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Texas thoroughbred racing sees hard times

June 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

HOUSTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Thoroughbred racing may be canceled next year at two major tracks in Texas because of financial difficulties, officials said.

Sam Houston Race Park in Houston and Retama Park in Selma may forgo thoroughbred racing in 2011 in favor of a single 65-day thoroughbred schedule at Lone Star Park, a Dallas-Fort Worth track.

Owners and trainers are to meet Wednesday at Lone Star to discuss the plan, the Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday. The plan also must be approved by the Texas Racing Commission, which meets July 7.

The plan would enable promoters to increase daily purses to about $280,000, boosting efforts to compete against tracks in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas that offer gaming options prohibited by Texas law, said Dave Hooper, head of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.

New Jersey owners and trainers have had success with a consolidated season at Monmouth Park in Ocean Park, N.J., Hooper said.

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