Oak Tree to Find New Home
The non-profit organization, Oak Tree Racing Association, has been striving to develop and offer spectacular horse racing events in California and has been operating from the Santa Anita Park Racecourse since 1969. The Oak Tree is known throughout the racing community as one of the most popular racing meetings on the calendar, and they have also hosted the prestigious Breeders Cup for a number of years. Their future at Santa Anita Park Racecourse has now come to an end, with Oak Tree looking at different options for next year.
The Oak Tree Racing Association also hosts events such as the Ancient Title Stakes, the Yellow Ribbon Stakes and the Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship Stakes, being quite an asset to the racecourse. But at a recent California Horse Racing Board meeting, Oak Tree were nervously awaiting the outcome of the 2010 Oak Tree Program, fearing that they might have to move it on short notice. Frank Stronach, owner of Santa Anita Park Racecourse, announced that he will not be putting another lease agreement forward to the Oak Tree Racing Association, bringing an era in horse racing to an end. Panic gripped the organization as they frantically began searching for alternative venues to host their 2010 racing schedule, of which Hollywood Park and Del Mar Racecourse were the front runners. At the meeting, however, Stronach said that he was prepared to extend Oak Tree’s lease for another year to enable them to host their racing season and make alternative arrangements for next year.
Negotiations had gone well with Hollywood Park, as the racecourse offered to extend its hospitality if negotiations with Santa Anita Park had failed. From next year, the Oak Tree Racing Association will be moving to the Del Mar Racecourse and the association has worked closely with the horsemen to ensure a smooth transition. With the move to Del Mar Racecourse, there will be thirteen weeks of live horse racing for racing enthusiasts to look forward to, and even though the venue might have changed, the racing quality and excitement will remain the same. From 2011, the Oak Tree Racing Association will be calling Del Mar Racecourse home.