all future Breeders’ Cups would be on artificial tracks.” He said if tracks like Churchill Downs and Belmont Park “don’t move to synthetic tracks, that would in no way keep them from hosting future Breeders’ Cups.” Norwood notes the two-day event, tentatively scheduled for October 24-25, 2008, during the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita, will mark the seventh time the Breeders’ Cup has been in the L.A. area since the inaugural event in ’84 (L.A. TIMES, 4/20). Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) Dir of Corporate Communications Julie Koenig Loignon said that the track did not apply to host the ’08 event because it held it last year, but added that CDI President & CEO Robert Evans is “interested in speaking with Breeders’ Cup officials about 2009 and 2010” (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 4/20).

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