From Oak Tree Racing Association
ALBANY, Calif, (Apr. 25, 2014) -- The California Horse Racing Board today approved a license application submitted by Oak Tree Racing Association and Alameda County Fair to conduct three weeks of racing at the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, beginning on June 19, 2014 and running through July 6, 2014. CHRB approval represents the latest step forward in a year-long effort by Oak Tree, Alameda County Fair and the California Authority of Racing Fairs to offer a new concept for racing in Northern California.
Earlier in the year, the three organizations worked with California legislators to carry a bill which would clear the way for this effort. In March, the legislature passed AB 1303 (Hall), which enabled Oak Tree to run at a Fair in Northern California. Governor Brown signed the legislation on March 28, 2014. An application for a racing license was submitted to the CHRB on April 11, 2014.
"On behalf of the Oak Tree Board of Directors, we want to thank the California legislature, the Governor and our friends in the racing industry who have supported and encouraged this effort," said John Barr, President and Sherwood Chillingworth, Executive Vice-President of Oak Tree Racing Association, in a joint statement. "Oak Tree has worked closely with Alameda County Fair and California Authority of Racing Fairs on the negotiations and legislation that have led up to this approval. We want to thank the management and boards of both organizations for what we've been able to accomplish together."
"The alliance with these partners will be a big gain for horse racing in Northern California," said Alameda County Fair CEO Jerome Hoban. "Combining the legacy of Oak Tree with the long heritage of racing at Alameda County Fair will bring new excitement to racing at Pleasanton. This is also a great opportunity to showcase horse racing to the hundreds of thousands of people who attend our Fair every year. Our community is looking forward to the event."
Oak Tree will complement purses for the upcoming meeting with a sponsorship contribution of $150,000 which will be dedicated entirely to purses. The meeting will feature four stakes over the three weeks, most notably two $100,000 Stakes: on Saturday, June 21st, the Oak Tree Handicap for horses three and up at a mile and an eighth, and the Oak Tree Distaff on Saturday, June 28th, for Cal-Bred fillies and mares three and up at six furlongs (supported by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association as part of their Golden State Series).
"All three organizations wish to express our sincere thanks to the California Horse Racing Board for their approval today," said Christopher Korby, Executive Director of the California Authority of Racing Fairs. "We believe that attractive purses, Oak Tree's participation and thousands of people at a Fairgrounds' venue will combine to generate some real excitement about our sport. This venture represents a new vision for racing in Northern California."